For those of you who are regular readers of Beautiful You you will know that last month I was involved in a special fundraiser for The Butterfly Foundation called The House of Hope in celebration of National Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week. This truly amazing night, entirely arranged by artist and photographer Emma McEvoy was a joy for me to be involved with and as my husband said on our way home “One of the best nights I ever been to.
It can sometimes be very hard to capture the feeling and essence of an evening or event in words. Almost one of those experiences of you had to be there and while I can wish that many more people had a chance to experience the House of Hope, truth is – she was a sell out and couldn’t have taken one more soul.
This was not your average, every day art exhibition. It was so much more. It was an incredibly interactive experience that delved into one young woman’s experience of experiencing and being in recovery from an eating disorder. As well as the attendees being captured and inspired by Emma’s incredible photography, they became immersed in her journey through music, installations, live theatre, film and very poignantly, celebratory food. The lollies! Oh my – the lollies! I know they were a highlight of many handed out by a beautiful Lolly Lady who had a wink and a smile for everyone.
As one would expect, the speech that Emma gave to thank the hundreds of people there left barely a dry eye in the house as she recounted her dream to hold an exhibition that presented eating disorders in a way that promoted compassion and understanding to a wide audience. There was also frantic bidding for her beautiful work in the silent auction. An absolutely incredible 48 of her 50 art pieces on display on the night sold, raising over $3000 for The Butterfly Foundation and the amazing work they do with supporting people with eating disorders and negative body image.
To me, the shining vein running through the entire House of Hope exhibition and journey was how truly possible it is for a dream to come true. Emma held on to the hope and desire to turn a devastating experience into something that was positive and could bring light and hope to others – and she achieved it. No one knows except her about the amount of time, heart and soul that went into creating such an amazing event but having supported her in just a small way – I can tell you it was a mountain of work – and then some. This was not a small achievement. It was an extraordinary undertaking and a life goal achieved. It was such a privelege for me to be a part of.
To immerse yourself further in Emma’s inspiring and beautiful work you can view the gallery of what was shown at the House of Hope at her website. Prints are available for sale and as the proud owner of now a number of them I can tell you – they’re gorgeous! Emma also manages a divine tumblr called She Takes Flight which is filled with love and inspiration. Just like Emma.