The Story Behind the Estée Lauder Hearts

The Story Behind the Estée Lauder Hearts

 

The challenges of creating and transporting lipstick hearts! 

 

This week a whole lot of hearts arrived at the offices of various magazines around the country. They were painted with Estee Lauder lipstick and, as the little note on the back explains, half the proceeds goes to Lawyers Against Abuse.

All of this began back in June 2012, when Sheetal Vallabh wandered by chance into Design Frame Studio in Parkhurst, where I was having my work framed for my first solo exhibition at Velo in Braamfontein.

Sheetal is on the board of Lawyers Against Abuse, a new NGO founded by Professor Bonita Meyersfeld in 2011. I learned that Bonnie and her small team spend many hours in courts assisting girls and women let down by the system – raped by teachers, abused by boyfriends. This is my favourite of the stories of the survivors they’ve helped – you’ll find “Daddy, I was strong!” the painting inspired by it here.

It occurred to me that I could help doing something I love, and that’s when the idea for the 16 Days of Action art auction to coincide with 16 Days of Activism came about: using my very unusual medium to raise funds for an organization that tackles gender-based violence.

You can read more about the paintings I created specifically for the event here.

In the mean time, I met Lulu Ndevu of Estée Lauder and shared my story with her. Later I also got to meet Kerry Evans along with Aspasia Karras of Marie Claire. Lulu and Kerry commissioned me to paint a whole collection of lipstick hearts as gifts in time for the festive season. Appropriately enough, the hearts were all beautifully mounted at Design Frame in Parkhurst, the place that unwittingly catalysed my getting involved with Lawyers Against Abuse all those months ago.

I am donating half of my proceeds from the hearts to Lawyers Against Abuse to assist them to help even more women and children in 2013. Together with the 16 Days event, I hope that these hearts help put them on the map. They deserve our support, and I’m thrilled that Estée Lauder has given me the opportunity to help such dedicated people using something I love doing.

Thank you to Lulu and Kerry for making this possible. Here’s to the power of love, beauty and creativity.