It is Biennale tradition to host a Charity Auction during the opening of the exhibition. Over the years, tens of thousand of pounds have been raised and donated to Rotary International's "End Polio Now" Charity, the Salvation Army and London's Air Ambulance. The charity cheque was presented by the Mayors of Kensington and Chelsea; Councillor Christopher Buckmaster in 2013; Councillor Mrs Maighread Condon-Simmonds in 2015; and Councillor Elizabeth Rutherford in 2017. Artworks by artists such as Andy Warhol, Pietro Annigoni and Jose Van Roy Dali have been presented. This year, the auction will be replaced by a raffle.
The London Art Biennale 2019 is honoured by Lady Sophie Windsor who will graciously inaugurate the exhibition and open the vernissage on the 22nd May. Lady Sophie is a person of exceptional creativity, talent and artistic sensitivity who is the perfect ambassador of the Biennale; a celebration of contemporary art showcasing the works of 120 artists representing 40 nations.
Charity is always an important part of the Biennale and Lady Sophie will be the ideal patron to help raise awareness for the Charity raffle held during the opening in which fashions items from international designers such as Emporio Armani, Versace, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein and Michael Kors can be won.
This year, the Biennale will present a project that eloquently connects the worlds of art, virtual reality and mental health to raise funds for Age UK and the Salvation Army in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Kensington and Chelsea. The Biennale will showcase a wonderful 5 year project by Dominic Green M.A FHEA and Danny Bacchus M.A FHEA of Sheffield Hallam University in which they utilise virtual reality to communicate the life of a person with mental health problems. The project was realised with artist Marcel Schreur, thirty year oral cancer and seven year vascular dementia survivor. The aim is to raise awareness and to allow people to experience what it is like to have a serious mental issue.
Lady Sophie will introduce the charitable cause to the Biennale guests and will be the first person to experience the Virtual Reality creation on the 22nd May. The project will be explained by Dominic Green M.A FHEA and Danny Bacchus M.A FHEA. The VR experience will be open to the public the day after the opening, the 23rd May.