St Christopher's Hospice and Rosendale Primary School
St Christopher's is our local hospice and runs projects with London schools using creative arts to change attitudes about death, dying and bereavement. It brings together schoolchildren with those nearing the end of their lives to express themselves through the arts. DDFAS donated £500 in 2011 as part of the NADFAS Young Arts scheme, which was matched by NADFAS South West Area.
We asked that this was used for a project with a local school, and St Christopher's set up a project with Rosendale Primary School in Dulwich. Over four weeks, a group of ten-year-olds from Rosendale met patients in St Christopher's and those looking after them. Their project was entitled 'Let's put our heads together' and explored the idea of personal landscapes, inspired by the work of David Hockney. Patients and children drew each other's profiles and listened to each other's stories, parts of which were used to embellish the profiles (above). They composed a song about the relationships they had formed and the stories they had shared. At the end of the project, patients, pupils, carers and families came together to celebrate their achievements and sing the song, entitled If we try (below).
King's College Hospital children's department
Early in 2009 DDFAS made a donation to the children's department at King's College Hospital to provide art and craft kits for seriously ill children. This enabled the children to design their own T-shirts and to make soft toys, activities they really enjoyed. In view of this success we gave further funds, which were used to provide clock-making kits. We were delighted to receive photographs of some of the children and the beautiful items they had made.
In 2009 DDFAS made a donation to ActionSpace, a charity in Croydon providing art classes for people with learning difficulties. Our Chairman was invited to the annual exhibition of the work produced and was most impressed with the very high standard. Unfortunately, ActionSpace is still very short of funds and may not be able to keep going in the future.
Dulwich Picture Gallery picture frame
DDFAS gave money to Dulwich Picture Gallery to restore the frame of a 17th century painting by Richard Wilson (Tivoli, the Cascatelle and the Villa of Maecenas) to its original glory. Many layers of gesso were removed by the specialist restorer to reveal the original wood, which was badly split and riddled with woodworm. Repairing the frame involved a lot of painstaking work, but the painting and frame are once again on view in the Gallery.