A renowned artist plans to raise money for charity by inviting portrait commissions with a difference – sitters are drawn while watching their favourite film.
Norfolk-based Nina Mae Fowler has offered to draw ten portraits for £5,000 each and plans to donate ten per cent of her fee to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).
A further ten per cent will go to Baroness Helena Kennedy’s Urgent Afghanistan Appeal.
Nina’s gesture follows on from a successful fundraising project in 2020, when she produced 200 portrait sketches and raised £20,600 for The Trussell Trust’s Foodbanks.
The 41-year-old is known for her detailed, large-scale drawings and in 2019 she was awarded a major commission for the National Portrait Gallery.
She was asked to produce a series of ‘Luminary Drawings’ – portrait drawings of nine leading film directors watching a film of importance to them. Individuals selected included Ridley Scott, Sally Potter, Sam Mendes, Ken Loach and Amma Asante MBE.
Now Nina plans to give others the opportunity to have a portrait of themselves or a family member captured while watching their favourite film.
She said: “I initiated a similar project during the first lockdown in 2020.
“It was a great success and I’m hoping this will carry similar momentum.
“The cinema portraits are about capturing a normally unseen moment of rapture as the sitter is immersed in their favourite film.
“Whether it’s a child or adult, I aim to portray them when they’ve forgotten they’re being watched and have lost themselves in the joy of great cinema.
“Their faces lit only by the screen, we, as the viewer, get to share in that magical cinematic collapse of time.”
Everyman Cinemas are supporting the project by offering the use of their venues for private client sittings.
Alternatively, Nina can set up a cinema environment in her studio or the sitter’s home.
She will take stills and make preliminary sketches that form the basis of the final pencil and charcoal drawing.
Film star Jude Law and comedian Lee Mack have shown their support by sitting for Nina in order to help promote the project. More are set to follow of actress Sienna Miller, publisher and fashion designer Caroline Issa and playwright Polly Stenham.
A limited edition print of Nina’s Jude Law drawing, priced at £120, is proving popular already and for each sale, 50% of the proceeds are being donated to Nina’s charities. That means £30 from each sale will be donated directly to EACH. The direct link to the shop is www.ninafowlerprint.com/shop/p/jude-law-charity-portrait
Nina is delighted to be supporting EACH and said: “I’ve been a long-standing supporter of this charity, which is local to me in Norfolk.
“Having recently visited The Nook, I’m in awe of the work they do to support not only children with life-limiting illnesses and complicated needs but also their siblings, grandparents and other family members.
“They offer a safe haven of peace and comfort, staffed by the most incredibly caring people.
“They need funding to continue their work on every level, from the heated pool which offers pain-free movement and a place to have fun to the smaller but equally important services like musical therapists, who bring joyful sensations to children facing unbelievably difficult emotional and physical circumstances.”
Kevin Clements, EACH Director of Fundraising and Communications, says Nina’s offer will give people the chance to receive something “special, personal and unique” – as well as supporting the charity’s work across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex.
He said: “We’re absolutely thrilled and very excited to have been approached by Nina.
“She’s incredibly talented and her body of work, and attention to detail, is truly breath-taking.
“That’s what makes this such an incredible opportunity for anyone keen to commission one of her portraits.
“They will be receiving something very special, personal and unique while at the same time generating vital income, helping us support families and care for children and young people with life-threatening conditions.”
Photo credit: Craig Wylie