Artist’s global work to raise funds after Nepal earthquakes

Kora - Gaynor O'Flynn

Kora - Gaynor O'Flynn - Credit: Archant

A cross disciplinary artist, who has worked with thousands of creatives including Bjork and Martin Creed, has galvanised the art industry into creating a series of projects to aid Nepal after the recent earthquakes.


Gaynor - Credit: Archant

Gaynor O’Flynn, 50 of Foulden Road, Stoke Newington, launched Artists for Nepal to encourage her network of artists, musicians, filmmakers, curators and festival managers to produce works to aid Nepal’s non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

The death toll has risen to more than 8,000 from the two earthquakes that hit Nepal this past month.”

Ms O’Flynn said: “If you look at the website, people can donate to everybody, from the Disasters Emergency Committee, to local small charities like the Karma Flights, paragliders who are based in Pokhara who can act quickly.”

The scheme aims to raise awareness about the situation in Nepal and there are now more than 150 events globally from Istanbul to Mexico in aid of the cause.

Whether artists are creating postcards, exhibitions or performances, all the money raised is going to an NGO of the organiser’s choice.

Ms O’Flynn has worked in the Himalayas for many years and curates the British Chapter of the Kathmandu International Art Festival.

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She said: “I have worked in Nepal and with the Tibetan community in exile for more than 20 years. I decided to initiate something when the [first] earthquake happened. I love the philosophy, the people, culture and the mountains.

She added: “I am going to launch a new work based on something I did previously. I did a work called Kora on the Boudhanath Stupa UNESCO world heritage site, where Tibetan nuns chanted and their voices would turn into light, which was projected onto the stupa. You see sound in real time, and see this ancient chanting in real time, so I am going to revisit the artwork, where people can give me their name and I can sing their name and put it in lights in the stupa – they can get an individual print to raise more funds.”

She added: “There is this tradition with the nuns, linked to quantum physics, where sound has the power to transform the mind and so if you see sound it has a deep meditative effect. It is all about trying to show how interconnected we are while still having a good sense of yourself and your own role in the group.”

Ms O’Flynn said it was important to think about how art helps society and regeneration.

She said: “If we can just keep awareness going, that’s what we want to do in Hackney. We would ask people to stage their own events, whatever you want to do in the arts.

“There are so many art events going on and if they can keep happening over the summer there will be a real need to keep that money going as well.”

Ms O’Flynn has spoken at Digital Shoreditch and will be appearing at global art fair, ART15 on Saturday and at Glastonbury festival to speak about Artists for Nepal.

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