Kate celebrates 'incredibly special' work of charity The Art Room

 

The Duchess of Cambridge has spoken of the power of art to change people's lives in a speech to celebrate the work of one of her charities.

Kate told an audience of 250 artists, schoolchildren and supporters of The Art Room, of which she is patron, that it felt "incredibly special" to be at the National Portrait Gallery in London to celebrate the work of the charity.

The Art Room, which uses art to increase children's self-confidence and independence, was marking its 11th anniversary and launching a new fundraising campaign at the event last night, attended by artists including Marc Quinn and Jenny Savile.

Kate, wearing a duck-egg blue empire-line Emilia Wickstead cocktail dress and dusky blue heels, said: "I am a firm believer in the power of art to make a difference and The Art Room is doing that on a daily basis.

"We all stand here tonight to celebrate this wonderful work.

"I hope that you will join me in congratulating The Art Room and their supporters on these extraordinary achievements.

"As patron of The Art Room, I feel immense pride to see the amazing work that they are doing but I also feel hugely excited to look to a future with more Art Rooms, where many more challenging and vulnerable children will be helped."

The Duchess, who wore her hair half up, is also patron of the National Portrait Gallery - and a portrait of her is currently on display at the venue.

Kate, an art history graduate, said: "I always love coming to the National Portrait Gallery so to be here tonight for an evening to celebrate The Art Room makes it feel incredibly special.

"When I have been fortunate enough to join Art Room sessions, I have been overwhelmed by the transformational impact they have.

"Vulnerable children flourish in the safe havens that the Art Room provide."

The Duchess spoke to children who use the Art Room facilities in London and Oxford and accompanied some of them on a private tour of a Man Ray exhibition at the gallery.

Six-months-pregnant Kate, whose bump was clearly showing in her cocktail dress, asked the children if they had been to the gallery before and if they went on many visits.

One girl, from Regent High School, told the royal visitor she had a special picture on her own bedroom wall - one of the Duchess on her wedding day.

Kate asked 15-year-old Tierthe if her husband William was included and, when told that he was, replied: "Good!"

The Duchess met artists who have donated works for a silent auction to raise money for The Art Room including Jenny Savile, Yinka Shonibare, Maggi Hambling and Marc Quinn.

She was introduced to Quinn in front of his artwork Self - a head made out of his own blood.

He said it was "fantastic" for Kate to be promoting the importance of art.

"It's great to see her getting involved in this kind of thing," he said. "Art is amazing because it can communicate in ways that words can't. It can have remarkable results."

Savile, herself a patron of The Art Room, said: "It is so effective to put creativity at the centre of someone's problems. It can act as a valve, to get people's pain out."

Shonibare said he had a discussion with Kate about "how wonderful art is".

"She came across to me as someone who genuinely loves art," he said. "It's really great to have someone who cares about it like that. The Art Room is such a great project - it's such a good thing."

In his speech, Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow - himself a patron of The Art Room - joked to guests that there were lots of reasons to attend the event, "but one of them is to see the bump".

He later said of the pregnant Duchess: "She is quite obviously more involved in The Art Room than just having her name on the notepaper.

"The thing about the Art Room is that they've been going for more than a decade now, and it works."

The Art Room currently has six centres at schools in Oxfordshire and London, and two more - in Ealing and Edinburgh - are set to open.

Juli Beattie, founder director of the charity, which helps children from the ages of five to 16, told those at the event: "This is a moving evening for all of us. I think we have done a lot of hard work.

"To see so many people here, in the Duchess's presence, is overwhelming."

She said the children enjoyed being shown around by National Portrait Gallery director Sandy Nairne.

He said of the Duchess: "She knows why art matters and why it has to be supported."

The Art Room launched a new fundraising campaign, Pledge For The Future, at the National Portrait Gallery event.

PA

Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Arts and Entertainment
Image has been released by the BBC
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Henry Marsh said he was rather 'pleased' at the nomination
booksHenry Marsh's 'Do No Harm' takes doctors off their pedestal
Arts and Entertainment
All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'

tv
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne plays Stephen Hawking in new biopic The Imitation Game

'At times I thought he was me'

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
One Direction go Fourth: The boys pose on the cover of their new album Four

Review: One Direction, Four

music
Arts and Entertainment
'Game of Thrones' writer George RR Martin

Review: The World of Ice and Fire

books
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Bean will play 'extraordinary hero' Inspector John Marlott in The Frankenstein Chronicles
tvHow long before he gets killed off?
Arts and Entertainment
Some like it hot: Blaise Bellville

music
Arts and Entertainment
A costume worn by model Kate Moss for the 2013 photograph

art
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Len Goodman appeared to mutter the F-word after Simon Webbe's Strictly performance

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T makes his long-awaited return to the London stage
musicReview: Alexandra Palace, London
Arts and Entertainment
S Club 7 back in 2001 when they also supported 'Children in Need'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth rejoins Tess Daly to host the Strictly Come Dancing Children in Need special
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan plays Christian Grey getting ready for work

Film More romcom than S&M

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

Review: The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
The comedian Daniel O'Reilly appeared contrite on BBC Newsnight last night

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
The American stand-up Tig Notaro, who performed topless this week

Comedy...to show her mastectomy scars

Arts and Entertainment

TVNetflix gets cryptic

Arts and Entertainment
Claudia Winkleman is having another week off Strictly to care for her daughter
TV
Arts and Entertainment
BBC Children in Need is the BBC's UK charity. Since 1980 it has raised over £600 million to change the lives of disabled children and young people in the UK

TV review A moving film showing kids too busy to enjoy their youth

Arts and Entertainment
Richard Flanagan with his winning novel

Books Not even a Man Booker prize could save Richard Flanagan from a nomination

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

    Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

    Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
    Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

    The last Christians in Iraq

    After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
    Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Britain braced for Black Friday
    Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

    From America's dad to date-rape drugs

    Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

    The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
    Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
    Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

    Flogging vlogging

    First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

    US channels wage comedy star wars
    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

    When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
    Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

    Look what's mushrooming now!

    Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
    Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

    More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

    The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

    Oeuf quake

    Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
    Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

    Terry Venables column

    Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
    Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

    Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

    Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin