Help transform our new helical staircase into an everlasting artwork

by Leighton House Museum, Greater London

Oneness (study), Shahrzad Ghaffari, 2018.


£26,050 raised
218 funders

Funded 19 November 2020

0% funded

150% funded

Can you help us bring Oneness, a spectacular and unique contemporary art commission, to the walls of the new wing at Leighton House?

Leighton House is one of the most extraordinary Victorian buildings in the country, the vision of Frederic, Lord Leighton (1830-1896), President of the Royal Academy, who lived there for 30 years. Behind its unassuming exterior lies a kaleidoscope of art forms, ideas and cultural references, expressed most vividly in the Arab Hall, lined with exquisite tiles from Syria, Turkey and Iran.

The Arab Hall © Leighton House Museum, RBKC. Image courtesy of Will Pryce

For the past year, we have been carrying out much-needed works to the unsympathetic 20th-century additions made to Leighton’s home. New visitor facilities, exhibition spaces, a purpose-built collections store, a dedicated learning suite and a stunning helical staircase will harmoniously interconnect with the historic house and garden. Thanks to a new lift, for the first time we will be able to introduce disabled access to all parts of the museum.

This ambitious project will ensure the long-term sustainability of the house while preserving its historic fabric, but to complete the final piece of this transformative endeavour, we need your support.

We need to raise £17,300 to create Oneness, a spectacular 11-metre-high mural that will decorate the walls of the grand helical staircase in the new wing. The piece, by Iranian artist Shahrzad Ghaffari, will be the first contemporary artwork on permanent display at Leighton House, giving new life to the interlacing of East and West which is such a key part of Frederic Leighton’s unique legacy.

In Oneness Ghaffari draws on a 13th-century Persian poem by Rumi exploring universal themes of love and knowledge, weaving words into abstract form. The central visual motif, the turquoise calligraphic brushstrokes, pays homage to the traditional designs of the Middle-Eastern tiles in Leighton’s Arab Hall while its spiralling form echoes the helical structure of the staircase. The mural will bring a fresh perspective on the fusion of cultures and the close relationship between art and architecture found in the Victorian interiors at Leighton House, creating ‘Oneness’ between the past, the present and the future of the museum.

Oneness (study), Shahrzad Ghaffari, 2018. Recreation of the mural situ, at the helical staircase in the new wing. Images courtesy of the artist

With your help we can secure Ghaffari’s masterpiece for permanent display in time for our reopening next year, so that Oneness becomes an everlasting symbol of the museum’s commitment to a future of engagement, inclusivity and openness. In return for your donation, you will be able to choose from a range of wonderful bespoke rewards inspired by both this beautiful artwork and Leighton’s treasures.

Be part of this exciting opportunity to mark this new chapter in the story of the museum:

Please donate today and bring Oneness to Leighton House, forever transforming our new helical staircase into an immersive artwork full of hope, beauty and ambition. We cannot do it without you!

Shahrzad Ghaffari in her studio. Image courtesy of the artist


5 Great Reasons to Create Oneness

Can you imagine a staircase as wonderful as the one in Leighton's home? We can! Find out more about why you should donate today here Read more

Getting to know Shahrzad Ghaffari

Discover more about the wonderful artist behind Oneness! Read more

Help us take Oneness even further

Thanks to you, we have exceeded our target with 2 weeks to go! Can you help us take Oneness even further? Read more

Reward Highlights & Curator's Favourite

Thank you to everyone who has donated so far - learn more about the stories behind our bespoke rewards and find out our curator's favourite! Read more

Behind-the-scenes of Leighton House's renovation project

With only 3 days to go, we're revealing a bit more on the story of the renovation project of Leighton House, of which Oneness will be the final piece! Read more

Thank you for helping us reach 153%!

We're are incredibly excited to be able to #CreateOneness! Thanks to all our funders, our campaign has exceeded its target, and we can't wait to unveil the mural next year! Read more

Oneness is one step closer

Our new staircase is being built! Read more

For funders only

Staircase Progress at Leighton House

Construction at Leighton House continues and our new staircase is finally built - get a first look of the space where Oneness will be Read more

Rewards Update

Finally, after a long wait, your rewards will start arriving soon! Read more

Oneness set to start

This coming January, Shahrzad Ghaffari will start work on the staircase, and Oneness will be completed in the spring Read more

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