Letchworth teacher Adrian Mallett is remembered through sale of his art
PUBLISHED: 08:29 04 May 2018
Artwork produced by a Letchworth teacher before his death last year has been sold, with the five-figure proceeds going to the charity he supported for 20 years.
Adrian Mallett was the head of art at St Francis’ College in Letchworth before sadly passing away at the end of March last year following heart surgery.
Mr Mallett, from Ashwell, had been living with Marfan sydrome – a genetic disorder which can lead to cardiac complications.
He was hugely involved in the Kanyike Project, a charity set up in 1986 by Father Kakuba after years of devestation in Ugandan villages during the civil war.
From here, Fr Kakuba enlisted the help of Sister Joan – who lives in Willian. She in turn called on her contacts in Herts to help with the project, particularly local schools, and to this day the charity has a small but important support system in North Herts.
Adrian had raised around £2,000 every year for the the Kanyike Project, spanning over 20 years through the St Francis’ annual recycled fashion show.
In the run up to the one-year anniversary of his death, his daughter Liz decided to sell his vast collection artwork, with the funds going to the charity.
His home was filled with people remembering him and buying his work, including many former students. The sale raised more than £10,000 for the villagers in Uganda. Adrian’s daughter Liz said she “wanted his art to be possessed by those who had been inspired by his teaching”.
“I’m so proud that the sale of my dad’s artworks have helped support the Kanyike Project to help educate children of the villages,” she said.
“As a great believer in the power of education, he would have been very happy to have contributed even further to such an important cause.”
Mary Fenton, a Kanyike Project trustee and colleague at St Francis’ College, told the Comet: “Adrian Mallett will always have special place in the hearts of the Kanyike villagers.
“They know all about him and and the fact that he chose Kanyike as the charity to receive the profit from the fashion show.
“To make stunning costumes from recycled items is right in line with Kanyike’s principle of sustainability.
“The money he raised from 20 years of fashion shows and through his daughter Liz’s decision to sell his art is enough to run the entire project for a year – and have some to spare!
“He would have loved the fact that his pictures now hang on the walls of so many of his former pupils.”
The Kanyike Project is involved in building schools and health centres, providing support for HIV/AIDS sufferers and providing safe drinking water.
Since 1992 the project has improved seven out of nine springs to provide clean sources of water, and built a large fences to stop animals from contaminating the water.
To find out more about the Kanyike Project go to kanyikeproject.org.uk.