David Downes Artwork, St Pancras London, National Autistic Society Event, NAS Project, News, Design
David Downes, London : Artwork Auction
architectural artist Auction for National Autistic Society, England, UK
16 Jun 2011
David Downes Auction
Revered architectural artist David Downes brings London’s iconic St Pancras to life from an imagined bird’s eye view and working in vivid BiC® Cristal®
– Commissioned by The National Autistic Society (NAS), this astonishing work is by an artist with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism and will be auctioned in aid of the NAS.
– NOW LIVE: Public online auction bidding at http://auction.andersonfoundation.co.uk open from June 13th to July 8th
– Artwork unveiling ceremony with the artist, David Downes, on July 7th 6-8pm at Wragge & Co, 3 Waterhouse Square, 142 Holborn, London EC1N 2SW. (By invitation only)
– The Artwork can be viewed by the public at the offices of Go Figurative, 1 Liverpool Street, London EC2M 7DQ by appointment only. Contact David Downes’ agent: email@example.com T: 0207 956 2819
– Auction held at the Anderson Foundation Summer Ball in aid of the National Autistic Society, at St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, July 9th
David Downes is an artist with a distinctive and extraordinary talent. Not only highly technically skilled, David also has a ‘visionary’ gift – he is able to look from ground level at a city scape and mentally visualise the view from the rooftops with mind-boggling architectural accuracy. But it’s not just the perspective he gets so remarkably right and is able to translate to the canvas by working from memory, it’s the mood, the ambience, the character of the location.
A long time London resident and graduate of the Royal College of Art, David has an instinctive connection to the city – and its skylines are one of his favourite subjects. The St. Pancras pen-painting is not only the first artwork to capture the recently renovated landmark, it’s one of the most moving expressions of this beloved building within its setting.
David, who is represented by art business GoFigurative.com, was commissioned to create the image for the Anderson Foundation Summer Ball in aid of The National Autistic Society, which will be held at the newly opened St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel. David, through his own understanding of Asperger syndrome, was particularly inspired to work in support of the NAS. Choosing to create the image in a very particular medium, David was sponsored for this piece by leading stationery supplier BIC and the drawing is mainly rendered using the BiC® Cristal® (which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year) to magnificent effect.
The historic, red-brick building was originally designed and built by foremost Victorian architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott, opening as the Midland Grand Hotel in 1873. Its Victorian Gothic splendours have recently been revived with a £200 million pound restoration with the building now comprising 67 private, residential apartments on the upper floors of the building and a luxurious new 245 bedroom hotel, the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, on the lower floors. The opening of the hotel also marks the completion of the regeneration of St Pancras International Station, now the home of Eurostar.
David was delighted by the commission and the process for several reasons: “As an artist with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism, I have been involved with The National Autistic Society for many years and when they commissioned me to draw the St. Pancras Renaissance for the Anderson Foundation Summer Ball, I was inspired and excited, as having the resources available to draw this magnificent building has long been a dream of mine. Seeing my drawing develop has been very fulfilling, and by using a BiC® Cristal®, I am able to create the effect I want to achieve. I have been using BIC pens for a long time in my drawings, and so I am very proud that BIC has been generous enough to sponsor this piece. Working in ball point pen is challenging as it can’t be erased, but also good fun as they help to create a continuous flow when drawing.”
The picture, which is 100cm x 145cm and framed with UV glass to prevent light damage, will be unveiled during a private reception for the artist on July 7th at international law firm Wragge & Co’s London office (Waterhouse Square, Holborn), and then auctioned at The Anderson Foundation Summer Ball at The St Pancras Renaissance Hotel on 9th July in aid of The National Autistic Society. Founder of The Anderson Foundation, Mark Anderson is positive that the drawing will generate significant interest and will increase the number of bidders by opening it up to a wider market via an online preview. Bids can be made via the web site up to 5pm on the 8th July, and will be carried over to the live auction taking place the following evening: http://auction.andersonfoundation.co.uk
Delighted, once again to be raising much needed funds for the National Autistic Society in 2011, Mark Anderson said: “This is the third fundraiser that the Anderson Foundation has hosted on behalf of the National Autistic Society and we are thrilled that David has given his time and expertise to produce this outstanding piece of art for us to auction. The dedication and enthusiasm of the entire team at the NAS is clearly apparent and we know that every penny of the funds raised will be put to good use by the charity.”
The artwork will be available to view by the interested public, by appointment only, from June 17th to July 8th, during office hours at, 1 Liverpool Street, London EC2M 7DQ.
Contact David Downes’ agent: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 0207 956 2819
Sally Perry of GoFigurative.com, a unique art business working with technically skilled artists – with particular focus on portraits and landscapes – is delighted to be involved with the project and to see David begin to gain some much deserved recognition: “I met David only recently and leapt at the chance to represent him. His work and his intellect are an inspiration to everyone, especially to those whose lives are affected by autism. David wants everyone to recognise the invaluable service that The National Autistic Society provides and humbly presents his painting of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel to be auctioned at the Anderson Foundation Summer Ball to raise money for the charity.”
Mark Lever, CEO of the National Autistic Society said: “We are really proud to be the beneficiary of the Anderson Foundation and the money raised from the Anderson Foundation Summer Ball and the auction lots will be going towards providing vital support and services to the half a million people in the UK with autism. Autism is a lifelong developmental disability and without the right support it can have a profound and sometimes devastating effect on individuals and families.”
We are very grateful to David Downes for providing this outstanding piece of art for the auction lot. David’s involvement with The NAS over the years has helped raise awareness and vital funds for the charity, and we are very excited to see his work of art in the auction this year.”
Yolande de Trogoff, BIC UK and Ireland – Marketing Manager said: “As charity partner of the NAS, and sponsor of this amazing piece, we are delighted to support David’s work. The BIC ® Cristal® is an iconic pen which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, and what better way to mark this landmark occasion than with an incredible piece of art – of one of London’s landmarks. We hope it will raise valuable funds for the National Autistic Society.”
About David Downes
Artist, David Downes, who has Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism, completed an MA at the Royal College of Art in Communication Design in 1996 and has since worked on a range of projects, from landscapes and drawings to a major commission for the BBC. In September 1999 he set out to record the BBC’s most important architecture at the turn of the century. In June 2000 he became Artist in-residence to BBC Heritage.
In 2000, Downes’ life and career were the subject of a book written by Shelia Paine titled ‘Artists Emerging’ which explores the mysteries of drawing fluency through the work of seven artists. Downes lives and works in London and is available for architectural drawings and paintings and landscapes. Downes says that as a child he could communicate through drawing before he could speak properly. He could draw in perspective and appeared in Six Children Draw in 1976 and in the book, Artists Emerging by the late Sheila Paine.
He says “My work focuses on the juxtaposition of history and modernity in London. Graveyards lie next to modern offices, ageing churches stand in built up areas. I often paint my scenes of London from an aerial position, imagining the way the landscape would look when viewed from that angle. In this way my work is a meeting of realism and imagination. I am very focussed and can capture architecture and urban-scapes in vivid detail.”
Further examples of David’s inspiring oeuvre can be seen in the Go Figurative online gallery at http://www.daviddownes.co.uk/
About The National Autistic Society: The National Autistic Society (NAS) is the UK’s leading charity for people affected by autism and their families. Founded in 1962, it continues to spearhead national and international initiatives and provide a strong voice for all people with autism. The NAS provides a wide range of services to help people with autism and Asperger syndrome live their lives with as much independence as possible. The NAS relies on the support of its members and donors to continue its vital work for people with autism. For more information about autism and for help in your area, call the NAS Autism Helpline on: 0808 800 4104, 10am-4pm, Monday to Friday.
About Go Figurative: (www.gofigurative.com) Go Figurative is a full service art business with an online platform exclusively for figurative artists, including sculptors, painters, photographers and print makers. Figurative art retains strong references to the real world and, in particular, but not exclusively to, the human figure. It is distinct from abstract and conceptual art and so includes landscapes, cityscapes, still life and portraiture. An easily navigable website makes art easy to find, buy and even try-out for all kinds of collectors – and a wide range of budgets.
– Portraiture Commissions: Go Figurative offers a specialised service that makes the commissioning of a portrait not just easy, but also a memorable and satisfying process, by matching the client and/or subject to the right artist and overseeing the commission from start to finish. Ideal for a unique gift or commemoration and from the boardroom to the living room, the special skill of portraiture makes a work of art particularly personal.
– Personal ‘Curating’ Service: Go Figurative can take the angst out of art buying, by helping home-owners, designers or companies select – and even hang – the right art for their space.
– Real Art Shows: Go Figurative founded and runs the Real Art Show, a series of exhibitions which provides the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of figurative art in the flesh.
– Real Art Partnership Programme: Go Figurative operates an innovative art sourcing and installation service for corporations. The Real Art Partnership Programme entitles members to select art from a wide range of painters, sculptures for printmakers for reception and meeting areas. The art is rotated on a regular basis and can be themed in accordance with the corporation’s communication objectives.
About Anderson: The Anderson Foundation was established in 2003 by Mark Anderson, Chairman of the Anderson Group, one of the largest multi-disciplined construction and development companies in the South East of England and with a lot of dedication and hard work, along with the generosity of an extremely solid base of supporters has raised in excess of £1M for a number of well deserving beneficiaries.
About BiC: BIC is a world leader in stationery, lighters and shavers. For more than 60 years, BIC has honoured the tradition of providing high-quality, affordable products to consumers everywhere. Through this unwavering dedication, BIC has become one of the most recognized brands in the world. BIC products are sold in more than 160 countries around the world. In 2009, BIC recorded net sales of 1,562.7 million euros. The Company is listed on “Euronext Paris” and is part of the SBF120 and CAC Mid 100 indexes. BIC is also part of the following SRI indexes: FTSE4Good Europe, ASPI Eurozone, Ethibel Excellence Europe and Carbon Disclosure French Leadership index 2009 (CDLI).
About Wragge & Co: Wragge & Co is a UK-headquartered international law firm providing a full service to clients worldwide from offices in Abu Dhabi, Birmingham, Brussels, Guangzhou, London, Munich and Paris. With 123 partners backed up by the strength and support of more than 1,000 people, the firm advises FTSE 100 and 250 companies, multi-national corporations, financial institutions, and government departments. Wragge & Co first invested in a formal corporate responsibility programme in 2001. Since then, the programme has evolved to focus on four core areas: community investment, people, environment and external partners. Highlights include an 11th consecutive year in the UK’s 50 Best Workplaces list – the only law firm to feature. The firm also won The Law Society Award for Excellence in Equality and Diversity and a national Big Tick accreditation at Business in the Community’s Awards for Excellence 2011 for its work supporting homeless people overcome barriers to employment.
St Pancras Station by George Gilbert Scott:
photograph © adrian welch
Famous London design by George Gilbert Scott: Albert Memorial, London
Key George Gilbert Scott building – Battersea Power Station, London
photo © adrian welch
George Gilbert Scott – RIBA Gold Medal 1859 Winner
Article 25 Art & Architecture Exhibition
Model – European Court of Human Rights
Signed, coloured perspex
89mm x 149mm x 73mm
Retail value: £5,000
Kindly donated by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Article 25 Buildings – Built Environment Charity
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