The Atkinson Receives a Thought-Provoking Donation

The Atkinson Receives a Thought-Provoking Donation

The Atkinson has been gifted a beautiful and poignant photograph taken by local photographer Paul Crowdey.

The blue cornflower is seen as the international symbol of hope and courage for those with motor neurone disease (MND). Its seedlings can withstand the frost and its striking colour remains breathtaking. In the UK the cornflower is classed as endangered and receives protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

This stunning photograph was taken by Paul Crowdey who was born in Southport and spent over two decades in the area. He lived in Churchtown where he developed his love of nature and has been inspired by the Botanic Gardens, Hesketh Park and Moss Lane, which leads into the countryside.

A year ago and at the age of 35, Paul was diagnosed with the early stages of MND and wants as many people as possible to learn about the devastating illness. He is writing a blog which has had thousands of views and regularly tweets. An Instagram page showcasing his photographs has over 10,500 followers.

He recently exhibited and auctioned his work in London at a successful joint event with his sister Liz to raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA). Paul has been a prolific fundraiser for the charity and the event was sponsored by local and national businesses and attended by the Mayor of Lambeth.

Artist Sarah Ezekiel, who has MND, donated a piece of art to the auction. Award-winning actor Eddie Redmayne who won an Oscar for his role in the film about the life of physicist Stephen
Hawking donated a signed DVD of The Theory of Everything and Liverpool FC fan donated a shirt signed by the first team players. Paul is a lifelong fan of the club. Liz and Paul lost their Mum Jane to MND.

Paul says: ‘My main areas of study are landscape and nature photography. My passion for photography grew even more when my little girl was born as I wanted to catalogue her early life and see how she grew up.

‘With the support of my beautiful wife George, my girls Annie, 17, and Emily, 7, along with my entire family, we’ll enjoy whatever time I have left – hopefully many years. I don’t want pity I just want you to make sure as many people as possible know about this wicked disease.’

Paul’s sister Liz studied photography at Liverpool Community College, she currently works on a variety of projects as a photographer and is a manager at an adult education college in London.
Her particular interests in photography are in travel, street and documentary photography where she hopes to convey the general chaotic structures of everyday life with her images. She shoots in both film and digital, has had work published in print and exhibited at the London Photo Festival last year.

She says: ‘Photography has always been a part of my life. I grew up being surrounded by family photos and I value the importance of all those pictures from rolls of film that were printed and lovingly placed into photo albums, which was a lot more commonplace up until a relatively short time ago.

‘It is something that Paul and I have always had in common and we often share images and advice. It forms a useful tool of communication for us and so does Instagram where images can be shared instantaneously. It provides us with a strong alternative method of communication and we both have a deep admiration for the other’s skill – well I do for Paul’s photography!’

Paul Crowdey has donated the photograph of the Blue Cornflower to The Atkinson and it is now on display in The Atkinson Library for everyone to admire.

To view Paul’s blog go to:-
For information about the charity go to:-
Link to Paul’s Just Giving Page


Posted on 30 June 2016 under Just announced

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