Lynn Tait, artist and photographer, known to many of us in the business, is a phenomenal cyclone of energy and ideas. She is an established supporter of creatives and is generous to boot. Her eccentric shop in Old Leigh in Essex is a ‘must-see’, full of vintage Edwardian collectibles from carts and bicycles to a 30 foot train, the original one which plied the Southend Pier in 1949. I caught up with Lynn at Progressive Greetings Live at the Business Design Centre, London (a favourite venue of mine, as my great grandfather performed there regularly when it was the Agricultural Hall).
Last year, Lynn organised an art competition, attracting over 2000 entries and raised over £12,500 to support Action Medical Research. This year she is running a competition to design a poster or greeting card to commemorate the centenary of the World War I. This caught my eye.
Festooned on the wall behind Lynn, were the flutterings of cigarette cards, postcards, posters and designs from WWI. Within an instant I found myself sitting have a good natter with this rather wonderful woman. I’ve known her work for many years, and it was brilliant to chat to her like an old friend. She told me about the motives behind creating this commemorative competition.
The emotion is still very poignant for Lynn. Her mother lost her father in WWI and her brother in WW2. Her grandfather Ralf (Bertie) Robinson, Rifle Brigade, was killed in Ypres in 1917 aged 32. He left his wife (Lynn’s granny) who was expecting a son. Lynn’s mother was just 16 months old when her father died. The son that her granny was carrying was Ralf Junior was later killed in 1942 during WW2 aged just 24.
“It’s about legacy,” says Lynn. “We can all learn something from those that have gone before, whether it’s music, design or bravery. 100 years on the legacy of my family is still there. When I give talks at schools, this is the message I hope to convey. We can all learn and be inspired by those who have gone before.”
Lynn is currently going through her own health battle, and as I sat talking to her, I was overcome with admiration of her indomitable spirit and passion for making a difference.
So calling, all artists, designers, creatives! Design a card or poster that commemorates World War 1 and have the honour of seeing your work in print. Every penny raised will support the charity “Help for Heroes”. Textiles, watercolours, crayon, collage or oils can be used and the design contemporary or traditional. Lynn is a well-known publisher of greetings cards. This is a free entry competition. “We are looking for original design, imaginative and creative entries welcome.”
Ideas include: letters from the home and front, peace, home fires burning, dig for victory, rationing, food parcels, horses, British bulldog, army boots, medals, poppies, Union Jacks, postcards, camaraderie, saying goodbye. Competition is free to enter, money will be raised for the Help for Heroes through the sale of the winning card and posters at the Lynn Tait Gallery. If you would like to sell the cards or support in some way, please do contact Lynn direct as well. There will b an awards evening for the winners with prizes presented by two famous judges. The overall winner will have a canvas made of their winning entry as well.
Details are all on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thelynntaitgallery 01702 471737
For details of the gallery http://www.thelynntaitgallery.com/