Leading artist “proud” to support local charity

The Pear Tree Fund

A leading textile artist has described her pride at being able to support a much-loved local charity after loaning several striking pieces of artwork to the Pear Tree Centre in Halesworth.

Jo Budd, whose studio is in Bungay, has loaned six pieces to the centre, all of which have been inspired by the Waveney valley and Suffolk coastline. The Pear Tree Fund charity, which runs the centre, has also purchased four of Jo’s works to add warmth and colour to the walls and create a homely environment for visitors to enjoy when the centre reopens next month.

Jo chose to loan the pieces to the Pear Tree Fund, which was formerly known as the Halesworth Community Nursing Care Fund, after visiting the centre before lockdown and taking inspiration from the space.

“On visiting the building, I was immediately struck by what a well-designed, open, airy and modern space it was, but felt the walls would really benefit from that extra touch of colour and warmth that textiles could add,” said Jo. “I was also deeply impressed by the dedication and teamwork that had made the vision a reality.

“Having already completed a number of commissions for medical centres and hospitals, I know how important artworks can be in uplifting, complementing and bringing a building to life. I had so many pieces to choose from that the idea to loan a selection to such a worthy cause seemed obvious. When hung, it almost looked as if the work had been made for the space.

“Water is always present in my work, and has been a recurring subject since I moved to a studio overlooking the water meadows in Bungay 25 years ago. It is a deeply soothing and meditative theme, with many layers, depths and resonances making it a suitably calming influence for a healing space. I hope that visitors and staff will absorb some of this feeling.

“I am very proud to be able to offer my artwork to the Pear Tree Centre after such a sustained effort of planning and vision by the charity’s dedicated team.”

The Pear Tree Centre opened earlier this year next to Cutlers Hill Surgery in Halesworth following an extensive fundraising drive. It offers a wide variety of services to people with life-limiting illnesses and their families, including help understanding a diagnosis, counselling, financial and benefits advice and bereavement support.

The centre has temporarily been shut since March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but is due to reopen in August.

Seva Newrick, Pear Tree Centre manager, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Jo for lending us these fantastic pieces for display at the Pear Tree Centre. They help enhance the sense of calm in the centre and will help us make sure the environment is as homely and relaxing as possible.

“We hope that our visitors enjoy the artwork when we reopen the centre’s doors later this year.”

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