I first met Ali when he helped me in the warehouse. Volunteering here is a real change of direction for both of us. More so for him since living in Croftfoot in the southside of Glasgow awaiting asylum is a lifetime away from the photos he’s shown me. Now, we work together at the food charity that distributed over a million meals last year. The food would otherwise go to landfill.
John is from Toryglen and has been volunteering here the longest. He uses his Glaswegian humour to break the ice with everybody. There’s not much John doesn’t know and he cheers everyone up.
As poor mental health affects more of us every year, I am increasingly aware of the ancillary mindfulness within the process of painting. In our Instafast world where ‘popularity’ can lead to influence and wealth, I wonder at what cost? Will ideas of wealth shift in these days of global economic uncertainty and climate emergency? Will we ever recognise the hidden heroes of our time? This painting depicts two people from wildly different backgrounds working together to feed hungry people in Scotland in 2020.
It is an honour to know them both.