Art Around the Child - artist roster grows

The latest artists have been announced who are supporting the 'Art Around the Child' auction on November 16th. It takes place at the Fiat Chrysler Motor Village UK in Wigmore Street, London.

Art created by children in India and Africa will go under the hammer, alongside work donated by an array of leading artists, to raise funds for the Arms Around the Child - a charity helping to build a home and create new opportunities for HIV+ orphans in Jaipur, India.

Curators of this landmark event are Lee Sharrock and Monica Colussi, with Ellie Milner from the charity Arms Around the Child:


Rómulo Celdrán develops his work within the fields of drawing, painting and sculpture. He had his first solo exhibition at the age of 16. His early introduction into the professional artistic world led him to consolidate his artistic training in a self-taught way.

His curriculum vitae includes solo exhibitions like Rómulo Celdrán at Hasted Kraeutler Gallery in New York in 2014, Macro in 2013 at Arthobler Gallery, Zurich (Switzerland) or Zoom at Raquel Ponce Gallery in Madrid in 2010; group exhibitions at an international level featuring his participation in Sketchy at Hasted Kraeutler Gallery in New York in 2013, the ONCE Foundation IV Contemporary Art Biennial at the Conde Duque Cultural Centre in Madrid in 2012. His work can be found in private and institutional collections around the world.



With an undeniable passion for the art of photography, world renowned artist and video director Mike Ruiz creates vibrant, ultra stylized work that stands out from the crowd. Collaborating with the best of the best, he works with an impressive list of clients including beauty and fashion brands like L'Oreal, Shick, Dark, Lovely and Garnier along with a host of A-list celebrities including Prince, Betty White, Katy Perry, and Nicki Minaj to name a few.

An optimist at his core, Mike always shoots big, and is known for bringing the fantastical to life through a creative vision that knows no bounds. Using materials and mediums that most photographers would never think of, his work has been featured by editors at Elle, Vanity Fair, L'Officiel , Paper, Flaunt, Interview, Brazilian Vogue, Prestige and many more.
In 2007 Mike was inspired by a project he did with RuPaul, and he formally added video production to his repertoire. Since then he’s had the pleasure of working with Vanessa Williams, Kelly Rowland, Jody Watley, Kristine W., Shontelle, The Blonds, etc... on music videos that are both unexpected and riveting.

To attend the auction and event - please RSVP

Save the date - Art Around the Child

I've taken a bit of time off from the Blog to concentrate on work, but I'm back with an important 'save the date' - November 16th 2017 for the 'art around the child auction' in London, fundraising to help build a home for HIV+ orphans in Jaipur, India.

It is a project that I'm humbled to be involved with - the money raised will help transform the lives of many disadvantaged children. You can read more about our trip out to India to work with the kids last year here on my Blog. Check back for regular updates as we get nearer the big night.

Massive thanks goes out to curators Lee Sharrock with Monica Colussi, and Ellie Milner from the charity Arms Around the Child, for bringing together what promises to be an amazing event, with the power to change lives.

Art Around The Child - a visit to India

I'm honoured to have been invited to work with the internationally acclaimed charity Arms Around The Child on an art project that has taken me to work with HIV+ orphans in Jaipur, India.

Over the next week I will be working with the children to create their own art, and I'm also making a piece myself to donate - ready for an international auction alongside other artists next spring. The money raised from this project will help transform the lives of children like those I'm with right now.

It is a humbling experience being out here. The young people we're working with are truly amazing, so happy and enthusiastic - they have welcomed us with gusto and are already creating some really wonderful paintings with materials we shipped out ahead of our journey from North Devon. Later this week we're working on three large pieces.

'Art Around The Child' is a major fundraising initiative that will culminate in a VIP reception at a major venue in the West End of London in Autumn 2017, an auction of donated artwork and an after party with live DJ performances and celebrity appearances.

You can read the full press release from the charity below this gallery of photos taken today by my friend and team member George Barrett, and my partner Charlotte Hunter, who have travelled with me on this trip of a lifetime.


Arms Around The Child (AATC) is pleased to announce a unique opportunity for your art to be the centrepiece of a major international charity art auction.

AATC’s mission is to work from the ground up, within communities across Africa and India - and beyond - to ensure that children who are orphaned, often affected by HIV/AIDS, abandoned, abused, trafficked or living in child-headed households, are rescued from harm’s way, lovingly taken care of, and given the hope they need to secure a better future.

The statistics are shocking! 151 million children are living homeless on the streets. 1.2 million children are trafficked every year. 132 million children have been orphaned worldwide. 17.8 million children are AIDS orphans.

We are reaching out to the international Fine Art family of visual artists, and to leading private collectors and institutional collections to request donations of outstanding contemporary artworks in every medium with the overall theme of “HOME” in mind for inclusion in a Live and Silent Auction, Autumn 2017.

Lee Sharrock is curating the exhibition and auction to include artists individual responses and interpretations around The Dolls House concept. The Dolls House artworks will be exhibited along with art created specially for the auction including work by artist Paul Broomfield, who is traveling to Jaipur, India this winter to spend time with HIV+ Orphans and creating collaborative artworks with them. 

The Dolls House, symbolising a home is an enchanting and popular toy valued by both adults and children, and found to exist in many cultures tracing back to the Egyptian tombs of 5000 years ago. The Dolls House encourages creativity, imaginary play, symbolic representation, social and emotional skills and they are highly collectable.

Guests will be invited to a celebrity cocktail and canapés reception and the opportunity to view all donated artworks, before the Live Auction commences. All Live and Silent Auction artworks will be exhibited publicly and online before the event; Silent Auction pieces will remain exhibited online for 7 days after the event.

The grand finale to ‘ART AROUND THE CHILD’ will be a glittering After Party, with live DJ performances and celebrity appearances at a major West End venue. Arms Around The Child (AATC) has a critically acclaimed, international reputation for excellence in the field of premiere event creation and delivery. The charity’s recent events have included ‘The Black Ball’ with Alicia Keys in New York and ‘The Other Ball’ with AATC Ambassador Mark Ronson in London, where we hosted sensational performances from Florence and the Machine, Lily Allen, Rudimental and Angelique Kidjo, among many others. These wonderful occasions have always provide a highly inspirational platform for the auction of magnificent examples of world-class contemporary art and design, created by some of the world’s leading visual artists.

‘The Other Ball’ in London garnered close to a billion impressions, across every imaginable media outlet in the UK and worldwide – includes The BBC, Vogue, GQ and every major UK national daily newspaper, from The Financial Times to The Sun.

Leading up to the event, AATC, and our online auction partner Charity Stars, will be running a fully integrated, international, multi-media PR campaign (incl. official schedule of contributing artists and donated artworks and interviews & editorial features with contributing artists), to drive maximum media and public awareness of the event, our artists and their art, in order to generate the highest possible auction revenues for the children we support.


Virtue is its own reward and brings with it the truest and highest pleasure.

A priceless benefit of your involvement with the charity, as a contributing artist, is the simple knowledge that your art has forever changed - for the better - the lives of children you have never met, transforming their life chances.

In every corner of the world, the power and global reach of social media is evident and more Fine Art buyers and enthusiasts are interested in seeing how the artists they support are being socially responsible in giving their support to those who need it.

Using the power of your art to raise awareness amongst your buyers, supporters and followers about the issues we face as global citizens makes a massive difference.

We cordially invite you to join us.

All art donations and related PR are managed directly by Arms Around The Child, supported by its appointed agencies.

For further information to discuss art donations, please contact:

Ellie Milner - Arms Around The Child

Tel: 07801292553

Remembrance - creating new memories in the selfie age

A fascinating 'selfie trend' with a curious irony appears to be developing with my taxidermy assemblage box 'Remembrance', that I created for the Contemporary Vanitas exhibition - running at the Lights of Soho gallery in London right now.

As curator and Saatchi PR guru Lee Sharrock explains in the short film about the show, the Latin meaning of Vanitas is vanity; "It's interesting in a selfie-obsessed, social media obsessed society that we live in, to take a look at the idea of vanity and also the idea of mortality and see what contemporary interpretations these artists come up with."

The work that I created has antiqued and gilded mirror glass surrounding the inside of the case, meaning that most snaps of it will contain a picture of the photographer & those around them, and it seems that people are embracing this and creating their own photographic memory - or selfie - which of course is shared on social media. You also get a snapshot of the other artists' work in the gallery captured in the frame.

Even Lee herself and pro photographer Maximilian Clarke, who was documenting the launch party, are featured in the selection below.

Due to popular demand the exhibition now has an extension and will run through until Saturday June 25th, so do go along and see the fantastic array of art - and of course, take your camera or smart-phone with you & tag any images with my social media pages...



Contemporary Vanitas exhibition film launched

A short film has been released showcasing the Contemporary Vanitas exhibition at the Lights of Soho gallery in London that's open until June 25th. My taxidermy assemblage piece 'Remembrance' is on display along with the work of 15 other contemporary artists.

Follow all the updates using the hashtag #contemporaryvanitas on social media.

Lights of Soho exhibition now open

I went to the packed private view last night for the 'Contemporary Vanitas' exhibition curated by Saatchi's Lee Sharrock at the cool Lights of Soho, London's first light art gallery.

I've created a new taxidermy assemblage piece called 'Remembrance' for the show's theme of 'memento mori', and it's on display with a stunning array of work from some of the UK's leading contemporary artists from now until June 25th - 10am to 6pm Monday to Saturday. Do check it out if you can; the Lights of Soho Gallery is at 35 Brewer Street, London W1 0RX.

It was good to to talk to Lee about her show, and meet fellow artists like Jimmy Galvin - his piece 'Death Disco' is in the front window of the gallery.

The gallery is set over two floors with a basement that feels like a 1960s jazz club, and there was a real buzz about the place, with the cocktails flowing and photographers snapping away as everyone checked out the art and chatted to friends old and new. Social media has been in full flow (#contemporaryvanitas) and the exhibition is getting some great coverage.

Artists exhibiting alongside me are: Alexander James, Alt-Ego, Derrick Santini, Hannah Matthews, Jeroen Gordijn, Jimmy Galvin, Kalliopi Lemos, Lauren Baker, Nancy Fouts, Pure Evil, Rebecca Mason, Sara Pope, Soozy Lipsey, Tom Lewis and Toni Gallagher.



Contemporary Vanitas - London exhibition

I'm exhibiting in London from Thursday, with a new  illuminated assemblage piece of taxidermy art called 'Remembrance' for the Contemporary Vanitas show at the Lights of Soho gallery in Soho. I'm delighted to be alongside some of the UK's leading contemporary artists for the exhibition, curated by Saatchi's Lee Sharrock, that runs from May 26th to June 25th.

'Remembrance' contains a 19th century human skull & padlock, antique whale vertebrae, Macaw parrot wing & head. In the detail you'll find red sealing wax, antique engraved sherry glasses, old bone dice and clay marbles. The box itself is covered with water gilt silver leaf burnished using a piece of polished agate, while the inside is verre eglomise with 23 3/4 karat gold leaf. Dimensions of the handmade wooden box are 995mm high x 995mm wide x 300mm deep.

You can read & see more by clicking here.

Remembrance, revealed

I'm excited to be exhibiting in London later this month alongside some of the UK's leading contemporary artists; to be selected to take part is very cool.  I've created a new illuminated assemblage piece of taxidermy art called 'Remembrance' for the Contemporary Vanitas show in Soho which starts on May 26th (full press release below).

'Remembrance' contains a 19th century human skull & padlock, antique whale vertebrae, Macaw parrot wing & head. In the detail you'll find red sealing wax, antique engraved sherry glasses, old bone dice and clay marbles. The box itself is covered with water gilt silver leaf burnished using a piece of polished agate, while the inside is verre eglomise with 23 3/4 karat gold leaf. Dimensions of the handmade wooden box are 995mm high x 995mm wide x 300mm deep.

You can see 'Remembrance' in the photo gallery at the bottom of this page, with pictures taken by the incredibly talented Gemma Varney.

Press release

London’s leading light art gallery is pleased to announce their next show in collaboration with Lee Sharrock, Contemporary Vanitas, a look at vanity and mortality. Featuring 16 contemporary artists, the exhibition, which launches 26th May, will showcase the artists own interpretations of the Vanitas and features iconic memento mori symbols such as skulls, butterflies, and fruit, as well as more abstract interpretations in the form of celebrity portraiture and the written word in the form of neon.

Contemporary Vanitas will feature new artists and Lights of Soho favourites including: Alexander James, Alt-Ego, Derrick Santini, Hannah Matthews, Jeroen Gordijn, Jimmy Galvin, Kalliopi Lemos, Lauren Baker, Nancy Fouts, Paul Broomfield, Pure Evil, Rebecca Mason, Sara Pope, Soozy Lipsey, Tom Lewis and Toni Gallagher.

Playing on the Latin word for vanity, Vanitas is a metaphor for the meaninglessness of earthly life and transient nature of earthly goods and pursuits. Vanitas artworks were common in the 16th and 17th Century Dutch and Flemish still life painting, and were often created as metaphors for human achievements, as well as serving as reminders of human mortality. Memento Mori symbols of death, materialism, spirituality, earthly pleasure, temptations and corporality often featured.

Curator Lee Sharrock states, “I’ve always had a macabre fascination with the Vanitas paintings of the 16th and 17th century, and was intrigued to see how contemporary artists would interpret the enduring themes of mortality and vanity.”

Each artist’s contribution provides an individual interpretation of the Vanitas theme; Alexander James’ beautiful C-Type print evokes Old Master Vanitas still life paintings; Alt-Ego has created a bespoke skulls series reflecting upon mortality and vanity, whilst Jimmy Galvin’s witty ‘Death Disco’ features a skull and disco ball in a contemporary reworking of the traditional Skull memento mori.

Nancy Fouts’ ‘Exit Jesus’ features the reincarnated figure of Jesus embracing the cross of the ‘x’ in Exit; Fouts states: “Vanity of Vanities, saith the preacher, all is vanity” quoting Ecclesiastes 12:8. She continues, “My Exit sight represents corporality and the idea of Jesus being reincarnated in a modern era of neon signs and overwhelmingly constant communication.”

Pure Evil’s new ‘Angels Never Die’ portraits of departed screen idols crowned with neon halos is inspired by Marle Dietrich. Pure Evil commented: “After 1945, Marlene Dietrich's attitude towards her native Germany remained shaky and it was not until after the fall of the Berlin Wall that she began to warm again to her homeland and especially her home town, Berlin. Shortly before her death, she expressed her desire to be buried in Berlin, in the very same cemetery as her mother. Her funeral, on 16 May, 1992, broadcast live on German television, was attended by thousands of fans. Her grave overflowed with flowers and wreaths from fans and admirers from all over the world. One of these wreaths, given by Wim Wenders, the director of Wings of Desire read, "Angels Never Die”. 

The show, curated by Lee Sharrock and Lights of Soho founder and curator Hamish Jenkinson, will bring together their two different eyes for art in a singular show which narrates the vanity which has overtaken our digital world.

“It’s great to work closely again with Lee, whom is a great friend to myself and the gallery, and bring together this new show which will certainly impress members and guests,” states Hamish Jenkinson. He continues, “The show will be a fun play on today’s society who are embracing their own vanity with selfies, social media and the art of oversharing.”

Contemporary Vanitas will be on from 26th May – 25th June at Lights of Soho.

London calling - new TAXIDERMY ASSEMBLAGE ART for major exhibition

My art has been selected for the prestigious 'Contemporary Vanitas' show at the Lights of Soho Gallery in London from next month. It is an honour to have been chosen by exhibition curator Lee Sharrock, director of Global Creative PR for Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, to take part alongside an esteemed array of leading contemporary artists.

The theme for the event is 'memento mori' - the Latin theory and practice of reflection on mortality, related to the perceived vanity of earthly life, our possessions and pursuits. This is one of the veins of creative thought that runs through all of my taxidermy and assemblage art.

I'm putting together a new piece called 'Remembrance' for this prestigious exhibition that runs from May 26th to June 25th 2016 - you can see a preview of some of the elements making up this assemblage box below. It will be revealed in full nearer the time. It contains parts of an antique taxidermy Macaw parrot that I'm re-using, a 19th century human skull, ancient whale vertebrae, along with an antique lock, sherry glass & bottles with 24 karat gold leaf decoration.

Other artists taking part are; Iain Shepherd, James Ostrer, Jimmy Galvin, Kalliopi Lemos, Karl Lagasse, Lauren Baker, Nancy Fouts, Pure Evil, Rebecca Mason, Romulo Celdran, Samantha Roddick, Sara Pope, Soozy Lipsey, Tom Lewis & Toni Gallagher.

You can also see a selection of my latest work at the Broomhill Art Hotel this year, which is currently playing host to the 2016 National Sculpture Prize.