Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WO to 80360, or email us
Late mum's art to feature in exhibition in aid of Cancer Research
When Claire Staniland’s mum passed away from cancer six weeks before her daughter’s wedding she was devastated.
Mum Cynthia Williams had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999 and, following a long battle with the illness, died from the disease on Easter Sunday 2005.
Now Mrs Staniland, 43, is hoping to turn tragedy into triumph by holding a charity art show in Bushey, the town she was brought up in.
Mrs Staniland, a horse riding instructor, said: "Mum was a really keen painter and in the 1980s, when she retired, she joined an art group in Bushey. They would meet regularly at Frobisher Studios when it was in Glencoe Road, before it moved to its current location at Bushey Museum.
"She was really good and what started as a hobby became something more – friends and family from all over the world were buying her pictures."
The art show, which will be held at the Lucy Kemp-Welch Memorial Gallery, will feature some of Mrs Williams’ work, as well as pieces by other local artists including Mrs Staniland’s husband Mark.
There will also be a raffle and silent auction, with a host of goodies up for grabs, and on Saturday evening a champagne and canapé reception. Money raised from the event will go to Cancer Research.
Mrs Staniland, who now lives in Hemel Hempstead, said: "Mum would have been really chuffed to see her work on display. She’s painted landscapes and animals and they are lovely.
"This isn’t the first time we’ve raised money for Cancer Research, we supported them shortly after my mum’s initial diagnosis. To date we’ve raised about £3,000, and at this event I’m hoping to collect in the region of £500.
"We had so much help from Cancer Research when mum was ill and this is our way of paying them back."
Mrs Williams’ paintings will not be for sale, but there will be pieces by other artists on offer.
Mrs Staniland said: "I couldn’t bear to part with mum’s pictures, they’ve got too much sentimental value for me.
"I’d like to encourage everyone to come along, Cancer Research is an important cause to support.
"I’ve lost my mum, my dad and have had friends diagnosed with cancer. You just don’t know when you’ll need their help.
"I like to think that my mum would be proud of this show, that it’s a fitting tribute to her and her work."
The show will be held at Lucy Kemp-Welch Memorial Gallery, next to St James House in Rectory Lane, off the High Street, Bushey, on July 28 and 29, from 10am to 4pm. The champagne reception on Saturday will be held from 5pm.
Entry to the event costs £1. Admission fee for the champagne reception is £5.