All of today’s art in this chapter has been purchased through charity shops. This does mean that at times I acquire it at a very affordable price, but I never haggle at these shops since their profits go toward which ever charity they support. It also is a way for me to give to charity and yet receive something tangible in return.
In fact, this first item, in a way, has given to charity twice . This beautiful modern piece of embroidery was created in Vietnam at the Hong Ngoc Fine Art. The Centre was founded in 1996 by a veteran who wanted to help disabled children. More than 600 workers have been trained free of charge and given stable jobs (clothes making, embroidery, fine carving, lacquering, ceramic and jewellery making). The resulting products, which are made by the skilful hands of these disabled artisans, are sold to visitors from all over the world. Many of these artworks portray local culture and life. The Centre which receives no government funding, has been expanding ever since its’ founding through the sale of goods like the one you see.
The next lovely watercolour reminds me of the majestic spire of Salisbury Cathedral. In truth, I do not know if it is or is not since the painting is unsigned, undated, and untitled. I just know that I love the handiwork of this artist. I love the talent shown in the reflection of the trees in the water, the variation of colour in both the grass and foliage, the clouds have depth and movement, the water eschews a calm and placid temperament and yet the bank has eroded by the force of the Spring rising. Have I been to this place, I do not know but I would like to see it both as it is portrayed and when the waters have flooded high eroding the shores that entrap it.
And one last piece, for a friend (the reason known to him). A lovely 1917 print published by J F E Grundy of a painting by Capt. A E Borthwick called ‘The Presence’. The original hangs today in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh and the image is of the cathedral itself. In it we see the presence of Christ comforting a penitent even as communion is being celebrated at the high altar. The scripture which is quoted is from St. Matthew, chapter 28 and verse 20 ‘… and lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.’