Upcoming St Albans bereavement art exhibition draws interest from Alan Sugar

PUBLISHED: 14:42 11 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:32 11 September 2017

Claire Spake with some of her illustrations.

Claire Spake with some of her illustrations.


An upcoming exhibition in St Albans called ‘The Art of Grieving’ has captured the attention of Alan Sugar and Tom Pellereau.

The Apprentice stars retweeted a post from Bereavement Matters, the charity organising the exhibition, which will include 40 artists.

One such artist, illustrator Claire Spake, said: “People can shy away from talking about grief and it was really draining doing it, but you have to try and find moments of joy. We did have a real laugh making the book.

“Things like art are such a good way of dealing with death, because they say so many things in such a tiny amount, and they are open to interpretation.”

She has illustrated a book, called Davey’s Really Magic Carpet, with a friend who was recently bereaved.

The Chloe Valerie PieceThe Chloe Valerie Piece

Proceeds from the book are going to the Brain Tumour Charity, and the illustrations will be shown at the exhibit.

“This book is about trying not to focus on the past, focus on the future. My friend feels the book is a part of therapy for her, and really good for channelling her grief.”

The exhibition features artists who have creatively expressed feelings of bereavement and loss, through photography, poetry, sculptures, painting, and many other forms of art.

The OLLIE Foundation are exhibiting photography at the event, and Herts painter Chloe Valerie will be showing her work.

Some of the work will be for sale, and at least 10 per cent of the proceeds from each sale will go to Bereavement Matters.

The charity, which is based in St Albans, helps people of any age who experience bereavement or loss.

In a year, they answer 1,500 calls to their helpline, provide more than 5,000 hours of counselling, and advise care professionals and organisations.

Previously, they have organised death cafes for people to meet and discuss their feelings.

The OLLIE Foundation piece.The OLLIE Foundation piece.

They also hosted a talk from former county coroner Edward Thomas in April this year.

The exhibition is free to attend, and will be open between 11am and 4pm on Saturday, September 16 and Sunday, September 16 in the Kingsbury Barn in St Michaels on Branch Road.

To find out more about the charity, visit www.sabn.org.uk

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