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Singer Ed turns his hand to art to help breast cancer charity

17:00 20 January 2016

Sally Ball and Belinda Gray are preparing for this year's Art for Cure event in April.

Sally Ball and Belinda Gray are preparing for this year's Art for Cure event in April.

Archant

Suffolk superstar Ed Sheeran has swapped his guitar for a paintbrush to create a unique work of art for a major charity event aiming to raise £100,000 for research into breast cancer.

Ed SheeranEd Sheeran

The singer’s skills on canvas though will be kept secret until nearer the auction – in a bid to attract more potential buyers to attend.

Following on from Ed’s support, canvases have also been completed by Oscar-nominated British actor, Mark Rylance, who starred in the TV adaptation of Wolf Hall, as well as a host of other celebrities, including Imelda Staunton, Delia Smith, Zoe Wanamaker and Mica Parish.

The art works have been made as part of the Make your Mark campaign being run as part of the Art for Cure 2016 fundraising exhibition at Glemham Hall this spring.

More than 70 artists and sculptors will be exhibiting – and all have agreed to give a percentage of their sales to support Breast Cancer Now (formerly Breakthrough Breast Cancer).

A previous event held by organisers, friends Belinda Gray and Sally Ball – who were both diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, but have completed their treatment and are both now well – in 2014 raised more than £100,000 for the charity.

Ms Ball said Ed Sheeran had painted “a wonderful canvas” to show his support for Art for Cure 2016 but it would not be revealed yet.

She said: “We are going to auction the canvas at the exhibition and are keen to keep it under wraps until the event – to draw the crowds.”

The event will take place from Saturday, April 30 to Monday, May 2, and artists exhibiting work include Vanessa Gardiner, Henrietta Dubrey, Maggi Hambling, Michael Speller, Carol Peace and Paul Vanstone, as well as a selection of artists drawn from Suffolk’s great wealth of talent.

It is expected to be the largest contemporary art and sculpture show that will be held outside London in 2016 – the previous event was the most successful privately-run show for the cancer charity.

She said: “This is a story about a community coming together – over 40 small businesses and private individuals are sponsoring us to put on the event, all to support friends and those affected by breast cancer and to help find a cure.

“The 2014 weekend show was a staggering and surprising success.

“It exceeded our wildest dreams. We sold £200,000 of artwork in one weekend from Bredfied House.

“The artists donated 50% of their sales and that combined with donations at the door, sale of afternoon teas and a raffle, meant we were able to send £100,000 to Breakthrough Breast Cancer.”

It is hoped the event will generate a significant total again to help fight breast cancer, a disease 50,000-plus women are diagnosed with each year.

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