On 13 March 2017, we are stardust will take part in the Makers4Refugees project by auctioning off three A4 giclée prints of the "I love you to the moon and back", "Reach for the stars" and "Anatomical heart" greetings card designs. The A4 prints I am auctioning will be the first in the premiere we are stardust print run, all hand labelled and signed by me. In this first print run there will be just 50 of the "I love you to the moon and back" and 25 of the "Reach for the stars" and "Anatomical heart" designs. The Giclee Masters in Wales have printed my artwork onto 300gsm smooth fine art paper that is acid free, guaranteed archival, and 100% Forestry Stewardship Council certified. The prints will be packaged in a cellophane wrapper with a card backing and will include a postcard with more intriguing science facts.
If I am feeling very brave I have a very exciting project that I may also auction off on the Saturday...more details soon! I will put the prints up for auction on Instagram. Please sign up in order to be able to bid for the prints. All proceeds less shipping and processing fees will go to the charity Help Refugees.
Why did I want to join Makers4Refugees?
"Every one of us is a memorial to long-dead stars. Every one of us was quite literally made in heaven.”
– Marcus Chown, The Magic Furnace
We are stardust is a celebration of how we are all connected to each other and the universe around us. Many years ago when the universe was born stars exploded to make the elements of the earth. These elements are what make everything in the world - me, you, the sea, creatures big and small, the clouds and the stars. Everything and everyone is connected in this way. We rely on each other to survive and to thrive.
In our current climate where divisions and fear of the other is dominating headlines, we need to remember that we are all dependent on one another. I am reminded of these words by Martin Niemöller, a prominent Protestant pastor who opposed the Nazi regime and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps:
"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."
What happens in one corner of the world, impacts us everywhere. By forgetting the plight of our brothers and sisters in difficult situations we let divisions and oppression win and freedom and liberty slip away.
I cannot imagine being in a situation where I have choose between living in fear or fleeing my home. If I fled my home I'd end up in a camp if I'm lucky. I wouldn't know if or when I would get a visa. I'd be in limbo. What would I do all day? And what would it be like as a woman in a camp? I have heard about the dangers women in the refugee camps of South Sudan face just to go to the toilet. Would it be the same for me? What would I do if I got my period? What would I do without being able to contribute to society? Or being able to speak the local language? What would I think of the world? Would I feel forgotten? Would I be angry? Or would I give up on humanity?
I am incredibly lucky to enjoy the privileges and freedoms I do. To be able to wear what I want, go where I want, to feel safe and empowered and encouraged. There are still many struggles (it is International Women's Day and every freedom I have has been fought for and needs to be upheld) but I know I am very fortunate. Perhaps it is a way of dealing with the guilt that I have it better than most, or perhaps it is a fierce need to make things fair for all? Either way, I have always wanted my work to make a difference - it is why I ended up in global health research communications (though I have my difficulties with the field too - is it neo-colonialism?). When side-stepping into creating we are stardust I hadn't anticipated that my passion could also be a positive force in the world so when Pip Wilcox, Creator and Curator of the Makers4Refugees project, approached me to take part I jumped at the chance.
Taking part in the Makers4Refugees project is a huge honour (there are some incredible makers on the list). I invite you all to join in by sharing the project with friends and family and by being enthusiastic in your buying - not only will you get a beautiful piece made by independent designers and Makers but you will also contribute to making a difference. What we can give through this project is a small contribution but it is a way of recognising that we are all connected and divisions between us are man-made. After all, we all come from the same place - the fiery furnace of stars exploding in the sky.
"A nation should not be judged on how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones"
- Nelson Mandela
How the auction works
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I will post on Instagram at 8pm to start the bidding. Bidding will close at 7pm the following evening. There will be a reserve price of £18 per print. If I'm feeling brave my exciting project may go up for bidding on Saturday evening...
Here's how the bidding will work:
- Place your bid in the Instagram comments once posted.
- The winning bidder will be the person who has placed the highest bid by 7pm (UK time) the next day i.e. 23 hours after posting in Instagram.
- Please don’t be shy – all bids over the reserve price are welcome!
- ALL proceeds from this auction will be donated by the winning bidder directly to our Makers 4 Refugees fundraising page – I will liaise with the winning bidder to arrange this.
- Bids are welcome from every corner of the world - with the winning bidders covering the cost of Shipping (payment for Shipping will be made directly to me and I will liaise with the winning bidder to arrange this).
- Both the Donation AND the Shipping payment are to be paid within 24 hours of receiving payment instructions.
That's it! Happy bidding!
Makers4Refugees sees 40+ global Makers across a variety of disciplines are coming together to make a difference. Created and curated by Pip Wilcox of Pip Wilcox Ceramics the line up of Makers so far is pretty amazing (I feel very honoured to be included among this excellent bunch). From 6th Feb to 17th Dec 2017 one Maker per week will be selling their work with ALL of the proceeds (less shipping - and website/PayPal processing fees where applicable) going to the charity Help Refugees via our fundraising page.
- Read more about the Makers4Refugees project: www.pipwilcoxceramics.com/
- Follow Makers4Refugees in Instagram to find out about other Makers: www.instagram.com/
About Help Refugees
Help Refugees describe themselves as "the largest distributors of aid of any grassroots organisation across Europe, funding projects in 22 Refugee camps in Greece as well as camps and settlements in Paris, Turkey, Syria and Lebanon."
Here are some examples of the very real difference the money Makers4Refugees is raising will make to the lives of some of the people currently living through such desperate times:
- a meal for one person in Athens - 25p
- a mosquito net for a family's tent in Greece - £10
- a pair of sturdy, comfortable shoes - £15
- baby milk for one baby, for a week - £20
- a buggy and cot - £25
- a warm sleeping bag - £30
- a refillable fire extinguisher - £35
- the cost of a bread-maker and the ingredients for one person to make their own bread - £65 for the machine, 75p for ingredients for one person for the month
- to support an unaccompanied child to live with a Greek family for a month - £400
- fresh fruit and vegetables for 1 camp on average for 1 month - £2500
- running a mobile sexual reproductive health clinic for a month - £5500
- a rescue boat on the water for 30 days - £23,000