What were you up to last Christmas? Probably something similar to Suzy Tuxen, founder of Melbourne-based design studio A Friend of Mine. She was just relaxing and enjoying the summer with her family, when, all of a sudden, she felt compelled to act. ‘It struck a deep emotional chord as the impact has devastated so many lives,’ Suzy recalls of an article she’d come across about the crisis in Yemen. ‘The contrast to our own lifestyle and safety in Australia was definitely a huge wakeup call!’
Suzy is referring to one of the largest humanitarian issues currently facing our global community. Since 2011, Yemen has been engulfed in civil war. As a result, the United Nations estimates that there are currently more than 22 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in Yemen, and of those, as many as eight million children under the age of five are acutely malnourished. (The BBC go into the details of the conflict here, and you’ll certainly witness a sharp contrast to an idyllic summer day in Oz).
Despite not having had any previous personal or professional connection to Yemen, nor experience fundraising, Suzy saw the opportunity for her design studio to contribute in its own special way. She floated her idea with past-collaboration pals Kasia Gadecki and Allison Colpoys of stationery goods brand The Souvenir Society, they all decided to band their skills together, and Pattern for Yemen became something.
Suzy, Kasia, and Allison got in touch with their ‘dream list’ of 15 artists across the globe who echoed the same selfless enthusiasm, agreeing to donate original artworks to the initiative. These designs now emblazon a collection of limited-edition art cloths – available online here in editions of 50, priced at $80.
The first edition of each art cloth, specially framed by United Measures, will be auctioned on October 5th at the exhibition opening, showcasing all the artworks at James Makin Gallery in Colingwood. All proceeds will go to fund humanitarian aid in Yemen through the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Yemen Crisis Appeal.
‘The show was conceived around this idea of “a pattern of giving”, encouraging people to incorporate giving into their everyday lives, this tied in with the obvious visual theme of “pattern” which then informed the curation of work,’ explains Suzy. ‘The breadth of art is incredible, we really tried to cater to different aesthetic tastes with the artwork. They are very generous in scale (roughly 70 x 70cm) and have a canvas like texture to them, they look amazing framed and in interiors.’
Huge ups to artists Ronan Bouroullec, Nathalie Du Pasquier, Atelier Bingo, Marcus James, Wang & Söderström, Bec Smith, Rhonda Drakeford, Karan Singh, Michael Wall, Andy Murray, Anna Kövesces, Elke Kramer, ALL Knitwear, Tin & Ed, and Amelia Graham for being a part of this wonderful initiative.
And that list of legends goes on, with United Measures, Ball & Doggett, Made Visual, The Hungry Workshop, photographer Dan Herrmann-Zoll, stylist Nat Turnbull, the team at James Makin Gallery, Gundagai Wines, Halcyon Lake, Kirby CMS, Commercial Type, and Graphic Art Mart ALL donating their time, goods and expertise.
SO dig deep, and buy a beautiful art cloth today ($80- bargain!) or bid on the framed first edition of each piece, starting at $250. We can’t think of a better excuse to invest in a stunning new piece of art for your home!
Pattern For Yemen
October 5th to October 18th
Opening night, Friday, October 5th, 6pm
James Makin Gallery
67 Cambridge Street,