Shelter Up My Street Art Auction: Our House, an Amelia’s Magazine Collaboration

I collaborated with Amelia's Magazine illustrators Lesley Barnes, Emma Block, Yelena Bryksenkova, Natsuki Otani, Antonia Parker and Thereza Rowe to create a special piece of artwork to raise money for Shelter. To be auctioned tonight!

Written by Amelia Gregory

Our House up my street shelter Amelia's Magazine final
Our House, a collaborative artwork by Amelia’s Magazine created in aid of the Up My Street campaign by Shelter.

A few years ago I held an open brief to put together a piece of art on the theme of a House of Cards, which was sold at auction in aid of Shelter in the company of such luminaries as Damien Hirst, Alexander McQueen (RIP) and Vivienne Westwood. The Shelter Card Quilt included interpretations of the Two of Hearts by 54 illustrators and artists, including some who became regular contributors to Amelia’s Magazine and went on to feature in my books. The final artwork sold for £2,200 to a mystery bidder, so we were thrilled to raise so much money for a good cause.

emma block up my street shelter Amelia's Magazine
Close up of room by Emma Block.

This month Shelter once again hosts an exhibition of artwork themed around the concept of Up My Street, currently showing at the Coningsby Gallery. With my baby due mere weeks away I decided that instead of an open brief I would commission some of the wonderful illustrators who I have worked with regularly over the past few years, and who have featured in my books, Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration and Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Thereza Rowe up my street shelter Amelia's Magazine
Close up of room by Thereza Rowe.

It’s fitting that I first worked with two of those illustrators, Lesley Barnes and Thereza Rowe, when they entered the House of Cards open brief back in 2009, and it’s fantastic to see how much their confidence and careers have developed since then.

Lesley Barnes roof up my street shelter Amelia's Magazine
Lesley Barnes attic up my street shelter Amelia's Magazine
Lesley Barnes front door up my street shelter Amelia's Magazine
Close up of roof, attic and front door by Lesley Barnes.

To represent the idea of an emotional connection to a secure home environment I settled on the idea of creating a house full of rooms, each of which features the individual illustrator’s interpretation of happiness and security. I wanted to include a broad spectrum of ways in which people are happy today, whether singly or together, and at whatever age that might be: so there’s the family with grandparents by Emma Block, a single mother with her baby by Yelena Bryksenkova, a children’s party by Natsuki Otani, and an older lady enjoying a luxuriant bathtime by Antonia Parker, to name a few of the scenarios. I worked closely with Lesley Barnes to create the body of the house, including the attic, roof and doorway, and then each of the other illustrators worked on their own room. I hope the final artwork, Our House, embodies feelings of comfort, security and happiness in the home.

Natsuki_Otani up my street shelter Amelia's Magazine
Close up of room by Natsuki Otani.

There will be a silent auction held tonight at the private view at the Coningsby Gallery, so I popped in earlier today to check out the other artworks.

Shelter Up My Street Our House exhibition
Bidders will be spoilt for choice for once again we are in very good company: there is original art to bid for by top artists such as Julian Opie, Grayson Perry, Anthony Gormley, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Giles Deacon, Bob and Roberta Smith and Miles Aldridge. We are delighted that our image has been used on the Shelter website and took pride of place in the Metro newspaper!

yelena bryksenkova_up my street shelter Amelia's Magazine
Close up of room by Yelena Bryksenkova.

I am extremely grateful to the illustrators who got so enthusiastically involved with this project, and to Richard Penny at Ripe Digital for so kindly printing the final high quality A1 giclee print. I hope that Our House resonates with someone, and that once again it will sell for a princely sum – all the proceeds of which will go to support the important work of Shelter.

Antonia Parker up my street shelter Amelia's Magazine
Close up of room by Antonia Parker.

The contributing illustrators have been blogging about Our House too. Here’s some links to their websites:
Emma Block introduces the grandparents who inspired her piece.
Lesley Barnes describes how she put her architectural skills to work.
Thereza Rowe shows off her room, with one man and his dogs.

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