Art Fair Archives - East Cheshire Hospice

Anna Rains

Grandmother Anna Rains has moved home an incredible 46 times, living on boats, a converted bus, in a caravan and a haunted Cheshire farmhouse.

Her nomadic lifestyle is long gone and she is a permanent fixture at Art Fair Cheshire which she set up in 1998.

Anna was chair of the Hospice 10th Anniversary Fundraising Appeal to build the Sunflower Centre. Her team raised £300,000 and one of her ideas was to hold an Art Exhibition.

Friend Liz Taylor-Webb, mentored by L.S. Lowry, was the first artist Anna asked to exhibit.

A signed print of a painting by HRH Prince Charles fetched £3,000 at auction at that first Fair. Overall, nearly £400,000 has been donated to the Hospice.

Anna said: “I’ve moved into the background now and love talking to the artists.  A new generation have taken over successfully and I’ve spent a lot of money over the years on artwork.

“With dedicated helpers, I’ve made thousands of canapes since the first exhibition.  We handed out about 1,500, which flew off the plates, at the last Art Fair.”

Anna has lived locally since 1983 and still helps the biennial exhibitions.

She has seen tremendous changes and professional advancements.  “I’ve always enjoyed art, especially traditional work, but I’m a better writer than an artist.”

She wrote a book entitled Will You Take the Dogs or the Diamonds? chronicling her life and family history.  The title was inspired by a remark between her grandparents before a long train journey.

Anna Rains with the book about her life.

“The book is about my mad family.  My mother was pretty eccentric.  She sent me off with a one-way ticket to Hong Kong, waving goodbye and telling me to go and see the world.  I was 19 then.

“Born in London, we moved to Wales when I was three weeks old to escape the War and moved into a remote cottage without sanitation, running water or electricity.  Wishing to travel to Sussex, my parents bought a bus.  I was four and we were moved on by the police because we weren’t bona fide showmen.

“Joining a funfair and a circus sorted that and we put posters up at night on other people’s properties.”

In 1969, Anna moved to California at the height of hippies and flower power. “My life hasn’t always been easy – but it has been interesting,” said Anna, who was convinced she shared one of her homes with a ghost.

Anna Rains at last year’s Art Fair.

Gathering – The Perfect Valentines Gift

Forget a red rose for your loved one on Valentine’s Day. Instead, buy a red velvet decoration which will last forever.

 

East Cheshire Hospice is selling the final pieces of Gathering, a unique installation which was on display at Tatton Park last year.

 

Demand for the item has already been high with the striking designs adorning many homes and offices.

 

The hope is that with romance in the air on February 14 it will persuade more people to take up the offer and at the same time treasure memories.

 

The art work was created by international artist Susie MacMurray as part of Art Fair 2019. She said: “The rich red colour symbolises the body and its preciousness and the barbed wire isn’t about conflict but facing difficulty and struggle.

 

” The making of this work reflects the whole idea of the piece which is a gathering of people to support each other and treasure memories.”

Individual elements cost £30 with larger arrangements also available. All proceeds support patient care. Elements can be bought from the Hospice on 01625 665692 or via www.gatheringattatton.com/store

 

Camilla Crockett, the Hospice’s Relationships Manager, said: “Gathering is a unique, meaningful Valentine’s gift.”

“People have been purchasing them because they love the design and the elements are more than just decoration. They have a meaning behind them and provide funds to the Hospice.”

Small sculptures are £500; large sculpture £1,500 and a painted watercolour of Gathering is £225. Each is signed and numbered by the artist.

 

Gathering in a decorative display.

Art Fair Cheshire 2019 Success!

Art Fair Cheshire raised a bumper £45,000 for East Cheshire Hospice as it celebrated its 20th anniversary in style.

The biennial event enjoyed a record year of sponsorship and the donation will fund the charity’s art therapy unit.

The Hospice, which held an afternoon tea to thank organisers and volunteers, has received around £400,000 from Art Fair Cheshire in the last two decades.

Hospice Director Karyn Johnston said: “We’re so grateful to everyone who helped make the event such an outstanding success. It’s an amazing donation and represents a huge amount of care for our art psychotherapy service.”

The Art Fair Cheshire committee adopted a new look for the autumn 2019 edition at Macclesfield Town Hall, a move that paid off handsomely.

Co-chair Georgie Johnson said:  “Art Fair Cheshire went in a new direction this year with a fresh look and feel and we’re really pleased how it went.

“It was extremely well attended and we couldn’t have run it without help from more than 70 volunteers. We want to thank them all and everyone else who contributed in so many different ways.”

Each participating artist donated a minimum of 40 per cent of every sale to the Hospice with more than 80 artists and crafts experts exhibiting work.

Art Fair Cheshire also organised another exhibition, ‘Gathering’ by artist Susie MacMurray, an installation which enjoyed pride of place at Tatton Park for four months.

The art work drew wide praise from Tatton visitors, helping raise awareness of Art Fair Cheshire and the Hospice.

Co-chair Steven Dalton said: “Gathering was a huge success and we’re grateful for the massive support from volunteers. Lots of people have bought souvenir elements of the installation and all proceeds go directly to the Hospice.”

Elements available in unique editions can be bought until March 2020 via www.gatheringattatton.com.