SIR ANDREW: the guitar
A little story first, with a link to the auction at the end
In addition to the Blackbird Inkwork studio and shop, I also run a charity called The Blackbird Foundation. It is a bereavement charity launched in 2016 to support those living with loss. Both the shop and the foundation are run from the art studio, and they are obviously closely related. I use artwork in a lot of the work I do through the charity, and when items sell from the shop I use a significant part of the selling price as a donation towards running the charity and its overhead. Please visit TheBlackbirdFoundation.co.uk to get more information. It is super awesome.
On Friday, the 13th of January 2017, Blackbird Inkwork is formally opening its the long awaited (still sort of in construction) art studio during an event. The event is a fundraiser for both The Blackbird Foundation and also Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide. As you can read about in the blog section of this page, I lost my best friend to suicide in May 2016. He is the reason I paint on wood. He designed and built all of the wooden canvases I used in the first year of the shop. He named my studio. If friends can be kinds of soul mates and soul mates can be kinds of friends, he was it. I miss him impossibly and ferociously. The guitars he built were beautiful and exptraordinary, and some of them will be on display at the fundraiser.
Healing from his suicide has involved me pouring all of my empathy and energy into creating this foundation. I have run a smaller charity for ten years now (more info on the foundation page) and his death was a massive catalyst for expanding my charity into something that will help those with broken hearts on a much larger scale. The Blackbird Foundation was born from this suffocating embrace of grief and my overwhelming impetus to help, to embrace empathy, to honour, to create. And to give just because I can.
This guitar was built in memory of my best friend by another guitar builder that my best friend knew very well. He spent months making her, and worked through his own grief as he built this incredible instrument from scratch and with great love and honour. The money raised from the auction of this guitar will benefit both charities listed above. These are small charities that need every single penny they can get, and your donations (through this auction, through the fundraiser, or through the donate button on the foundation website) actually go straight towards providing services. You are making a difference.
This guitar has an awful lot of heart in it. Both broken and whole. Thank you for looking, thank you for bidding, thank you for sharing with others who you think would be interested.
Click the photo below for more photos and the chance to bid on the guitar