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Buy paintings fit for a Queen and do your bit for homeless
IT previously won a Queen’s award for volunteering. And now a charity in Oxford, which helps the homeless, is taking a royal approach to raise funds for its work.
Artists from around the world have donated their work to support The Gatehouse charity, a cafe for homeless people in St Giles Parish Rooms.
The original paintings are hanging on the walls of coffee house Java&Co, on the corner of New Inn Hall Street and George Street.
The portraits of the Queen are of various styles, including abstract and colourful impressionist pieces.
Artists involved are Salmar Alzaidy from Iraq, Nasir Azim from the USA, Jorg Kruhne from Germany, Rodney van den Bearmd from the Netherlands, Rebecca Snotflower from St Leonards, Sussex, and Sue Bovington from Bampton.
One of the pictures shows the Queen sitting next to Prince Philip while two of them depict her in the style of a British stamp.
A silent auction started on Monday and runs until December 20. So far, more than six bids have been submitted.
Gatehouse director Andrew Smith said: “We didn’t know quite what to do with these pictures, but wanted to put them on show somewhere in central Oxford for the public to enjoy.
“The staff at Java have always been very supportive, so we approached them about a pop-up exhibition.
“The pictures themselves are very lively and individual and would make quirky Christmas presents.”
The paintings were all originally entered in an exhibition called Portraits of the Queen at the West Ox Art Gallery in Bampton in 2012, the Jubilee year.
When the exhibition finished the artists agreed to donate their work to raise money for the charity.
The Gatehouse in Oxford was chosen because it won a Queen’s Award for Volunteering in 2002.
Java&Co owner Andrew Bowen said: “We are delighted to be involved in the auction, the display has really caught the eye of our customers and the money raised will go to such a good cause at a very important time of the year.”
The charity launched in 1988 and now supports about 52 homeless people every day.
The Gatehouse is open from Monday to Friday for two hours to give homeless people a free evening meal and somewhere to sit and talk.
Sandwiches, cake, tea, coffee, fresh fruit, and home-made soup in winter, are handed out by the charity’s 100-plus volunteers.
Mr Smith added: “The word often used of the charity is that we are a lifeline.
“Some people say they don’t know how they would manage if they didn’t come to us.”
Anyone interested in bidding for the paintings can fill out a ticket at the shop with the amount they want to offer and the number of the painting written on it.
The winning bidder will be announced on December 20.
The paintings are also available to view at javaandco.co.uk
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