Armadillo&Co brand founders Jodie Fried and Sally Pottharst recently hosted a charity fundraising exhibition for The Anganwadi Project: a non-profit Australian charity building simple, safe and sustainable learning spaces for underprivileged children in the urban slums of Gujarat, India.
“We thought what better way to celebrate our own milestone than to share the occasion with our favourite kids, and our favourite colleagues and clients.”
To mark five years of global success, the design duo curated an exhibition of woven artworks created in partnership with the young students at Anganwadi preschools. “We ran a terrific workshop where they made paper collages”, explains Jodie, “which was a riot of colour and pattern as you can imagine.”
Transformed into hand crafted woolen weavings by Armadillo&Co artisans, these framed pieces were then offered up for silent auction at the opening at Mary Place Gallery in Paddington, Sydney. The event attracted as many as 150 guests.
“The results are really visually powerful and very uplifting,” says Sally. “The childlike spontaneity and vibrancy is fully captured.”
The exhibition featured a picture of the child originator with a short biography next to their framed interpreted collage. Further works were then offered for one week on ebay.
General Manager, Caroline Edwards says, “We raised nearly $16,000 which is an enormous effort when a little goes such a long way. We can now afford to build two new schools, and enough to put towards a third.”
Architectural maquettes of three existing schools were also on display, along with a short film about the cause.
Jane Rothschild, The Anganwadi Project Director, explains the harsh reality for thousands of children. “We saw schools housed in tiny, stifling hot, corrugated iron lean-tos with poor light and little ventilation. It’s just impossible for little kids to learn. Our long term goal is to reconstruct and renovate 66 Anganwadi (preschools) to improve lives and build futures.”
Every dollar from the Armadillo&Co exhibition goes directly to the cause.
“We’ve been sponsors since TAP began in 2005”, says Jodie, who is also CEO of The Anganwadi Project. “It relies solely on donations from individuals and companies for funding and volunteers are professionals who pay their own way. What they design and build provides education, hygiene and nutrition to all denominations. But really, they simply bring big smiles to so many little faces.”