Minette Bell Macdonald’s recent ‘Immerse’ exhibition, at the Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries, included eight large paintings symbolising different aspects of the conflict.
The pieces were available for people to bid on, and a grand total of £4000 ended up being raised. Of this, £3500 went directly to Sunflower Scotland, a Scottish charity working in Ukraine, where it is now directly benefitting soldiers and civilians on the frontline, and £500 was donated to help a Ukrainian refugee currently living in Lockerbie.
Minette would like to express her sincere thanks to those who bid for and purchased the pieces. Her paintings came into being after she spent time helping to pack supplies and ship them off to the Eastern European country soon after war first broke out.
Minette said: “I spent six days packing boxes, people were just dumping donations. We had medical supplies, baby supplies and sanitary supplies.
“After that I just had the sense of – this could be us. What would it be like to suddenly have to flee? Life as you know it completely over.
“That had a big effect on me. I was left with a very big sense of sadness.”
Minette went on to produce eight large paintings symbolising different parts of the conflict. Horses were blinkered and the people were blindfolded, symbolising their unknown destination. The clothing they wore was designed to show the vulnerability that they faced and the animals painted were a nod to those left behind.
She added: “I had no intention of ever making any money out of the paintings. It was a release for me to paint them.
“The £3500 bought medical supplies for battalions and people living on the frontline. The last £500 I gave to a Ukrainian lady who lives in Lockerbie.
“A lot of people were really intent on helping Ukraine, it seemed the right thing to do by putting the paintings in the exhibition.
“I didn’t expect to raise nearly as much. I was really over the moon at people’s generosity.”