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Cornwall Has A Heart For Syria

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4:52pm 21st August 2013


A giant heart's smuggled into Cornwall to highlight the plight of Syrian refugees.

Two North Cornwall artists have put up more than two thousand flags on Bodmin Moor next to Jamaica Inn.

Caroline Cleave says she and Franca Westaway want to take it undercover to Jordan: "You hear these things on the television and you see them on the news and you think; 'Well what can I do?'. We felt that we put creativity into doing something that would make people smile, make people happy and also have an effect."

The art installation is called 'Have a Heart for Syria' to support Oxfam's Love Syria campaign and will raise money for the charity's work to provide water and sanitation facilities in basic and overcrowded camps to help thousands of Syrian refugees.   

The flags, that will make the giant heart installation, cost just £1 each to sponsor with the aim of raising a minimum of £2,000.  But Caroline and Franca hope that people who see the stunning installation will want to add to the total for Oxfam's Syria Crisis appeal.

Caroline Cleave who is from North Cornwall and an artist and teacher said: "One little red flag can't achieve much on its own, but collectively they can make something amazing and beautiful.

"I saw the Syrian equivalent of Wadebridge on the television and its people fleeing for their lives. It really brought it home to me that evening. It was like the whole population of Wadebridge (7,000 people) having to leave their homes, their shops, their businesses and go to another country with only what they could pick up and carry - and through no fault of their own.

"It made me wonder how we would cope in that situation. How would we feel? From then on it was uncanny how every time I switched on the radio or the television there would be another heart-breaking report from Syria.

"Syria is a country that has turned in on itself and you just can't imagine that. There was one story about a family who had to leave the orchard that was their home and livelihood. It would be like coming back to Port Isaac one day to find our house and the business all gone."

Franca, an art teacher at Holsworthy Community College and from Bude said: "The whole point of the heart in the first place was to touch people and make a difference. We need to counter the violence of war with love and connection and openness."

You can sponsor the heart installation in Cornwall at http://www.justgiving.com/heart-for-syria   

4:52pm 21st August 2013

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