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Good Samaritan moved by Gazette story gives £400 to Canonbury artist who had all his gear stolen

PUBLISHED: 12:13 11 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:41 11 August 2017

Artist Gary Power with Tim Sayer. Picture: Polly Hancock

Artist Gary Power with Tim Sayer. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

We live in a borough blighted by inequality, where it’s nearly impossible for most people to own their own home and unsafe to even think about using mobile phones in public. But it ain’t all so bad in Islington.

Artist Gary Power with Tim Sayer admiring Gary's watercolours. Picture: Polly HancockArtist Gary Power with Tim Sayer admiring Gary's watercolours. Picture: Polly Hancock

From the volunteers who produce the “talking newspaper” for the blind, to the communities which recently rallied to help victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster, Islington is about its people.

And Highbury man Tim Sayer proved this once again yesterday, when he made an off-the-cuff £400 donation to artist Gary Power.

As reported by the Gazette yesterday, street artist Gary had all of his painting gear nicked in Canonbury last Thursday.

Quick-thinking PCSO Garry Dwyer got in touch with us in an appeal to recover the equipment, which included Gary’s latest work in progress, easel, trolley, pallet, paint and brushes.

The 52-year-old, of Colebeck Mews, relies on his Canonbury street scene paintings as his main source of income, as he is a full-time carer for his disabled wife. He had to take out a £400 loan to buy more equipment.

While the original equipment has yet to be recovered, Gary has at least been able to pay off his loan thanks to 71-year-old Tim, of Battledean Road.

Artist Gary Power with Tim Sayer. Picture: Polly HancockArtist Gary Power with Tim Sayer. Picture: Polly Hancock

“I was moved by the Gazette article,” he said. “My wife and I were upset reading it. It was such a selfish act by whoever did it, a mean and spiteful thing to do.

“We felt very sorry for Gary, and his wife. We could just about afford the £400, so we gave it to him.”

Gary said: “Tim’s call was a great surprise. I didn’t really think anything would come of the story.

“It’s what I like about human nature. It shows people do matter. We like helping each other out when things go amiss.

“It’s just great to be back out in Canonbury, painting again.”

Gary gave Tim a couple of watercolour paintings as a token of thanks. They added to Tim’s massive collection of over 500 works. As previously reported in the Gazette, he has pledged to give them to the Hepworth Gallery in Yorkshire when he dies.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Gary’s original supplies can call PCSO Garry Dwyer on 020 8345 0362.

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