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In a heartwarming event that highlights the resilience and creativity of a young artist, 9-year-old Poppy Blackburn from Fairford is set to fulfill her lifelong dream of displaying her artwork at a solo exhibition. This remarkable event has been made possible by the charity Make-A-Wish UK, taking place at Christie's renowned auction house on King Street. The exhibition, which runs from May 19th to May 23rd, features 18 of Poppy's vibrant and unique paintings, carefully curated with her input.

Photograph courtesy of Christie's

Among the highlights is a piece titled Friendship Patterns (2024), created in collaboration with her friends. Additionally, a chandelier-like display of her work Beads of Courage (2024) will be showcased with each bead symbolising a significant moment in her medical journey, from hospital visits to treatments.

Poppy’s mother Stephanie shared the profound impact of art on her daughter's life, stating, “The world of art took her out of the hospital room and into her imagination.” This sentiment underscores the therapeutic power of art, which has provided Poppy with an emotional escape and a sense of normalcy during her treatments.

From top to bottom, left to right: Poppy Blackburn, Sunset over the Sea, 2024, Unchartered Waters, 2024, Friendship Patterns, 2024

In a bid to give back, Poppy will be raising funds for Make-A-Wish UK through an online auction of her artwork. Open to the public from May 18th to May 31st, the auction aims to generate vital funds to help grant wishes for other critically ill children. Batia Ofer, art collector and the founder of the Art of Wishes, commented, “Poppy is such an inspiring, talented young artist. Her wish symbolises the power of art and wishes in enabling children to escape the reality of a critical illness.”

The exhibition has also garnered support from established artists like Chantal Joffe, Ben Lowe, and Hannah Shergold, who welcomed Poppy into their studios to prepare for her show.

Jason Suckley, Chief Executive of Make-A-Wish UK, praised the collaboration, saying, “It has been an incredible joy seeing Poppy's wish realised. We’re proud to partner with Christie’s and the Art of Wishes to grant this once-in-a-lifetime experience.” Katharine Arnold, Vice Chairman of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Europe at Christie’s, added, “We are honoured to present this special exhibition and auction of Poppy's work. This collaboration aims to raise awareness and create a positive impact for Poppy and other children in need.”

The exhibition not only marks a milestone in Poppy's artistic journey but also celebrates her resilience and the power of community support in fulfilling dreams. For more information about the auction and to view Poppy's artwork, visit there online auction here.


Emma Lee is an arts news journalistShe has written for Vogue, The Art Newspaper and The Financial Times and specialises in art news and art market analysis.


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