With increasing knife crime on the rise in the UK news, Barry Reigate has teamed up with MATCHESFASHION.COM in an extraordinary project to support youth charity Carney’s Community. On display until 30th March at 5 Carlos Place, MatchesFashion.com experiential retail townhouse in London’s Mayfair is a vibrant art installation of six unique painted doors which will be sold in pairs as part of Phillips New Now auction on Thursday 11th April.
Proceeds from the sale will be donated to Carney’s Community a charity inspired by boxing legend Mick Carney which works with disadvantaged and excluded youth to keep them off the street and away from a life of crime and despair by giving them skills, disciplines and self-esteem through boxing and art. The funds raised will go specifically towards a program that will send teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds to train in boxing.
Jess Christie, MatchesFashion.com Chief Brand Officer said, “This project was the perfect opportunity to partner with Barry, George and the Carney’s Community and support these kids and showcase their incredible natural talent.” The 5-storey Queen-Anne style building at 5 Carlos Place has been beautifully re-designed with a ‘collector’s house’ feel with a rich cultural program both on and offline with creatives in fashion, design, art and architecture hosting discussions, workshops, events, performances and innovative broadcasting hub of podcasts and livestreams.
Barry Reigate has been running workshops for the youth at Carney’s at his studio in Vauxhall for several years and the collaboration came naturally though family connections, he says “My brother, Mark who runs Fitzroy Lodge amateur boxing and co-founded Carneys Community with George Turner has always mentioned doing a project with the kids. I see a lot of myself in some these youngsters and think about the opportunities I had then as a teenager, young adult and the difference now with the lack of opportunity for further education within a creative field. For some of these kids, a support network and nurturing through further education could open up branches of opportunity and mobility”.
Barry Reigate who completed his BA in Graphic Design and Fine Art from Camberwell College of Arts and an MFA from Goldsmiths, is known for his visually dense highly coloured canvases in cartoon style which integrate pop, fetishism and abstraction to create a riotous effect. By utilising the methods of graffiti, he addresses not only the way graphic art has come to define much of our visual language but the hierarchical notions of high art and popular culture. His darkly humorous art frequently highlights the hypocrisy that surrounds issues such as sexuality, art, race and class, subverting the viewer’s expectations for a medium that carries implicit ideas of innocence.
Reigate who has just returned from participating in the Bombay Beach Biennale in California explains, “We made the paintings, designs on doors, one because they were cheap and two, I felt that it created a different attitude for the kids to do something as they were doors, so it became more like graffiti. If I’d presented them with canvas, some of them may have found it daunting, in that it has too many associations with ‘art’ and by that, I mean, everything that is alien to them. So, I decided to paint on doors, it made it more approachable. There is also that association of opening doors, opening opportunity. If we raise enough funds from this project, as a community and collaborative act, we will altogether have created opportunities for some kids to go to New York, to connect to another boxing club, it would open up their minds.”
George Turner from Carney’s Community says, “This project has been a fantastic way of allowing our very creative participants to display their emotions using the medium of art. Barry has been brilliant in motivating and empowering our participants and it’s been so good for them to see that they have natural talent and are able to express their feelings in a way that can be appreciated by others, whilst also helping to raise funds for the work that is done to support them. With cuts in funding from both local and central government, it is essential for both Carney Community and Fitzroy Lodge to access support from events such as this and carry on the essential work we do with some of those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds in our community.”
The collection will be exhibited at Phillips Berkeley Square from Thursday 4th April – Thursday 11th April. Phillips New Now auction starts at 2pm on Thursday 11th April with bidders invited to attend in person, bid online, over the phone or via the Phillips app. Further details about the auction can be found here https://www.phillips.com/auctions/auction/UK010319
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