Child Of is a visual arts project exploring addiction and recovery in a creative and contemporary way through storytelling.
Please can you tell us more about
the Child Of Project?
We intend to be the first Art Activism platform housing addiction and creativity under one roof, aimed at those who find that traditional routes
of help might fail.
We are in the process of building an
e-commerce website that celebrates and promotes the artists we work with and offers insight into different working practices. The common thread being addiction and recovery. We provide advice and links to third party charities and organisations with infrastructures geared to help addicts and their families find support.
We are dedicated to erasing the stigma surrounding addiction and recovery. We use
real-life stories to inspire artworks to illustrate
the value of sharing your experience through
the power of art. Sam D'Cruze, designer, textile artist and Founder of 'Child Of', combines traditional techniques such as tambour beading with painted silk and experiments with shadows and reflection to create multi-dimensional work.
We aim to sell the artworks and related products to fund community projects such as mentoring adults in recovery, helping them to reconnect with their creativity, and therefore themselves, by delivering structured workshops. We have a small mentorship circle and work with an Alternative Provision school in East London one day a week. We Focus on teens from lower
socio-economic backgrounds who do not fit into mainstream schooling. We recently worked on a project called 'We Are The Artist's, We Are The Future', which was exhibited in one of the most prestigious art galleries in the world.
A percentage of profits will go to charities dedicated to helping addicts and their families, such as 'Nacoa ', National Association of Children of Alcoholics and 'Outside Edge', a London theatre group working solely with those touched by addiction.
What inspired you to set up the not-for-profit community?
Since she can remember, Sam has used creativity cathartically in her design work and artistic practice. When her alcoholic father sadly died, she channelled her grief and turned a profoundly upsetting experience into something positive.
The project started with a conversation with British playwright Simon Stephens; he generously shared his story of living with an alcoholic parent and told us about the dream that saved his career and changed his life. Simon's Dream is an illustrated artwork full of humour and resilience which will soon be available to purchase from our website. www.child-of.com
Evolving over five years, the project has developed and gained the support of executive coach and writer Kate Tojeiro. Sam & Kate met at the Houses of Parliament during a conference for 'The National Association for Children of alcoholics' and became firm friends. Kate has opened doors introducing the project to a wealth of people across industries, knowing that addiction knows no bounds and can touch people from all walks of life and backgrounds.
Tell us about your partnership with Saatchi Gallery Learning?
Experiencing a beautiful moment of serendipity, we were introduced to Lala Thorpe, head of Saatchi Gallery Education & Learning at the time. We were invited to the gallery to discuss the project. Sam mentored a small group of women in recovery over zoom during the lockdown, teaching them to sew and develop ideas using textiles. Collaboratively they stitched a textile banner that was presented at the meeting. With the Saatchi Gallery being community focused and driven by inclusivity within the art world, we were offered the exciting opportunity of gallery visits and workshops for the students at LEAP and introduced the project via a month-long exhibition in December 2021. We are proud to say that we have partnered with Saatchi Education & Learning department and we are looking forward to our next collaboration.
How can our readers support the Child Of Project?
'Child Of Project' is in the process of registration to become a 'Community Interest Company' working towards a sustainable business focused on Art Activism & community work: using the power of creativity to direct people to information that could potentially change their lives.
We are a small team at the start of an exciting journey. We are looking for partners who understand the power of art and creativity and share our vision of using business as a catalyst for societal change.
Addiction affects all cultures, religions and class systems; we are passionate about sharing stories from all walks of life. If anyone would like to share their addiction-related stories confidentially, we would love to hear from you. The only way to help break the stigma around a global problem is to unite those suffering with stories of resilience, emphasising they are not alone.
You can also donate to our crowdfund https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/child-of.