Calendar Girls and Sunflower

Hello my lovelies! I have something very special to share with you today! When the lovely Theano told me about ACT’s (Anglo Cypriot Theatre) upcoming production of Calendar Girls and the story behind it I was touched. When she asked if I could create an art doll inspired by this moving story I was excited to start!

Calendar Girls (a stage play, musical and hollywood film) is inspired by the true story of a group of ordinary, mature ladies in Yorkshire, England. They wanted to raise some money to buy a new sofa for the hospital where one of the ladies’ husbands was undergoing treatment for leukaemia. Their idea? Add a bit of spice to the yearly calendar published by the Women’s Institute they were members of. So, they bravely and unashamedly posed nude! And being the wonderfully ordinary ladies that they were, tastefully covered their modesty with things like, flowers, teapots and buns! They bought a new sofa and have raised, to date, almost £5million for Bloodwise, a UK based charity dedicated to funding research into all blood cancers including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma, as well as, offering support to blood cancer patients.


John, the husband with leukaemia, started growing sunflowers after his diagnosis and gave them to his friends and family hoping that by the time they bloomed he would have recovered. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it. The sunflower is a reminder of him and has become the symbol for the Calendar Girls’ fundraising efforts.

Sunflower is my mixed media art doll inspired by this wonderful story of how a group of ordinary ladies achieved something extraordinary. She is a celebration of the female body in all its marvellous shapes and sizes and the story behind Calendar Girls. Sunflowers adorn her head and copper hair. I decorated her dress with an abstract design based on line drawings of the female form. She was an absolute pleasure and honour to create!

I don't think there's anything on this planet that trumpets life more than the sunflower. For me that's because of the reason behind its name. Not because it looks like the sun but because it follows the sun. During the course of the day, the head tracks the journey of the sun across the sky. A satellite dish for sunshine. Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it. And that's such an admirable thing. And such a lesson in life.

John Clarke (from the play Calendar Girls)

The premiere of the Anglo Cypriot Theatre (ACT) production of Calendar Girls is this Friday 28th February 2020. The second show is on Saturday 29th with two more shows on March 6th and 7th 2020. ACT’s Calendar Girls is collaborating with the Karaiskakio Foundation (a nonprofit organisation in Cyprus and an internationally recognized Bone Marrow Donors Registry representing the biggest per capita Donor Registry in the world. It supports patients with haematological malignancies and other related diseases). Karaiskakio Foundation representatives will be present at each performance if anyone wishes to become a bone marrow donor. The process takes a mere 5 minutes!

I am so proud to be one of the sponsors of this performance and hope to see you there! Keep your face towards the sun and leave your shadow behind you.


Filakia, Sophie

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