Patsy Palmer, Kim Wilde, Lord Foster and Sophie Conran join list of celebrities creating charitable art

Big names from the Royal Academy have teamed up with celebrity mothers to create art that will be sold in aid of the children’s cancer charity Joss Searchlight. Lord Foster, Sir Ian Ritchie, Sonia Lawson and Brendan Neiland have joined Sophie Conran, Patsy Palmer and Kim Wilde – as well as over 100 contemporary artists – to make a series of paintings, sculptures and prints.

The artworks will be auctioned on the March 14th at a free public event in Blackall Studios, London, with every penny raised funding support, specialist equipment and money-can’t-buy gifts and experiences for families living with children diagnosed with cancer.

Joss Searchlight is named after Joss Parkes, who died in 2011 after battling brain cancer for six years. Joss was only four years old when he was diagnosed.

Joss’s mother Dianne founded the charity after her son’s death in an attempt to help other families suffering from the disease. ‘Joss painted everything: paper, shells, stones, bottles and he used lots of glue and glitter too,’ she said. ‘Before his diagnosis all the mess may have been mildly irritating, but after, his every creation was magical. Towards the end of his life, art gave voice to his feelings and to his ambitions.’

Pop singer turned TV presenter Kim Wilde said: ‘What mother couldn’t be moved to help in some way. My painting is of my niece, Willow. I have hidden her name in the painting. Willow was concentrating on a book at the time which explains her serious expression.’

Speaking about the bronze sculpture Sophie Conran made, she said: ‘I wanted to create something beautiful and delicate to illustrate the tiny and fragile nature of a child’s brain. I felt particularly compelled to support this wonderful charity as I nearly lost my daughter when she was a week old to meningitis, an illness also affecting the brain.’

Dianne explained: ‘By creating Joss Searchlight, we aim to show random acts of kindness with toy hampers, entertainment equipment and family breaks to show families living with childhood cancer that they have our on-going support and friendship. We want them to know that good times can still be accomplished and we want to give the whole family some amazing memories to cling to.

‘We also created the Joss Searchlight website as a source of information where parents can search for practical and financial help. Many parents are already hugely appreciative of our work and say that it is a comfort to know that there are people here who will listen and who will understand. Most children with a brain tumour are not fortunate to live six years, so when a family gets in contact we make sure we act quickly and respond to their needs.’

Called Something Special, the art sale and auction is on 14th March with a free public viewing from 11am until 4pm, followed by the art sale and auction from 6.30pm, conducted by Tom Best of Christie’s.

Entry to the sale and auction is also free, based on a first-come-first-served ticketed basis, to include drinks and canapés.