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THIS PAGE IS FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO MAKE A FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION TO DIRECTLY HELP THE HOMELESS MAN IN THE PAINTING 'EIGHT MILES AWAY', but who do NOT want to order a copy of the painting. Print orders can be made at www.tonymills.com
The Story behind ‘Eight Miles Away’
An elderly man has slept in the bus shelter in the painting for the last year on the main Brighton seafront road. Many are deeply touched by his poise, calmness and resilience. I give him the occasional hot meal and a little cash, but have felt driven with wondering how to help him on a completely different level.
So I did the only thing I knew how to: I painted his picture, knowing that I would direct any money that came from selling it into trying to get him off the street. (‘Eight Miles Away’ refers to the new wind farm eight miles out to sea behind where he sleeps, which ironically generates warmth for 430,000 homes.)
I cannot solve the problem of homelessness, but maybe I can help one good man. I am getting expert advice from reputable charities on what any funds I raise could be used for. Despite major evidence that this hard life is really taking its toll, the man in the painting is often adamant he is fine.To rebuild his self-esteem, trust and ability to look forward again will not be an overnight change. But money will certainly be needed; he has just one set of clothes that he wears in all weathers and carries everything he owns wherever he walks.
Conversations with this homeless man are not easy, but through it all, there is always a sparkle in his eye and a smile whenever I talk to him. He is teaching me a lot about dignity. I am not an expert on homelessness. I am a painter. This is one small painting to help one mighty man.
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About the fundraiser
Tony Mills is a painter whose atmospheric and evocative images have sold all over the world. His inspirations are not just physical landscapes themselves but most especially the greater sense of spirituality governing them, as well as feelings that come from human relationships.
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