Friday, 10 July 2020

Boy stunned to see his painting on display

Boy stunned to see his painting on display

A GALLERY in Henley is exhibiting an artwork created by a five-year-old boy for charity.

The Lemongrove in Duke Street has displayed the painting called Love in its front window.

It was painted by Raffi Barcella, who has raised more than £500 for the Chiltern Centre by selling his work.

His pieces feature the colours of the rainbow with messages such as “Let’s Stay Home” and “Love” emblazoned across them.

They are made by placing masking tape across the canvas before he paints and then removing it when the paint has dried.

The proceeds go to the centre, off Greys Road, which offers a range of care services to young people aged 16 to 30 with learning disabilities but is currently closed due to the coronavirus crisis. Raffi chose to raise money for the charity because his mother is its marketing and communications manager and he was concerned about the clients.

He was surprised to see his artwork on show at the gallery, which he normally walks past each day on his way to Badgemore Primary School in Hop Gardens.

Mrs Barcella said: “He always looks at the new art because they change the windows so often. We had not told him about this so when he saw it he stopped and did a double take. He said ‘that’s my artwork’ and could not stop smiling. He was completely overwhelmed.”

Raffi said: “I am very proud.”

Art consultant Riaan Badenhorst encouraged people to bid for it to raise more money for the charity.  They have until 6pm on Tuesday to contact the gallery and make an offer. The highest bidder will be informed after the deadline.

Mr Badenhorst said: “I think Raffi will be the youngest artist we have displayed. His art is perfect for auction and unique.”

Mrs Barcella added: “From the perspective of the Chiltern Centre, we’re so grateful for the support from the Lemongrove. The front window is their prime selling space so they’ve been unbelievably generous.”

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