Be part of an exciting new art project which enables much needed support for children of addicts and adults in recovery, exhibiting at The Saatchi Gallery this December!
'Child Of' is an art project and soon a creative platform, partnered with Saatchi Learning.
An art project born from grief has now turned into a creative explosion determined to open up the conversation around addiction and supports recovery in an innovative and contemporary way.
A crowdfund with unique rewards; we're creating a piece of textile artwork like never before and want you to be involved. Be part of a stunning and ever transforming, embroidered and embellished tapestry which will travel through various venues and galleries as the project evolves and changes lives on its journey.
This is your chance to immortalise a loved one, a memory, your point of view or just rage against the machine. Each contribution will be stitched onto a textile wall hanging exhibiting at the Saatchi Gallery in December and help those in recovery who desperately need your support and children from dysfunctional families.
Read on to find out what Child Of is all about and how you can be a part of an iconic piece of art and creative platform.
In October 2015, Sam D'Cruze sadly lost her dad to alcoholism; being a textile artist and designer, she's always used creativity as a form of escapism. Little did she know one of her crazy ideas would be the most extraordinary form of catharsis, change the course of her career and connect her with the most inspiring and resilient people.
"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time." - Thomas Merton
Wanting to help others going through the pain and tangled emotions after her father's death, Sam reached out to a charity called Nacoa , The Nation Association of Children of Alcoholics, a charity that help over 30,000 children, teens and adults per year via a phone line and online support system. They are the only UK charity dedicated to helping the children of alcoholics.
During a Nacoa annual conference in Parliament, Sam met Executive Performance Coach, MD and Author, Kate Tojeiro, and they formed a beautiful friendship.
Kate, a ‘Child Of’, works globally, coaching Senior Executives at some of the world’s largest and smallest companies, inspiring individuals and organisations to realise their potential, dispel personal limitations and achieve everything that is possible. She is currently writing her second novel.
Both passionate about helping those struggling with the impact of addiction, they have joined forces with the shared vision of building 'Child Of' into a global creative platform tackling the problems, stigma and effects caused by addiction.
The idea was to interview adults who have been touched by addiction and create artwork inspired by those conversations with the following questions in mind.
- Have you ever wondered why some thrive and others don't despite coming from similar adverse childhood experiences?
- What can we learn from those who've used their turbulent upbringing to drive them into successful careers and fulfilled lives?
The project's first interview and the starting point was with no other than British Playwright Simon Stephens in November 2018. His conversation has inspired artworks, and a workshop, 'Simon's Dream' recalls a dream that saved his career and changed his life, with the textile artwork exhibited at the Saatchi in December.
Over the past three years, from her Hertfordshire studio, Sam has been mentoring women in addiction recovery with the desire to learn new skills and connect with their creativity. Having had the fortune of working alongside two of the most incredibly resilient and compassionate women, Sasha Aylwen & Kayleigh Jackson, both are now integral to the project and mentorship circle.
So what is 'Child Of'?
We believe that breaking the cycle of addiction is a two-pronged affair. You need to hear and support the child living in a family environment of addiction as well as help the addict. All too often, those two humans are the same; by demonising the substance and only recognising the addiction is the same as putting a plaster on an infected wound, we need to start treating the root cause, simultaneously healing and promoting growth to the visible pain.
“Not why the addiction but why the pain.” Gabor Maté
The project is split into three sections -
- Visual art - We produce visual art reflecting the journey of varied people ranging from celebrities to the homeless; all touched in some way by addiction. By sensitively interviewing, we will explore pivotal moments in a persons life and draw out inspiration. The artwork will inspire products that will be sold to fund the project and community work.
- Community Work / LEAP - We have partnered with an alternative provision school in East London; one day a week, we will work alongside students exploring different art techniques and develop work discussing addiction's impact on the family environment and community. Child Of will fund gallery and artist studio visits. "Many of our students have grown up in families with a prevalence of domestic violence, alcohol/drug misuse and addiction, mental health, abuse and neglect. Giving our students opportunities to work creatively and explore the issues they are directly affected by will give them opportunities to shine and be empowered to make better life choices and enjoy success in the future" Astrid Schon, LEAP Head Mistress
- Community Work / Mentorship Circle - We run a weekly zoom mentorship circle encouraging recovering addicts to reconnect with their creativity. Our small but strong circle welcomes both men and women who wish to join our safe environment. We are presently concentrating on textiles, but that's not to say we're not open to suggestions! Our ever-growing piece of textile art will be exhibited in the Saatchi Gallery both this coming December and December 2022.
- E-Commerce - Our website will be a hub of information focusing on art, design and addiction/recovery with links to relevant charities and organisations, offering support to those who need it. We fund our community work with sales from the site with a percentage of profits donated to Nacoa.
More information about the project can be seen here.
So how can you help?
There are two phases to our fundraising -
- Phase 1 - A 'Mini Project', we are preparing for an exhibition at the Saatchi this December; we will introduce the project and our partnership with the gallery. The exhibition will comprise 4 artworks inspired by conversations, a short film explaining the project, work produced by the students at LEAP and a tapestry made by the mentorship circle. We intend to have a skeletal version of our website ready for the opening of the exhibition.
- Phase 2 - This will be a year-long project, during 2022, we will be working alongside the Saatchi gallery delivering workshops to the students at LEAP and the addiction recovery community in central London. Sam will work with LEAP weekly during term time to develop skills and ideas, organise gallery and artists visits, and produce a piece of artwork to be displayed in the December 2022 exhibition. We will be conducting interviews, making artwork and building our website. The mentorship circle will be working on a unique idea that involves you !! We will produce work from your thoughts and ideas in return for a donation with the artwork displayed in the December exhibition.
Have Your Say !
In exchange for a donation, you can be part of this amazing platform and future iconic artwork that will line the Saatchi walls.
The idea is; in exchange for a donation, we will add one of your fondest memories, a song lyric, a loved ones face ( artist licence required !!), a secret, special place, favourite club or just something you want to rant about. We will embroider and embellish your thoughts to an ever-evolving tapestry that will be displayed in the exhibition. We don't mind swearing or raging against the machine, but nothing that's personally offensive to others, including sexism, racism, xenophobic or homophobic language ... you get the drift.
This bear say's it all, inspired by someone's protector, the firm but cuddly temperament skilfully captured by one of the remarkable women in our mentorship circle.
We are breaking the rewards down depending on value, considering the time it takes and the materials involved in producing original work. For as little as £15 you can be part of something really special.
Get it out! Do you have a secret you've been dying to release into the world or something you need to get off your chest? Here's your chance to get it out... for a donation, your secret will be safe with us!
Be a Star! Every penny counts, and for a small donation, your star will shine bright and help us see through the darkness... it'll also look very cool amongst the creative supernovae.
Is there a song that takes you right back to a particular place? Or a song lyric that made you question the status quo? Music can transport you to a moment in time from the Everly to the Chemical Brothers and all those in-between, and we'd like to know about it.
"I don't want to start any blasphemous rumours, but I think that God's got a sick sense of humour, and when I die, I expect to find him laughing."
These song lyrics by Depeche Mode and the story of why they're so poignant have inspired this incredible piece. Designed and stitched by one of the amazing women in the mentorship circle, the lips are 3D and covered with tiny metallic beads; what's more incredible, she was a reluctant stitcher and only started sewing less than a year ago !!
Want to be a King Pin but can't think of anything to say? Don't worry; you can help us hold it all together, and we'll embroider the most regal of pins with your initials on them.
Or you just want to help us pin this project down and keep it simple.
This is the start of an amazing journey, the time is right and we would love you to be part of it, helping to change the world and people’s lives for the better.