Artists pool talents in support of Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft

Sussex artists are joining forces in support of Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft with a flat-pack art project will raise crucial funds.

Friday, 9th October 2020, 12:00 pm
In support of Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft
In support of Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft

Museum spokeswoman Abby Butcher said: “14 artists from or with connections to Sussex have created custom artworks to be auctioned off in a bid to support Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft. The museum lost 46 per cent of its income this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and is in need of urgent funds to keep going.

“The artists participating in the Trees of Life project include Morag Myerscroft, Gary Goodman and Bob and Roberta Smith. The artists have painted flat packed, wooden trees, created by Sussex artist and project initiator Emma Carlow.”

Emma said: “My idea for a flat pack Tree of Life came about during lockdown when I saw a ceramic tree by the Mexican ceramicist Heron Martinez Mandosa in the online collection at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe. Not being able to afford an original, I decided to create a flat-pack version out of laser-cut plywood. I began to imagine the tree painted by my favourite artists and realised it was a great opportunity to raise money for my local museum.”

Steph Fuller, director of Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, said: “I was thrilled when Emma contacted me with her idea for fundraising for the museum. It was really heart-warming to realise that our local community not only love the museum but are willing to put in a huge effort to help us when times are tough.”

The auction launched on Monday, September 28 and will run until Sunday, October 18. The general public are encouraged to bid to be in with a chance of owning one of the artworks, whilst helping support Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft.

Bids can be placed at

The trees will be on view at Meiklejohn Gallery, 1 Malling Street, Lewes BN7 2RA on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 11am-5pm until the auction ends.

Find the project on social media with the hashtag #TreesForDitchling

Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft was founded by Joanna and Hilary Bourne in 1985 and holds an internationally important collection of work by the artists and craftspeople who were drawn to the village in the early 20th century: the sculptor, wood engraver, type-designer and letter-cutter Eric Gill; calligrapher Edward Johnston (responsible for the famous Johnston typeface used for London Underground); painter David Jones; weaver Ethel Mairet; printer Hilary Pepler; silversmith Dunstan Pruden.

The impact of the many artists and craftspeople who came to live and work in Ditchling established the village as one of the most important places for the visual arts and crafts in Britain. In addition to its permanent collection, the museum presents exhibitions motivated by these inspirational arts and crafts and includes a lively programme of events, workshops and talks for all.

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