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.
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.
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!