A new art print, featuring the UK’s most wanted items during the coronavirus pandemic, has been released by Toiletries Amnesty to raise awareness of hygiene poverty.
The artwork, created by multi award-winning printmaker Louise Stebbing, is three-colour linocut design depicting household essentials stockpiled by UK shoppers in the early days of coronavirus, including toilet roll, soap, Baked Beans and hand sanitiser. Its title, Most Wanted, captures the panic buying that swept the nation and led to empty shelves in UK shops.
100% of print sales will be donated to Toiletries Amnesty, a website directory that connects charities and community groups in need of toiletries with people in the community who have unwanted or unused goods to donate. Unlike other hygiene banks, the emphasis is on surplus products that would otherwise go untouched or be sent to landfill. Toiletries Amnesty currently supports more than 150 charities and good causes, including food banks, homeless shelters and hostels, women’s shelters and refuges, and NHS trusts, and is crowd-funding to grow its vital services.
“We are all experiencing drastic changes in our lives, but for some of the people we work with, including women and children in refuges, homeless people, NHS services and those living in poverty, this is a desperate and terrifying time. Alongside the hygiene support, knowing that strangers care can have a really positive impact on peoples lives, and their futures. We operate on a very small budget, our team are entirely volunteers, so the donations you are making from selling these amazing prints really do count, every penny makes a massive difference.” said Karen Harvey, Director, Toiletries Amnesty.
People living in hygiene poverty are among those most affected by the coronavirus pandemic; they may face complex issues such as insecure employment and accommodation, long-term health conditions and a poor diet. Hygiene poverty can also take its toll on their mental health. It is estimated that 14.2 million people live in poverty in the UK*, and there’s no doubt that coronavirus will have worsened these statistics.
The signed Most Wanted print, a chance to support people living in hygiene poverty, is available through Louise’s website in a limited edition of 30 (£85, including postage and packaging). 100 limited edition signed reproductions in A4 also available for those on a tighter budget (£20, including postage and packaging).
Artist Louise Stebbing said:
“’Most Wanted 2020’ was created in response to current global issues and the reaction some people have to such a drastic time. It is about making a remark about the things the public seem to find the most necessary in a time of crisis – almost causing another crisis in their wake. I created the linocut to sell for charity to try to give something back in these hard times.”
Louise Stebbing is a printmaker based in Norfolk, specialising in reduction linocut. Her work has previously been seen at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, and is in the V&A collections. Louise participated in Sky Landscape Artist of the Year 2016, was shortlisted and highly commended for Artists & Illustrators magazine’s Artist of the Year, and is featured in the book Artists in Britain Since 1945 by David Buckman.
Collectors Prints are available to buy now at louisestebbingprintmaker.com.