Padraig has support for Children in Crossfire down to a very fine art

Padraig Timoney.
Padraig Timoney.

After studying at St Columb’s College and having gained the highest A level in Art in Northern Ireland, Pádraig Timoney graduated from Goldsmiths College, London, in 1991 with a First Class Honours Degree.

Since graduating he has gained a reputation as one of the most important and exciting contemporary artists in the world, with a staggering 31 solo and 85 group shows around the world.

His work plays out his imagination over a dazzling variety of surfaces.

Padraig’s skilful mixing of traditional and unorthodox materials, which he manipulates in order to reveal new and unexpected possibilities constantly challenges his audience whilst pushing the boundaries of his artistic practice.

The Derry artist who is now based in New York, has had a very busy year, with the first critically acclaimed retrospective of his work in London earlier in the year, a major show currently running in New York and a second retrospective planned in Naples in early 2014.

Padraig first got involved with Children in Crossfire in 2007 when he took part in the charity’s most extreme challenge of dog sledding to the Artic Circle.

At temperatures averaging minus 20 degrees the group camped in the wilderness for a week, with a frozen box of ready meals for sustenance and four energetic huskies to get them back to civilisation.

Padraig went on to complete a second Artic Circle challenge for the charity a few years after but it was when the Derry artist travelled to Ethiopia to record and document the charity’s work that he gained an insight into the important impact the charity was having.

Padraig travelled with Richard Moore and Vincent O’Callaghan to Ethiopia in 2010.

Padraig visited St Luke’s to record the graduation of a group of students on Children in Crossfire’s scholarship programme .

Padraig was also able to document the beginning of The NOURISH Campaign.

“There were parts of the work that were too sensitive to photograph. Children being admitted to the programme were very sick, we felt it more sensitive to photograph the children at stage two and three of the programme who had survived.

“Hearing the impact of the programme’s achievements has been very encouraging; it’s a region that really needs the charity’s support.

“Each year in South West Shoa Zone, where the NOURISH Programme is based approximately 1,500 of the 20,500 severely malnourished young children die from malnutrition and related causes, and up to 4,000 may develop some form of disability caused by severe acute malnutrition.

“Food shortages, hunger and malnutrition are ongoing problems in Ethiopia faced by many on a daily basis. Recent figures show that of the estimated 14 million children under the age of 5 years in Ethiopia, 47% have stunted growth and 11% are severely underweight.

“The NOURISH Programme provides nursing staff and rehabilitative food at a therapeutic feeding centre for severely malnourished children, who need emergency treatment.

“It also provides medical equipment for the monitoring and nutritional rehabilitation of young children and teaches parents about appropriate and good feeding practices and how to respond to signs of malnutrition early.”

The charity’s Head of Fundraising JR Mc Laughlin reflected on the importance of having the artist’s support.

“Padraig has given his time and skills to document our work , in doing so he has helped us alleviate the suffering of many children within The NOURISH Programme, we are very proud to be associated with him and to have his support.”