ARTiculate exhibition and auction at Victoria Miro with Danny Boyle
Last night British director and producer Danny Boyle played host to ARTiculate London, a one-off exhibition of artworks from a range of international artists, at London’s Victoria Miro gallery. Working with a group of African children, sponsored by the charity Dramatic Need, artists including Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, and the Chapman brothers, as well some of the UK’s most exciting new talent, were tasked to pick a child whose story most inspired them and produce a single piece of work in response.
Laced with charming grammatical errors and misspelling, each child’s story told of the abuse and sadness they have endured; from rape to suicide, poverty to HIV, these tales paint a vivid picture of their lives. Albeit through the lens of their artistic vision, and outsider interpretation, these moving tales were brought to life in various ways through the work of each artist.
Responding to the heartbreaking testimony of Margaret, a young girl who’d lost her family to AIDS, was HIV positive herself, and was the only one left to care for both her and sister’s children, artist Jillian Edelstein photographs a group of women in colourful clothing dancing in a circle and ringing bells in ritualistic fashion. Choosing to represent Margaret’s faith in God and modern medicine as opposed to her desolation, Jillian represents the “wealth of spirituality which we don’t have, and the sense of community’’.
After moving around the exhibition and bidding electronically for works, guests crowded around the stage where four artworks were put to a live auction, including Untitled by Anish Kapoor; his painterly response to a girl’s prophetic dream about her mother’s death. Despite raising a respectable amount for the new arts centre in South Africa, things took a turn for the worst, when the mysterious Anish Kapoor bidder vanished into thin air, prompting a very embarrassed Amber Sainsbury – Dramatic Need’s founder – to jump up on stage and desperately call for some new bidders. After minutes of painful silence, and despite having his eye on a charming sculpture by Tom Price, Danny Boyle stepped in with a bid of £23,000 for a £40,000 piece of art.
Further confusion came when a man took to the stage at the end of the evening to announce that a work by Adeline de Monseignat – a wall of bricks covered in hand-sewn fabric, and embroidered with the haunting words of Meine Maipototo – could actually be sold brick by brick, instead of as a single piece.
However, despite all this, a substantial amount of money was raised for Dramatic Need, and guests left moved by the heart wrenching testimonies of children and comforted by their artistic translations.
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
For further information about Dramatic Need, ARTiculate and future events visit here.