Hundreds of art enthusiasts and Kisharon supporters attended the launch of the HeART edit at the Omer Tiroche Gallery in London on Thursday. Attendees bid for art work produced in collaboration between established artists and people with learning disabilities Kisharon supports, raising over £35,000 to support the charity’s work with children and adults with learning difficulties.
The HeART edit with Kisharon was the brainchild of HeART edit Chair Freidi Klein and committee members Sari Friedman, Daniela Rosenthal and Rebecca Frankel. The project sought to establish a collaboration between London’s established and emerging artists and people supported by Kisharon, as well as to offer equal opportunities for people with learning difficulties to become artists and to express their inner thoughts and feelings. The auction was accompanied by a book illustrated the story and journey of those participating in the project, The HeART edit in association with Kisharon, which will go on general sale in support of Kisharon.
Artists David Breuer-Weil, Shemariyahu Black, Daniella Rosenfield and Yisrael Soriano were among the artists who donated their time and expertise to mentor people Kisharon supports, enabling them to create authentic and valuable works of art.
Introducing the project, Kisharon Chief Executive Dr Beverley Jacobson said the charity was “constantly looking for innovative ways to break boundaries and raise the expectations of those we support”. Paying tribute to the exhibition Jacobson added that “what it doesn’t show is the transformative change that has taken place in the participants through their involvement in the project…(which) will change individuals’ perceptions of themselves and their expectations for the future”.
Auctioneer Omer Tiroche said he was “so proud of Kisharon and their achievements in the Jewish community”. Of the collaborations between established artists and people Kisharon supports, he added: “Many of the students who collaborated on the artworks did not know they had artistic talents before embarking on this project, but their works were all extremely well-received and were the reason for the event’s great success, raising huge sums for the charity as a result.”
Debbie Roston, who is supported by Kisharon, introduced her own artwork to attendees on the night, concluding that “art is a beautiful way to appreciate G-d’s work”. Artist Danielle Rosenfield said that collaborating with Debbie was “a refreshing and enlightening experience”. Revealing Debbie had known exactly what she wanted to communicate, Daniella added that she had enjoyed watching “Debbie’s fascination as paintings came to life”.
Twenty-year-old artist Shemariyahu Black winner of the Saatchi/Deutsche Bank 2015 prize for his painting ‘Little Sister’ said of his collaboration with Yanky Kahan of Kisharon on a series of acrylic works on canvas, that he has “looked forward” to each of their sessions together. “I’m going to continue volunteering at Kisharon because of the impact it has had on me”, he added.
Photo-journalist Adam Scott, who himself has a child with learning difficulties, said that collaborating with Kisharon’s Daniel Yefet and David Abrahams had helped refine his own communications skills, and commended the project for giving “an opportunity for people with learning disabilities to explore and experience making art and develop abilities in different areas”.
Heralding the project’s success, HeART Edit Committee Member Sari Freidman said: “Throughout this project I have witnessed generosity that knows no boundaries and how willing people are to open their hearts. Doors were opened for people who often find them shut. The electric atmosphere at the auction was the crowning achievement of a truly awe-inspiring journey that will stay with me for a long time.”