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MY SPECIALLY CURATED UKRAINE COLLECTION
In the world that we live in, it’s easy to feel powerless. Like many of us, I’ve felt angry, confused and utterly devastated by the events in Ukraine. As the news flickers away with horrifying images of streets bombed so heavily they are unrecognisable, families crouched in basements to protect themselves and heartbreaking footage of people fleeing, never sure of when they’ll be able to return to their homeland — watching from afar, we’ve been wondering what we can do, and how we can help. The small business community has yet again shown that they will step up when someone needs them. In such a dark time, founders have been quick to use their skills and creative talents to raise much-needed funds to support Ukraine. What’s more, they are empowering us not to feel powerless but powerful — as we have a chance to support them and make a difference.
This collection below was auctioned LIVE at my glittery stand and with my hammer in hand, with the local community, where I was moved to tears by the compassionate actions and generosity of those bidding. Thanks to those kind souls, we raised a substantial sum for Voices for Children, who provide emergency psychological assistance to young people affected by the war and help the evacuation process. If you couldn’t bid on the night, but you fell in love with the beautiful artwork, you can buy pieces from the collection here too. Many of the proceeds are being donated to support charities helping Ukraine that are close to the artists’ hearts. Read on to discover the amazing businesses that stepped up and a little more information about what makes each one incredible and worthy of your support.
Sunflower, by Cally Conway Prints: Cally is a phenomenal and intricate printmaker and she has created an exquisitely detailed lino print of Ukraine’s national flower. The sunflower has become a symbol of peace, hope and resistance against the Russian invasion and in Cally’s creative hands it’s a monochrome masterpiece that has a beautiful story you can share about it too. All proceeds will be donated to Disasters Emergency Committee.
LOVE giclée print, by RUDE Studios: We collaborated with RUDE Studios for 2021’s Campaign Shop Independent and as well as being the most powerfully positive people on the planet, everyone loves their artwork. This giclée print is bound to get the adoration it deserves when it brightens up your home.
Peace of cake, by Cassandra Yap, from Print Club London: “Make cake not war”. This bespoke limited edition screenprint by artist Cassandra Yap features the iconic peace symbol made up of detailed illustrations of the sweet treats famously created by her favourite artisan baker, Lily Vanilli.
Peace birds, by Lisa Stubbs: Yorkshire based printmaker and illustrator Lisa has designed these beautiful overlapping doves in Ukraine’s yellow and blue. It’s a stunning reminder that we’re all in it together and all proceeds go to Save the Children.
Make tea not war, by Real Hackney Dave: Dave Buonaguidi spent decades working in advertising before following his heart to do what he loves. He’s now, luckily for us, creating his own extraordinarily bold screenprints. Known for his powerful use of colour, typography and wonderfully witty statements, it’s your chance to own this print, which is a recreation of his original 2003 anti-war march poster featuring Tony Blair, displayed in the V&A.
Sunflowers for Ukraine, 2022 12” print, by Rebecca Strickson: The sun does rise every morning, and that gives us hope. Rebecca Strickson has created a glorious illustration of Ukraine’s national flower. The money raised is donated to Choose Love which is helping refugees from all over the globe find safety.
Make waves, by Basil & Ford: Husband and wife screen printing duo Matt and Lucy have printed this neon wonder on original book plates from ‘The Boys Own Book of War Ships’. They are brilliant at discovering incredible vintage pieces and giving them their distinctive and unique touch — which is good news for us as they light up our homes.
Sunflower print, East End Press: This beautiful bouquet has been lovingly illustrated by Ellie in her design studio in the east end of Glasgow. All proceeds will be donated to Médecins Sans Frontières who are doing an amazing job of delivering medical care to the crisis in Ukraine.
Peace and kindness, by Amy Swann: Our Independent Award Nominee Amy has designed and painted by hand this intricate wooden wall plaque, with all profits being sent to The British Red Cross. Her inspiration for the design is Ukraine’s patterns and colours so it will be a gloriously bright reminder of their extraordinary spirit and creativity.
Bespoke large painted wooden sign, by MODO Creative: What a wonderful message to fill your home with, loud and proud. I have two of Modo’s giant words at home and as well as looking incredible, they’re a great reminder of what you stand for. Every one of Emma and Andrew’s bespoke signs are designed, cut and painted in their Yorkshire Mill Studio so you know that what you are buying is made with love and supporting their local team of craftspeople, too.
Sunflower posy, by Jeff Josephine: Sophie really does create the most beautiful prints. Her focus is on horticulture (which I love), so on her website, you’ll find lovely illustrations of garden favourites from radishes to robins. Each one of these handprinted sunflower linocuts is totally unique, and 100% of the proceeds go to the Choose Love Ukraine Crisis Fundraiser.
Make art not war, by Bob and Roberta Smith: I’m totally in awe of Bob and Roberta Smith. He’s one person (but most definitely has the creative power of two). His famous ‘Make Art Not War’ artwork is hanging in the Tate, but now you can own a print of his new design which will support the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ukraine Appeal.
No to war, by The Small Print Co.: A strong and powerful statement from two of my all-time favourite printmakers, Chris and Hannah Barker. In 2014 they restored a rare Squintani Model no.6 treadle press and it has become, in their words, ‘the stalwart’ of their studio in Derby. I love how direct and bold their pieces are and the unique finish this traditional machine gives them.
Sunflowers for Ukraine, by Rosie Harbottle: Rosie’s work gives me joy. Made from warm and colourful pastels and inspired by the south western landscape she calls home, there is such a peaceful serenity in her art and her sunflower print is no exception. The best part? 100% of all profits will be donated to the Choose Love Ukraine Crisis Fundraiser.
Love rains, by Scribble & Daub: Ah, my small business crush, the unbelievably talented Caroline Kent has created 50 of these limited edition hand-painted prints of a cloud raining down hearts of yellow. She makes her distinctive pieces using a traditional dip pen and Andy Warhol’s favourite brightly coloured inks, no less!
PEACE, by The Colour File: Collage lovers will appreciate this colourful collection of flowers, branches and hearts bought together by Martha (who’s a local artist and regular coffee drinker at our Work/Shop) with the most important word in our vocabulary at the moment, and perhaps of all time: PEACE.
Give peas a chance, by Joby Carter: If you’ve ever taken a drive around the M25, chances are you’ve seen the graffiti inspiration behind Joby’s sign. He grew up on Carters Steam Fair, the world’s largest vintage travelling funfair, and learned this traditional craft at a very young age. He’s been passionate about it ever since and has created some really arresting signs, which you can now be lucky enough to own.
Putin go home, by The Printer’s Devil: I really hope that Putin hears this message loud and clear. You can always rely on letterpress designer and printer Stephen Kenny for saying it just like it is. Seeing Putin’s name in print makes my toes curl, but this demand is one we all stand behind: leave Ukraine in peace.
Peace please, by Thomas Mayo: A polite request from East London letterpress printmaker Thomas that I pray will soon become a reality. £10 from each sign will be sent to the British Red Cross and I’m hanging it up as a reminder that as a world we must never rest until we’ve achieved this — will you join me?
PEACE, by Anthony Burrill: We want peace and we want it four times over. This bold print is the creation of legendary graphic artist Anthony Burrill who is famous for his no-nonsense messaging. Show everyone you’re similarly not messing around by hanging this up proudly. 100% of sales go to the charity War Child UK which supports children living in conflict.
Postcard, by Lisa Mundy: Lisa started a brilliant initiative, creating beautiful postcards that people could request, on the proviso that when they received one they donated to a charity of their choice. What a creative way of spreading hope through the post.
If you’re looking for ways you can donate directly to support Ukraine, there are some fantastic charities working on the ground there including Sunflower for Peace which has been fundraising for medical supplies, AirBnB who connect those fleeing Ukraine with short-term housing or Voices for Children and their incredible efforts to protect young people in warzones.
Alternatively if, like us, you’re thinking about all the other ways you can use your money to help good causes too, read my article on how your shopping can change the world or about the 10 positive household eco-swaps you can make. Together, the difference we can make is astounding.