World Cup inspires Wimbledon artist to reach for the stars

A Wimbledon artist  has taken inspiration from the World Cup to create a series of contemporary paintings raising money for charity.

Alex Rennie’s Extra Time, featuring footballs suspended in rich starlit skies rather than the moon, will be exhibited at Wimbledon Art Fair in November.

He will donate half of all proceeds to the United Nations’ children’s charity Unicef.

He said: “I was inspired by this year’s Soccer Aid football match and felt that I wanted to contribute to a cause that held parallels with the series.

“Through Soccer Aid, Unicef provides life-saving food, vaccines, clean water, and protection from violence to millions of children around the world.”

His work usually features an underlying message of uncertainty around the future, such as his set of paintings entitled Cargo, and his latest series is no different.

Extra Time was born as Rennie considered parenthood – he realised he would have to consider what dreams he has yet to complete and whether he is ready to put them aside to raise his child.

He said he chose the worn leather football hanging in the starry night to convey his idea when he witnessed the worldwide unity that the World Cup brought, with children and adults alike all brought together through common interest.

He compared it to the sensation of everyone in the world gazing up at the same moon, with the night sky and stars in his pieces symbolising dreams that could be shared by anyone on Earth, including future generations.

Rennie said the ball could either be owned by a child or could be from the past of an older person, showing a connection between the generations.

The Extra Time series can be seen at the next Wimbledon Art Fair from November 15-18.

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