A new direction

The inaugural Bloomsbury Art Fair is being held this month. Michael Bowes QC and Christine Kings explain the background to the Art Fair and Outer Temple Chambers’ involvement in it.

Outer Temple Chambers’ personal injury practitioners work regularly with victims of catastrophic injury. They witness the devastating effects of a spinal cord injury and the realities of life in a wheelchair. Many people who find themselves in a wheelchair confront this new future with bravery. A few go on to change the world around them and they are the inspiration for the Bloomsbury Art Fair.


We wanted to support these outstanding individuals by finding a way to raise money for charity which shows disability in a positive light and focuses on the achievements and exceptional contributions to society that they have made.

Goodenough College 14 – 16 July

Teaming up with the Helium Foundation, one of London’s leading contemporary art dealerships, we embarked upon an ambitious plan to stage the inaugural Bloomsbury Art Fair at Goodenough College this summer.  The College has strong links with the Bar going back over many years. The Art Fair will run from 14-16 July and will bring together an eclectic range of artwork from over 50 artists, sculptors and galleries. Artwork by contemporary legends such as Damien Hirst, Banksy and Nick Walker will be exhibited alongside works by award-winning wildlife artist, Dominique Salm and painter, Jeremy Houghton, who had a solo exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in March.

All of the profits from the Bloomsbury Art Fair will go to a coalition of charities that support people who have suffered from a catastrophic injury. The benefiting charities are the Southern Spinal Injuries Trust, the Parachute Regiment Charity, the Spinal Injuries Association and Motivation.

Motivation

David Constantine MBE, photographer and co-founder of Motivation, has himself spent nearly 30 years in a wheelchair and is one of the inspirational figures exhibiting at the Art Fair. His keen interest in photography and design led him to study Industrial Design at the Royal College of Art where he met Simon Gue. Together, they won the Frye Memorial Prize for their design of a low-cost wheelchair for the developing world. With the prize money, David and Simon teamed up with Richard Frost and introduced their design to the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed in Bangladesh. The Centre was so impressed with the wheelchair design that they invited the team back to establish a wheelchair workshop. They did so after graduating in 1991 and Motivation was born.

Providing a person with a suitable wheelchair is just a small part of Motivation’s role today. According to the World Health Organization, the average life expectancy of a paraplegic living in a developing country is 2-3 years. Motivation works with hospitals, particularly spinal injury centres, to improve systems and care so that life threatening pressure sores and other common health complications associated with spinal cord injury can be prevented.

Motivation also organises peer training sessions for groups of wheelchair users and provides training in vocational skills and income generation for disabled people to enable them to provide for themselves and their families.

David travels extensively on behalf of Motivation, which is now established in over 50 countries worldwide, and has photographed many of Motivation’s projects as well as focusing on people in their own environment, portraiture and street photography. He uses a specially mounted camera system that fits to his wheelchair. From here he is able to engage his audience in a different way from many photographers. David will be exhibiting a selection of images at the Bloomsbury Art Fair.

Sculpture

Lana Locke, discovered by the Bar Council Art Committee in 2005, will be exhibiting her modernist sculpture, Two Figures, in the beautiful courtyard sculpture garden in the grounds of the Art Fair. Two Figures was commissioned originally by The Ivy private members’ club to feature on their famous Smoking Terrace. Lana’s work now features in a number of prestigious private and public collections. A monumental stainless steel sculpture of a Mother and Child, by Johannes von Stumm, President of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, will be exhibited at the entrance to the Courtyard.

Outer Temple Chambers encourages the Bar to support this event and is sponsoring complimentary tickets for all Counsel magazine readers.

For more information and news updates, visit www.bloomsburyartfair.com. For complimentary tickets, contact vicky@bloomsburyartfair.com.

Michael Bowes QC (Deputy Head of Chambers) and Christine Kings (Commercial Director) Outer Temple Chambers

Category: