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Artist sisters donate work on the back of an envelope to brain appeal exhibition

PUBLISHED: 13:56 30 October 2020 | UPDATED: 07:51 02 November 2020

Morag and Ishbel Myerscough with Elvis the Dog taking part in The National Brain Appeal's A Letter in Mind

Morag and Ishbel Myerscough with Elvis the Dog taking part in The National Brain Appeal's A Letter in Mind

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Holloway-raised Morag and Ishbel Myerscough now live in Hoxton and Angel respectively but have both contributed works to a fundraising art exhibition for brain diseases

A Letter in Mind by Ishbel MyerscoughA Letter in Mind by Ishbel Myerscough

Born and bred in Islington, sisters Morag and Ishbel Myerscough are both renowned artists who care about the same cause.

For the past few years, they have contributed work on the back of an envelope to The National Brain Appeal’s fundraising art exhibition A Letter in Mind.

It runs this year online with 500 original artworks sold anonymously for just £85 from the likes of Grayson Perry, Dame Zandra Rhodes, Jo Brand, Kevin Eldon, Sophie Thompson, and The Specials lead singer Terry Hall.

All proceeds go towards the charity, which raises money for The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery - a centre of excellence for treating diseases such as brain tumours, epilepsy, stroke, dementia, Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease.

Morag and Ishbel Myerscough in front of Morag's billboard in support of frontline workers both sisters are taking part in the National Brain Appeal's A Letter in Mind exhibitionMorag and Ishbel Myerscough in front of Morag's billboard in support of frontline workers both sisters are taking part in the National Brain Appeal's A Letter in Mind exhibition

Artist and designer Morag lives in Hoxton with her artist partner Luke Morgan and their dog Elvis, while Ishbel is a painter and lives in Angel with her family.

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The theme for this year’s exhibition is ‘Everyday Things’, reflecting on how life has become simpler during lockdown, and the identity of the artworks done on the back of an envelope is revealed once the work is sold.

Known for her colourful installations, Morag’s latest public artwork, A New Now, is in Paris until January and is her response to the phrase “a new normal” - making the most of the here and now and focusing on family, local and global community.

Other recent projects include ‘Our Superheroes We Love You’ Billboards, in support of frontline workers.

“A Letter in Mind is a fantastic idea,” she said. “We love doing it and are excited to be asked. Displaying and selling the artworks anonymously is definitely part of the appeal. You want your piece to be anonymously desirable! It is a good way for artists to feel they can give something, especially at the moment. If you are not working on the front line you can help with your abilities. Coronavirus and lockdown has shown us that people love crafts and drawing. People are desperate to do creative things. Connecting art to health is essential.”

Ishbel, who won the BP Portrait award in 1995 while still a student at The Slade, creates paintings with meticulous detail and observation. Her portrait of the actress Helen Mirren is among several of her works to hang in The National Portrait Gallery She said: “It’s great that the exhibition is anonymous, guessing whose it is makes it more fun! If an artist doesn’t put a name on a piece, they can’t rely on their signature to sell it. They have to work harder. I love the idea of having something precious created on a throwaway thing like an envelope for just £85. We always doodled on envelopes as children. Our mother, if she saw a bird or a cat through the window, would find the nearest thing on the kitchen table to draw them on, usually an envelope. When we were on the bus she would give us one out of her bag for us to draw on. I still have them in my handbag for the same reason.”

The National Brain Appeal’s A Letter in Mind www.aletterinmind.org.

Sales go live via the charity’s online gallery from 11am on November 5.

www.nationalbrainappeal.org


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