Art for Cure 'Bloom' exhibition will raise vital funds for new breast cancer unit

Belinda Gray, founder of Art For Cure with artworks

Belinda Gray, founder of Art For Cure, which is holding the Bloom exhibition in aid of the Blossom Appeal for a new breast cancer centre at Ipswich Hospital - Credit: Art For Cure

Leading Suffolk charity Art For Cure is holding botanically-themed virtual exhibition Bloom, in aid of the Blossom Appeal to build a new breast cancer unit at Ipswich Hospital.

The online event, running from March 5-21, will bring together 40 talented artists, sculptors, ceramicists and photographers, with creations including stylish vases to tie in with the blossom theme.

A poster for the Art For Cure Bloom exhibition with artwork by @motherdaughtercreate, Maria and Lia Fletcher

A poster for the Art For Cure Bloom exhibition with artwork by @motherdaughtercreate, Maria and Lia Fletcher - Credit: Art For Cure

Commissions of all sold artwork will go to the Blossom Appeal being run by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust  (ESNEFT).  Bloom will also include online masterclasses led by artists. 

Founder Belinda Gray, 54, who has herself battled breast cancer, said Art For Cure decided to take the exhibition online following the success of the charity's first online event during lockdown in May last year.

She said: "We all need a huge spring lift, and what better than to Bloom with some fantastic art as well as boosting funds for the new breast care unit?

Ceramic vases by Cristina di Paola will be included in the Bloom exhibition

Ceramic vases by Cristina di Paola will be included in the Bloom exhibition - Credit: Art For Cure

"Despite all the restrictions we are being faced with, preventing our exciting exhibitions in Suffolk private houses and London galleries, we are forging ahead with great vigour and determination."

Belinda added: "Last March we had to cancel our exhibition at Glemham Hall just weeks before it was due to take place in May. We took it online and it has been a revelation - we have had a lot of interest and orders. It has been fantastic."

People from all over the world visited and organisers sent artworks off to buyers from the USA, Hong Kong and Australia. 

However, the volunteers haven't been able to arrange all the other events they would normally do on top of the exhibitions, such as organising a fundraising ball, so fundraising via the latest online exhibition is more important than ever.

Tulip on Diamond Cloth by @motherdaughtercreate, Maria and Lia Fletcher

Tulip on Diamond Cloth by @motherdaughtercreate, Maria and Lia Fletcher - Credit: Art For Cure

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The poster for the Bloom exhibition has been created by Suffolk mother and daughter Maria and Lia Fletcher, who started creating flower paintings together in lockdown and have built up a following on Instagram under the name @motherdaughtercreate.   

Suffolk artists taking part include Eileen Nason,  Thea Cutting, Henry Villiers, Christina Wilson, Anna Hymas, Christina Wilson, Kate Reynolds, Paul Richardson and many more, as well as some artists from other parts of the country as Art For Cure expands.

The Florist by Elaine Nason

The Florist by Elaine Nason will be included in the Bloom exhibition - Credit: Art For Cure

There will also be a raffle with prizes including an iris painting by well-known artist Jelly Green.

Belinda said: "The raffle means people who can't buy an artwork can still have a chance of owning one, and they will have a really good chance as there will be about 20 prizes." 

Belinda has a medical background, having been a nursing sister in London specialising in palliative care. She founded the charity in 2014, following her own battle with breast cancer at the age of  46.

Flora by Paul Richardson

Flora by Paul Richardson - Credit: Art For Cure

After a year of treatment she opened up her house and garden, removing all the furniture to stage a fundraising art exhibition for national breast cancer research and raised over £100,000 in a weekend.

That was just the start, with Art For Cure now having raised an amazing £830,000 altogether - meaning it is on course to reach a fundraising total of £1million this year.

For more information about Art For Cure and the Bloom exhibition, visit the charity's website. 

Tulips in a Vase by Sarah Muir Poland

Tulips in a Vase by Sarah Muir Poland - Credit: Art For Cure

Tulips Stilllife by Anna Hymas

Tulips Stilllife by Anna Hymas - Credit: Art For Cure


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