Renowned British artist Nat Bowen has donated one of her colourful pieces to the Butterfly Ball Monaco auction to raise money for Caudwell Children. Selma Day talks to her about why she has decided to support this particular charity
How and why did you get involved with Caudwell Children?
A dear friend of mine was on the committee for the Butterfly Ball in Monaco last year so I came about the charity via her connection. It is important to me to make positive change by using my art as a way to give back and to spread a message of hope and positivity at the same time. On learning more about Caudwell Children and the wonderful work they do for children and their families, I knew immediately it was a cause I wanted to support so I reached out and offered one of my artworks for auction at this year’s event.
What is so special about this charity?
Caudwell Children has transformed the lives of more than 50,000 disabled children over the last two decades by providing the services, equipment, therapies and treatment they need. The charity’s overheads are covered by founder John Caudwell with 100 per cent of all donations going directly to support the children and their families, maximising the difference made to their lives.
Can you tell me about the piece you are providing for the Butterfly Ball Monaco auction?
I have donated ‘Beam’, one of my large-scale resin artworks measuring 150 x 180 cm painted especially for the auction. I use colour as a way to communicate non verbally so I have used an array of bright, high-energy colours in this piece to send out a positive message.
Can art help to transform the lives of disadvantaged children?
Caudwell Children’s in-house experts take a multi-sensory approach to autism assessments, occupational therapy and a whole range of other services that support disabled children. Whether that’s by using visual aids to help children with their understanding and assist with transitioning from one task to the next, or offering children opportunities to explore their own creativity at the charity’s short breaks activity clubs.
Have you always been creative and interested in art – even as a child?
The need to express myself visually is something that has always been within me and I have been painting, drawing and making things since I was a child. I come from a family of creatives so it’s in my genes. I was the child at school who wanted to do art class all day long and had their artwork hanging in the headteacher’s office. As an adult, I’ve used painting as a form of therapy and I can see how creative expression benefits my wellbeing and mental health. I advise everyone to find a creative outlet in their lives.
How would you describe your art?
I am known for my vibrant, large-scale resin artworks and my smaller trademarked Fragments. My work is based around Chromology, the psychology of colour, and the way the brain processes colour and the emotional impact this has on the body and mind. I use colour and form as a way to communicate my emotions although the physical and emotional response of the viewer to my work may vary depending on their own perceptions and personal experiences.
Colour has the power to alter one’s state of mind and can be used to create energy shifts from within. We are all aware of the positive effects sunlight has on our wellbeing and colour can have an impact in a similar way. As a beautiful piece of music can change the emotional state of a person, so can colour.
“Colour has the power to alter one's state of mind and can be used to create energy shifts from within”
What advice would you give to young, budding artists?
Enjoy experimenting with different mediums, techniques and processes and when you find your own style, try to master it. Don’t be fearful of a blank canvas. There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to art so stay true to yourself and create according to what you feel from within. Not everybody has to like what you do so have faith in yourself.
Are you looking forward to the Butterfly Ball? Have you attended past events?
This will be my first Butterfly Ball and I’m thrilled to be a part of the event. I am known for wearing bright, colourful outfits so look out for my ball gown. You won’t miss me!
Will you be taking part in the Cycle Monte Carlo event?
Yes! It’s been a while since I’ve cycled such a distance but I’m looking forward to seeing the sights of Monaco by bike and raising money for Caudwell Children at the same time. I will be adding a link to my JustGiving page on my website for anyone who would like to sponsor me and show their support.
Do you spend much time in Monaco and Mayfair?
The house I share with my husband in London is next to Hyde Park so I like to walk to Mayfair through the park when I need time out from painting at the studio. I often spend holidays in the South of France in the villages around St Tropez and Provence so I usually tie this in with a few days in Monaco.
What are your favourite places in Mayfair?
I enjoy shopping on Bond Street and taking note of the ever-changing window displays which are like art installations in themselves. I particularly like the Louis Vuitton store which is a fashion boutique come art gallery. I studied fashion design at the London College of Fashion and worked as a designer and model before becoming a professional artist so I love it when fashion and art collide. I hope to do a collaboration with a fashion house at some point in the future.
My husband and I love eating out and we are spoilt for choice with restaurants in Mayfair. We like going for steak at Wolfgang Puck’s CUT restaurant at 45 Park Lane where I have my Chromadelic exhibition.
What are your favourite places in Monaco?
In Monaco I like the bars and restaurants around the Larvotto Beach area which is where this year’s Butterfly Ball will be hosted at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel. I don’t think I could ever tire of the American Bar at the Hotel de Paris and Buddha Bar has always been a favourite of mine.
I also like to visit during the Grand Prix in May. Eddie Jordan is a collector of mine and he says he was drawn to my work because it reminds him of the racing car colours.
Mayfair Times will once again be a media partner for the annual Butterfly Ball Monaco which will take place later this month (September 25) at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel. The prestigious event will raise money for Caudwell Children – a charity run by Mayfair-based entrepreneur and philanthropist John Caudwell and his partner Modesta Vzesniauskaite that aims to transform the lives of disabled children in the UK and act as a safety net for families who are unable to get the help they need.
Guests will enjoy a three-courses dinner and entertainment in the stunning setting of the hotel’s Le Jardin Méditerranéen, ensuring a Covid-safe environment.
Last year, the gala dinner raised over £1,000,000, which has gone a long way in providing life-changing support for many children and families at a time when fundraising was especially hard and the charity faced huge gaps in its fundraising income.
The Butterfly Ball Monaco will also celebrate the achievements of Caudwell Children’s sixth cycle challenge taking place the day before the gala.
For more information about the gala dinner and Cycle with the Champions 2021 event, visit caudwellchildren.com
The auction will be open for viewing and bids on at caudwellchildren.com/butterfly-ball-monaco/
Alternatively, a copy of the auction guide can be requested by contacting Caudwell Children’s events team.