Art exhibition raises £70,000 for new breast care unit at Ipswich Hospital

Belinda Gray, founder of Art For Cure with artworks

The online Bloom exhibition has helped raise £70,000 for the Blossom Appeal - Credit: Art For Cure

A Suffolk charity art exhibition has helped raise £70,000 for the Blossom Appeal – a fund helping to pay for a new breast care centre at Ipswich Hospital.

Art for Cure, founded by Belinda Gray, hosted its Bloom exhibition online earlier this month, bringing together 40 talented artists, sculptors, ceramicists and photographers.

Indian Hyacinth by Thea Cutting, one of the works at the Bloom exhibition

Indian Hyacinth by Thea Cutting, one of the works at the Bloom exhibition - Credit: Gary Broughton/Art for Cure

Among those who exhibited their work include Bawdsey-based ceramicist Sophie Cook and Orford potter Steven Will.

Mother and daughter team and Instagram sensations Maria and Lia Fletcher's work also proved popular, alongside work by Belinda's mother Shirley Temple.

The funds will go towards the £5.3million centre at Ipswich Hospital, due to open next Spring.

Snowdrops, painted by Belinda's mother Shirley Temple

Snowdrops, painted by Belinda's mother Shirley Temple - Credit: Art for Cure

Belinda, who herself has battled breast cancer, said: "Despite all the restrictions we are being faced with preventing our exciting physical exhibitions here in Suffolk, we are forging ahead with great vigour and determination and have curated now three exhibitions so far online – displaying an incredible selection of art, sculpture and ceramics to buy, widening our network of art lovers nationally and internationally.

"I am so proud to work with so many dedicated incredible people in the team, artists and event volunteers who are all giving up so much of their time and energy to help towards our amazing fundraising helping towards a brighter future for those affected by breast cancer.

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"It is very tough undergoing treatment, mentally and physically and coping with your life again after treatment and we feel very privileged at Art For Cure, to have the chance to fundraise and help make a difference to so may people.

"We are delighted to have raised so much in a fortnight through online sales which will be exclusively donated to a new breast care unit here in Suffolk, which is greatly needed."

Leaf Sphere by Paul Richardson

Leaf Sphere by Paul Richardson - Credit: Supplied by Art for Cure

Art masterclasses were also offered via Zoom, with Sam Barnes' "Sketch Your Dog" workshop proving popular among those involved.

Since forming the charity in 2014, Belinda and the team have helped raise £850,000 through contemporary art exhibitions at Glemham Hall, Somerleyton hall and "She-London" – £195,000 of which has gone to the Blossom Appeal over the last two years.

Other funds have gone to Breast Cancer Now, the country's largest breast cancer charity.

Black Labrador and calathea orbifolia by Jenni Cator

Black Labrador and calathea orbifolia by Jenni Cator - Credit: Supplied by Art for Cure

The charity is hosting another online exhibition, BLUE SKY, with over 100 artists involved from April 30 to May 30.

More information on the charity and its events can be found here.

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