Change Someone’s Life

marly 2b

I was always fascinated by The National Geographic magazine and I’ve got stacks of them because my best friend Tay used to buy me a subscription for Christmas. I never actually read it – it’s all about the photos for me. That’s one of the reasons I did Marine and Natural History Photography at uni. When I went to my interview I made two mood boards; one was of photos I loved because of the light and composition, and the other one had pictures of issues that I really cared about –animals in captivity and people in poverty – general world issues.

When I finished uni, I planned to do a lot of travelling, but I haven’t done much of it lately. I went to America when I was 21, digging trail in the Nevada Desert, and while I was at uni I went to India, Thailand and Indonesia. Travelling round those countries made me think that people could be so much happier with so much less than we have over here. It’s also made me think more recently about the ethics of travelling. I want to travel so much, but I don’t want to be one of those travellers that go through countries looking at the poverty going, ‘Oh isn’t it terrible.’ I don’t actually want to go there unless I’m going there to do something productive. That thought makes me wonder whether I should go travelling at all.

A man came into Truro Arts where I work and asked if we would donate some stuff to a school that he helps in Tanzania. He said they that have no art materials whatsoever and that made me cry because I thought about how it would have been for me if I’d been in that situation. When I was at school, getting good GCSEs was never an issue because there was nothing in the way. But I didn’t want to be there and skived all the time, so when I left I just did Art because it was my favourite subject. But what if I hadn’t had that choice? What if I’d never done Art? I’d be lost. I would actually be lost. I rang the man up one day and said I wanted to do something for the school. It was an idea that just stuck and I knew I had to follow it through.

On June 11th I’m holding a silent auction of artworks. I’m having an exhibition for a month at Truro Arts, and during the first week a selection of my work, my colleagues’ and friends’ work and some from other local artists will be available to bid on. You just come along and write a bid on a piece of paper next to the piece you want. It’s like a sort of slow Ebay. The coffee shop will be open and I’m hoping there will be a glass of free Prosecco. The money will go to the Don Bosco School in Tanzania, and also to a local Art Therapy charity for children called Clear.

It’s quite scary running an event like this, and I’m a bit worried that nobody is going to come, but they say you should do one thing a day that scares you. One day I would like to set up my own charity because I would like to see first hand the difference being made. You know sometimes people say a smile can change someone’s day – well imagine doing something that could change someone’s life. That’s what I want to do. That’s what it’s all about for me.
More details of Marly’s charity auction can be found here. She would be very grateful for any support you can offer.