Mackenzie Thorpe Painting Raises £27,000 | Cruse Bereavement Care

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Mackenzie Thorpe Painting Raises £27,000

One of Britain’s bestselling artists, Mackenzie Thorpe, has donated the proceeds of his latest  painting A Light in the Storm, to Cruse Bereavement Care, the UK’s largest bereavement charity. The charity will also be holding a raffle offering people the chance to win a special print of the artwork. 

The painting, inspired by the Yellow Hearts to Remember campaign, aims to honour and remember everyone lost to the coronavirus pandemic. It depicts people with hands connected around a yellow heart, symbolising lost loved ones. Mackenzie was inspired to create the piece after being touched by the story of a woman whose father had died suddenly to coronavirus, and wanted to do his part of help. 124 prints, cards and the original have now been sold, in total raising over £27,500 for Cruse. 

The original was bought by Newcastle based Susan Jopling, who has first-hand experience of dealing with grief during the pandemic when her father sadly died in April 2020, just at the start of the pandemic. It was coming up to the first year anniversary of the death of her father when Susan, a trustee of a local charity herself, decided to buy the artwork after reading about it in her local paper a few months prior. The story behind it strongly resonated with her, and the artwork is a way for her to remember both her father and the experiences of the previous year. It now sits proudly in her living room. 

A way of remembering every person lost 

Mackenzie Thorpe said: 

“As the pandemic unfolded, we all heard so many tragic stories, alongside daily tales of people going above and beyond the call of duty to help others. By comparison I felt I had little to contribute. All I can do is paint. So when I heard a really sad story about the sudden loss of a much loved father and husband from Covid 19, it connected with me and I was inspired to paint  'A Light in the Storm' as a way of remembering and acknowledging every person lost; each one an individual with their own unique story, each one loved a precious light within their own families, who would not and should not be forgotten.   

“From this came the idea to raise much needed funds for Cruse Bereavement Care as my way of helping to make a bit of a difference. The demand from people both in the UK and internationally was huge and I am eternally grateful to all those individuals who connected with the image and helped raise so much money to so Cruse can continue with their amazing work supporting bereaved people.” 

Susan Jopling said: 

“Mackenzie’s painting for me is a reminder of what we have all been through in the last year, as well as a wonderful tribute to my late Father. I’m so proud to own such a poignant piece of artwork, with such an important story. I'm also delighted that the proceeds are going to Cruse, allowing many more people to access bereavement support.” 

Jonathan Duke, Head of Public Fundraising at Cruse Bereavement Care said: 

“We are incredibly grateful to Mackenzie Thorpe for choosing Cruse to receive the proceeds from his incredibly painting. We also want to thank everyone who bought a print or card, and particularly to Susan who bought the original. 

“The coronavirus pandemic has made it a particularly difficult time to be grieving, making access to bereavement support more important than ever. The money raised will enable us to continue to grow our services and ensure we are accessible to as many people as possible.” 

There is still one remaining print of the artwork, which Cruse are holding a raffle for to decide the lucky winner. To enter the raffle, please visit the website here.