Northumberland artist Wilson Smith is selling his entire collection of paintings, new and old, to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity. Over 50 paintings will be on sale at an exhibition, entitled Painting for Alzheimer’s, at Bellingham Town Hall on 29 and 30 August. Mainly in oil, the paintings include landscapes, portraits, large abstract canvasses and a series of copies of Toulouse-Lautrec’s work.
Wilson, 78, was devastated when his wife Jean died with Alzheimer’s three years ago. Since then he’s found comfort in his love for painting and is determined to continue to raise desperately needed funds for research into this devastating disease. His talent as an artist was first noticed when he was just ten years old and he was presented to the Prime Minister of the time, Sir Winston Churchill.
Based in West Woodburn, near Hexham, Wilson explained his motivation for supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK:
“Watching Jean slip away with Alzheimer’s was one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced. So much more needs to be understood about this cruel disease and it can only be achieved through research. I felt helpless as Jean was gradually robbed of her precious memories and independence. Towards the end she couldn’t walk or talk and finally she couldn’t eat or drink – there was no way out.
“The sale of my paintings is dedicated to all those people who are living with this devastating disease. Every penny raised through the sale of my work will go to Alzheimer’s Research UK to help them progress with their pioneering research. Words can’t describe how much I want to see new treatments and a cure for this disease so that other people don’t have to suffer.”
Miranda Mays, Community Fundraising Manager for Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We really appreciate Wilson’s continued support and wish him every success with his art exhibition. Every £20 raised through the sale of his paintings will pay for another vital hour of research, bringing us closer to finding ways to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
“Over 4,000 people in Northumberland are living with dementia today and 820,000 across the UK, with numbers forecast to increase significantly in the next generation. Research is the only answer but funding lags far behind that of other serious diseases. We rely entirely on our wonderful supporters like Wilson to fund our world-class research.”
The Painting for Alzheimer’s exhibition takes place from 9.00am-5.00pm on Monday and Tuesday 29 and 30 August, at Bellingham Town Hall, 19 Hillside, Bellingham, Hexham, Northumberland NE48 2RU. Entrance is £3 and includes a catalogue of the paintings.