An Anglia Ruskin student, who is the granddaughter of a famous Chilean sculptor, has launched a fundraising drive to rescue and repair his works and display them in Cambridge.
She showed one of the sculptures to Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner at Shire Hall on Friday 25 October to help raise awareness of the crowdfunding plea.
Carole Concha Bell’s grandad Santiago Bell arrived in Cambridge in 1975 as a refugee after being expelled from Chile following Augusto Pinochet’s coup of the country. The talented artist exhibited his first sculpture in 1976 at Lion’s Yard. He went on to create hundreds more sculptures from scrap wood, exploring the themes of poverty and injustice.
Sadly, much of his work has fallen into disrepair, having been stored in garages, living rooms and attics. After her Santiago’s death Carole started to track down the pieces one by one, piecing together a history of both the work and the artist’s legacy.
Carole has already raised £3,500 of her £10,000 target to restore the sculptures and put on an exhibition. She says: “We want people to see the work, and we think that Cambridge, the city that Santiago first called home when he reached the UK, is the place to do it. He was a sculptor who believed in the power of art as a transformational tool for both individuals and societies. We aim to restore his sculpture collection and exhibit them in Cambridge, the place of his refuge and where his first piece was exhibited, in an event that we hope, will unite people from all walks of life.
“His inspirational story of perseverance, strength and the belief in community is one that deserves to be remembered.”
Daniel Zeichner MP said: “I am delighted to look at this beautiful sculpture. The message of Santiago’s works about the problems of poverty and injustice are as relevant today as when he first made them.”