A Love Worth Giving

A Love Worth Giving is a documentary that tells Sam and my story. The Director, James Newton, is a close friend of ours, so when Sam was listed for a transplant we wanted to document our journey and make a film to raise awareness.

 

A Love Worth Giving tells the real-life story of newlyweds Sam and Luke – a young couple madly in love. But Sam has Cystic Fibrosis and her health is getting worse, her only hope of survival is a double lung transplant.

 

We allowed James to film our wait for a double lung transplant and also recorded home-made video blogs to paint a personal picture of life living with Cystic Fibrosis and waiting for that life-saving telephone call.

Along the way we had several potential calls for a transplant but Sam just couldn’t wait any longer. After 3 years and 3 months Sam’s lungs failed and she passed away, still in need of a transplant. Her death profoundly changed me and I began painting in my grief.

Sometime later, James and I began filming again, determined to complete Sam’s original work. James was able to capture aspects of my journey after Sam’s death and my channeling of my emotion into art as I came to terms with our short life together.

In 2015, after completing filming James needed funds to see the film finalised and released to the public to the standard which we felt it deserved. We ran a kickstarter campaign and thankfully, due to the generosity of our supporters, raised over £15,000 to complete the film. As an incentive for high-level donors I agreed to paint a number of commissions as a reward, which will be featured on Art Transplant – so watch this space.

To watch the trailer, or sign up to get the release in December, please visit A Love Worth Giving.

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Celebrabis Vitae

Last year, Live Life Give Life, a charity that Art Transplant supports and I am a trustee of, ran ‘the Day of the Living’ – a new campaign to raise awareness of organ donation, remembering those who donated, and celebrating those who are only living because of donations.

Taking inspiration from the colourful Mexican festival The Day of the Dead, in which ancestors are remembered with a vibrant and colourful festival; The Day of the Living raises awareness about the importance of organ donation with in the same vein.

As part of that campaign, we were able to participate in Celebrabis Vitae, Skull-art exhibition at Box studios in Shoreditch, London, which features skull-based/themed artwork. This was to to go hand-in-hand with sugar skull face painting (as is done in The Day of the Dead festival). There were some excellent pieces from many artists and it was a priviledge to be able to have work surrounded by such talent.

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Metamorphosis (20 inches x 22 inches)

My contribution was a mixed media piece using gouache on paper, stainless steel pins and canvas. I created hand-cut and painted butterflies and moths and pinned them to a mount, as collectors would had done with real specimens, into the shape of a skull. The title of the piece was metamorphosis, as in my mind this embodied and described the transformation of life and death when donating your organs.

 

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Exhibition at Magdalen College, Oxford

Art Transplant’s First Exhibition

After spending months painting I had amassed an impressive 15 pieces, I now wanted to exhibit these and raise awareness by sharing my story. Through the generosity of by PhD supervisor, Profesor Rob Gilbert, and with the help of friends and colleagues at Oxford University, I held my first solo Art Transplant exhibition at the Grove Auditorium, Magdalen College. This was a unique solo exhibition aiming to increase awareness surrounding the need for organ donors and to encourage people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register and/or promote conversation about their donation decision with family and friends.

The exhibition opened with a private viewing with friends and family, with a drinks reception and beautiful music played a string and quartet, courtesy of yet more friends. It was very well attended, with charity representatives and local press also managing to make appearances – I couldn’t have been more pleased with outcome.

Art Transplant exhibition opening night

Art Transplant exhibition opening night

The exhibition opening was held on Friday the 28th of February and was open to the public on Saturday the 1st and the 15th of March 2014. The ITV interview for the exhibtion can be watched here (watch)