Nine talented local artists have kindly loaned artwork to adorn the walls of our newly refurbished work and life skills centre, Launchpad 135. We are currently displaying the work of Liz Real, Heather McAteer, Nina O’Connor, Michael Garaway, Trish Roberts, and Carole Stephens – who are all members of Reading Guild of Artists – as well as pieces from Chloe Bryant, Laura Hughes Dowdle and Matt Potter, to inspire our clients who use the space every day for their learning and development.
Each piece has been carefully selected to create a welcoming and encouraging environment, and add vibrancy to the main space where clients attend a range of sessions to learn new skills, build confidence and get back into work. Sessions offered at the centre range from job searching, CV and interview skills to DIY workshops, art and counselling.
Artist Liz Real has been a dedicated supporter of Launchpad for many years both as a micro-volunteer and a fundraiser. A member of Reading Guild of Artists and Caversham Arts Trail, she now runs her own pop-up art stall, Art in the Arbour, from her front garden and a percentage of the proceeds of all her sales, whether that be from greetings cards or a piece of art, goes directly to Launchpad to support our homelessness prevention services. In addition on the first Wednesday of every month she invites a couple of other local makers to the stall, who also donate a percentage of their proceeds to Launchpad (or another local charity).
About the Launchpad 135 art project, Liz said: “I was happy to be approached by Launchpad for this special project because it is a brilliant initiative and anything we local artists can do to support it by inspiring the clients and visitors through our art is a privilege, especially as it is such a beautiful space.”
She felt that her work ‘Free with my dreams’, was most fitting because it shows that art is for everyone and can take various different forms – this piece being inspired by graffiti which she noticed inscribed on a cell wall of Reading Prison when it was open to the public in 2016. This piece of art is currently displayed at Launchpad 135’s reception.
From the gallery below, the following artworks by Liz Real: ‘Free with my dreams,’ Laura Hughes-Dowdle: ‘Tropical Islands,’ ‘Boats’ and ‘Butterflies,’ Heather McAteer: ‘Midnight Blue,’ and Trish Roberts: ‘Orion: Construction,’ Carole Stephens: ‘Mothers Day and the map,’ Nina O’Connell: ‘Blue Pearl,’ and Michael Garaway: ‘Monochrome digital print,’ are also open for sale, with 25% of proceeds coming directly back to Launchpad. If you are interested in purchasing any of the pieces, please do get in touch for further information.