HITZ Fierce like a Lion Art Exhibition - Viewing Evening Thursday 2nd September Bath Rugby Foundation HITZ students, in conjunction with Abbey Hotel Bath ArtBAr and their Artist in Residence, Emma Taylor, is thrilled to announce the 'Viewing Evening' for it's community exhibition entitled, ‘Fierce like a Lion’, taking place on Thursday 2nd September 5-8pm. If you don't live in Bath, or are unable to make this date, then fear not...... You can view the full exhibition and purchase some incredible artwork via our online auction here -https://www.jumblebee.co.uk/theabbeyhotelbathsfiercelikealionexhibiton Emma, along with other popular local artists worked with Bath Rugby HITZ students throughout the second lockdown, to create meaningful pieces of art that depict the wonderful work of Bath Rugby Foundation and showcases the positive impact that it has had on their young lives. Emma Taylor, Royal Photographer Joe Short and Bath creative Jason Dorley-Brown spent time with the young learners creating a collaborative piece of work; an incredible collage lion which now hangs as a focal point as part of the exhibition in the Hotel’s ArtBar. The final collage is based on an original painting by Emma depicting the Bath Rugby Lion and the famous Blue, Black and White stripes, signifying courage, strength and resilience - all the attributes these fantastic young learners have in abundance. Emma Taylor, Artist in Residence said, “It was so inspiring to see how much the young learners threw themselves into this project, illustrating in total 285 card tiles! Their enthusiasm was infectious. By doing this, it enabled them to collaborate together, enhancing their confidence and giving them a platform to be able to express themselves.” Sarah Moon, Marketing & PR Consultant comments, “As a hotel, we are always looking for opportunities to support the local community; the events of the past year have only exacerbated our desire to offer our help and support where possible to local charities and organisations that need it most. We know that Bath Rugby Foundation have worked tirelessly during the Covid-19 pandemic to support young people within our local community and so this was an obvious collaboration for us to make, not only to be able to support with fundraising but to also offer a public platform for the students to display their creative and inspirational work. POSITIVE IMPACT OF ART During the artists time working with Bath Rugby Foundation HITZ learners, it was clear to see the positive impact that art can have on young people. It encouraged critical thinking, allowed them to express themselves and importantly acted as a constructive distraction from the ongoing anxieties of life by creating a real sense of achievement and purpose. For many, it was also about being able to do something positive, in a relaxed, calm environment and being able to chat to friends, whilst ‘creating’. The artists involved in the project found that many of the young learners felt that they were not capable of doing something creative, so these sessions really helped them gain confidence in themselves. Visitors to the exhibition will see that all of the artwork is truly inspiring. Mia Suter – Bath Rugby HITZ Officer said, “Bath Rugby HITZ supports young adults 16-24 years of age who are not in employment, education or training. Learners who are enrolled with us sign up to educational courses delivered through our partner organisation SCL, as well as gaining a qualification we deliver enrichment lessons to aid the development of teamwork, respect, enjoyment discipline and sportsmanship. Learners often join HITZ following school dropout and in need of support. We recruit from areas across BANES and Wiltshire and work closely with local organisations to offer work experience opportunities, support with homelessness, substance misuse and life skills. Relationships with local business are vital to the overall development and progression of our young people. Having Emma, Joe and Jason in to work with our young people has offered them new skills, experiences in the art industry and the chance to express themselves in a new way. Emma, Joe and Jason were so brilliant with our learners, they took time to get know each learner and even dedicated time after the project to volunteer weekly hours to run art sessions.” Lynne Fernquest – Bath Rugby Foundation CEO comments, “What a wonderful collaboration that shows what an incredible difference people make when they work together and have a common objective. School didn’t work for our students for many complex reasons, so to see them producing artwork with experts and for that artwork to be displayed in such an iconic setting is beyond their wildest dreams. “For nearly 18 years Bath Rugby Foundation has been working with children and young people in our community who have had the toughest start in life. We build confidence, develop life skills and help them create a pathway to independence. None of this would be possible without strong relationships with wonderful like-minded partners like Abbey Hotel Bath.” Both Abbey Hotel Bath & Bath Rugby Foundation are extremely grateful to Knight Frank for kindly sponsoring this exhibition. Knight Frank are a leading global property services company and just like the hotel, their Bath office have always been very engaged and supportive within the local community. In the past they have sponsored the Bath RFC Juniors and Ladies team, so feel very fortunate that they’re able to sponsor this Exhibition and support Bath Rugby Foundation in this way. Charlie Taylor, Office Head of Knight Frank Bath, comments; “We are delighted to be supporting this exhibition which not only will help to raise funds for the charity, but also ats as a collaborative and confidence enhancing project for the Foundation’s young learners to be involved in.” The student’s art pieces are available to view and purchase, alongside artwork created by Emma Taylor, Jason Dorley Brown, Joe Short & Phil Cloak. ‘Fierce like a Lion’ exhibition will run until Monday 6th September in the ArtBar and until Sunday 19th September online, with 40% of sales going directly to Bath Rugby Foundation and the remaining 60% going straight to the artist. Admission into the ArtBar to view the exhibition is FREE between 10am & 10pm daily - everyone is welcome.