In an article published in the Sunday Tribune regarding the increase in abandoned babies and the city's facilities to cope with this crisis; it was reported that babies, mostly new borns were being retrieved from latrines and pits where they had been discarded, forsaken in deserted fields and increasingly saved from black bags often left alongside highways.
Inspired and deeply motivated by this need, a South African mother and Durban based artist, Lara Mellon, responded by calling artists from around the world to stand together in creative support of these unwanted lives by pledging a personal 30x30cm artwork.
"Just one unwanted baby, just one abandoned life is too many. Finding new born babies ant-eaten, starving and traumatized to the point that for the first couple of hours they are unable to feed ... is one too many!" says Lara
Artists were invited to donate an artwork where each artwork would speak as the voice for one of these abandoned babies and would sell for ONE thousand South African Rands, no more, no less, for regardless of status or standing, each and every ONE artwork, just like an abandoned baby, is equally valuable.
The primary goal of this initial campaign was to showcase the humanitarian voice of artists across the globe where all monies raised from the sale of the artworks would be used for the care and protection of these abandoned little lives.
The response was overwhelming and pledges from artists all over the world continued to stream in. In the end, we had over 500 artists participate from Australia, Canada, Cypress, Denmark, India, Taiwan, New York, UK, Zambia and from all over South Africa.
We had a fantastic opening of the exhibition which ran over November and December at the Quays on Timeball.
Photos of the event can be seen on the Facebook Group.
We had just over 600 works on display, with just under 300 sold. Those paintings not sold off the exhibition were donated to Shepherd's Keep for them to display in the Home with the option to sell on to visitors or supporters of the home.