Phill Jupitus
The first-ever fundraiser auction of over 40 artist-designed plates for Children’s Hospices Across Scotland – better known as CHAS – will take place on Thursday 3rd October at South Block Gallery, Glasgow. The auction will take place at 8pm, with wine and canapé reception at 7pm and tickets are available here.

Step Up To The Plate Glasgow will showcase work from some of Scotland’s most prominent artists, including June Carey, Adrian McMurchie, Annette Edgar, Lara Scobie, Hazel Nagl, Ross Muir and Celie Byrne; alongside arty celebrities such as Phill Jupitus who has donated a self-portrait, and Susan Calman, taking off in a different direction from her razor-sharp comedy, to create her masterpiece. Most recently, founding Buzzcocks drummer John Maher – who is now a photographer based in the Outer Hebrides – donated a plate for auction.

An online catalogue will be made available from 23rd September, with a preview exhibition commencing this week, which will allow potential buyers to view original one-off work.

Susan Calman

Organised by Glasgow School of Art Ceramics graduate and mixed media artist Barbara Bates, the idea for Step Up To The Plate Glasgow was first conceived two years ago. She and her husband Simon have run Cafe Ceramico, a ceramic painting cafe in East Kilbride since 2003, and she decided to mark the 15th anniversary of the business by organising a fundraiser for CHAS, who they have worked with and supported for six years.

Both CHAS and Barbara have been overwhelmed by the generosity of those showing their support for the project; the South Block Gallery who stepped up to the plate early on, by offering their gallery space at a knock-down rate; the hospitality on the night being covered by sponsors; and the response of artists who have been willing to give their time and talent for a fantastic cause.

Painting on plates has been an art-form for thousands of years, and as a tradition, it is still embraced by artists. As Grace Cook wrote in her article in her recent Financial Times article Feast your eyes on these plates:

‘The plate as an artwork is not new. Pablo Picasso designed 633 ceramic works between 1947 and 1971 — one of his plates reached £62,500 at a Christie’s online auction in June.’

While some of the plates in Step Up To The Plate Glasgow may not fetch such sky-high figures, there will certainly be LOTS of interest in what will be a diverse line-up with more than a few illustrious names. A dazzling array of art being served up indeed!

Hayley Smith, Assistant Community Fundraiser for CHAS said:

“We are honoured that Barbara and so many spectacular artists have given their time and skill to this project. It’s a lovely idea, drawing talent from all over the country together for a common purpose. We owe all involved a debt of gratitude for everything they’ve done and continue to do to raise money for CHAS.”

“All proceeds that the artists raise will go towards the sustainability of care that CHAS gives to so many babies, children, young people and their families, whether it’s dedicated nurse care, a week of respite, a simple meal or a hydrotherapy session.”

In Scotland, nearly 16,000 children and young people live with life-shortening conditions and CHAS is determined to reach every family who needs its services. CHAS works across Scotland, able to provides its hospice services nation-wide for babies, children and young people with life-shortening conditions. CHAS offers palliative, respite and end-of-life care from Rachel House in Kinross and Robin House in Balloch.

The CHAS at Home service supports families with the services of a hospice yet in their own homes across the whole of Scotland. Through its Diana Children’s Nurses working in hospitals across the country, they can support families and clinical teams.

Many of the plates are available to view via the Step Up To The Plate Instagram here.