The childlike drawing of a woman lying on the floor, her head in a pool of blood, is shocking in what it represents.
It is all the more powerful for being the work of one of Britain’s most respected actors, Sir Patrick Stewart, who carries painful memories from a childhood spent in fear. For he remembers how he would see his mother Gladys “lying on the floor, bleeding,“ after his father Alf would come home drunk and angry.
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Sir Patrick’s sketch is one of more than 20 drawings by celebrities being auctioned to raise funds for victims of domestic abuse and honour-based violence, at an event at One Mayfair, London, tomorrow evening.
The charity gala is being organised by the Sara Charlton Charitable Foundation (SCCF) in conjunction with Christie's. Others who have provided drawings include the likes of Rosario Dawson, Helen Mirren, Robert de Niro, Sir Roger Moore, Dame Maggie Smith, and Tom Hardy.
One in four women in Britain experience domestic abuse, and two a week are killed by a partner or ex-partner, according to campaigners. Rhea Gargour, chief executive, SCCF, said: “‘In the Name of Honour’ is a much-needed event that aims to change attitudes towards domestic abuse and increase public awareness of a crime that has been ignored for far too long.”
She added: “The only way to combat this wrong is for women and men to work together. As such we asked a variety of well-known figures, of both sexes, to be involved in the exhibition by contributing a drawing of their own. Some drew pictures that protest against the crime and others drew a woman or child in their life that they love.”
Almost all the celebrity drawings depict women or relate to the issue of domestic violence. But the contribution made by Prime Minister David Cameron is more, well, conservative. He opted to donate a limited edition print of a crudely drawn sheep, with the caption “Thinking of EWE.”
In addition to the celebrity auction, more than 45 works from artists around the world have been donated to an exhibition from 19-22 September at the same venue.