50 artists paint 50 children to show East End’s poverty alongside Canary Wharf’s affluence

Simonia and her portrait, with artist Bernice Wilson

Simonia and her portrait, with artist Bernice Wilson - Credit: Miracles UK charity

Fifty leading artists each took a child in London’s deprived East End as their subject for paintings to highlight poverty alongside affluence which are about to go on public exhibition.

Simonia and her portrait, with artist Bernice Wilson

Simonia and her portrait, with artist Bernice Wilson - Credit: Miracles UK charity

The Fifty Children Fifty Artists project was completed this week at the Citibank tower block in Canary Wharf, when the young subjects met up with the artists again to have their pictures taken—this time with a camera—alongside their hand-painted portraits.

All the works go on show at Shoreditch Town Hall from Monday.

The art project was launched by the Miracles UK charity last year to raise awareness of extreme child poverty in one of London’s most eclectic boroughs.

Tower Hamlets was chosen because of its deprivation, running cheek-by-jowl with Europe’s most prosperous financial district.


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P0plar’s run-down Will Crooks housing estate, for example, is in the shadows of Canary Wharf’s wealthy business towers just the other side of the Aspen Way.

The artist project aims to draw attention — as well as portraits — to the problem the East End faces with its child poverty and raise money with donations and sponsorships to support those in need as well as giving the youngsters a lasting experience.

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Artists involved included Emma Sergeant, Daphne Guinness, Christian Furr, Robbie Wraith, James Lloyd, John Wragg, Tai Shan Schieren, Zachary Walsh, Eileen Cooper and Jessica Albarn.

Their exhibition opening Monday in Shoreditch runs until Friday, 10am to 5pm.

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