We asked artist Mark Davies what it meant to him to be part of Stars on Canvas and the inspiration behind his piece...

"I am incredibly proud to be supporting such a great charity. Willow does such a wonderful job, giving so much happiness to so many. Having grown up with football, I know that Bob Wilson is a true legend - what he and Megs have done in memory of their daughter is really quite something. Being part of Stars on Canvas with such a plethora of talented artists and celebrities is something I feel very proud to be part of. 

I have witnessed the devastating impact that cancer and serious illness can have. I feel incredibly driven to support Willow, to bring positivity and hope to those affected. The people who have purchased my art tell me they have been genuinely touched by the story behind the pieces, and it’s humbling to know the positive impact my art can have. The concept for my piece for Stars on Canvas echoes this. 

I started my canvas on a humid Summer evening and finished when my studio was shrouded in fog so that is an indication that this piece took a good while! There were so many stages to transforming the blank canvas, working with so many different textures and then planning and executing the lighting element which is the literal heartbeat of the piece.

My submission is entitled ‘Hope Remains’. After reading about what Willow do it was only ever about one word for me, hope. This piece had to be driven by that word. My published works have always embraced light and hope, where no matter how dark and intense the scene is there always exists this clear sense of hope for change. I was given a plain, blank canvas - something that we all start out as. It is then life experience and decisions that change and add layers, beauty and scars. I wanted to push the canvas to its limit through using a wide range of materials and flame.

I quickly realised that I was mimicking a conceptual life journey as the layers went down and watching as each had an effect on what was laid down before. This intensity is almost claustrophobic due to the textures. Yet what exists around all of this are areas that are untouched and undamaged, where hope remains.

Once complete I was really happy with the results but I always wanted to introduce a lighting element to the piece where it was done in a way that created the pieces very own heartbeat. Tiny fibre optic lights are pushed through the canvas and fur that shine brightly to embrace this sense of hope whilst the light behind the canvas beats to mimic a heart and glows through the skin. You turn this on by touching a part of the canvas which represents how through another persons love and determination it breathes new life and new hope into a person.

I'm really looking forward to the auction and exhibition. I will be supporting my fellow Wishbone Publishing artists but in addition I'm also a fan of Benjamin Hannavy Cousin, Dairo Vargas, Emma Kate Matthews, Lee Herring and Kevin Keegan's canvas, too, as that shirt is unbelievably iconic!"

Stars on Canvas 2016 gallery

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