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Sitting Pretty: Upholstered Chairs by Stars

CHIVA Africa was founded by Dr Karyn Moshal in 2005 with the aim of sharing valuable knowledge gained by doctors in the UK with regard to the treatment of HIV. When the South African government first introduced its HIV treatment programme in 2004, the health service experience major challenges, particularly as few South African healthcare professionals had experience in the use of Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) drug regimes.

In the UK, as opposed to in South Africa at the time, HIV was seen as a chronic condition for children, who continued to live healthy lives. In South Africa, HIV was a death sentence for thousands who continued to die of AIDS. Ten years ago, when the first CHIVA Africa mentoring teams arrived in South Africa, they found colleagues numb and exhausted from watching patients, friends, family and communities die from a disease they felt powerless to treat; it was difficult for them to imagine that people could live with HIV.

The UK volunteers began work in the worst affected areas of South Africa, providing mentoring, training and support for those caring for the country’s children. The effects of this programme can be seen, ten years on: most of South Africa’s HIV positive population are on treatment, living normal healthy lives and the children are growing up. The problem isn’t completely solved, however, and there are many challenges remaining. Adolescents are the group with the greatest number of newly acquired infections.

In order to combat this, CHIVA Africa has developed an adolescent mentoring programme in order to address the issues facing them and those caring for them.

‘CHIVA Africa has achieved a great deal in the past ten years, reaching staff in hospitals and clinics throughout  KZN, the Eastern Cape and Northwest Province: more than 20 000 healthcare personnel looking after over 100 000 children, so far. We have taught, mentored and supported; we have run workshops and seminars, master classes and ward rounds empowering our colleagues with the practical skills and experience we have garnered over years of clinical studies, service provision and trial and error. However there is much still to do, and as we set out to expand our programme, with our growing cadre of South African experts joining their UK colleagues to continue our work through South Africa and beyond, I invite you to join us on this extraordinary journey.’

The Sitting Pretty auction was conducted online until 14 March 2016, with a live event at Bonhams on 15 March. Thirty stunning hand-painted and upholstered one-off chairs by stars, designers, artists and celebrities were auctioned at Bonhams in aid of CHIVA Africa.

A range of artists and designers from South Africa supported the initiative, they include:

Sitting Pretty: Upholstered Chairs by Stars
Sam Nhlengethwa
  • Norman Catherine;
  • Sam Nhlengethwa;
  • Beezy Bailey in collaboration with Jessica Dorrington;
  • Vanashree Singh;
  • Kimberley Gundle;
  • Simone Krok; and
  • Porcupine Rocks.

Their British counterparts included:

Sitting Pretty: Upholstered Chairs by Stars
Daniel Lismore
  • Emma Viscountess Weymouth of Longleat;
  • Victoria Baker Harber and Mark Francis of Made in Chelsea fame;
  • Sorapol and Daniel Lismore: Designer team extraordinaire;
  • Nicky Clarke and Kelly Simpkin;
  • Maureen Lipman;
  • Aston Martin;
  • Arsenal Football Club;
  • Dr Ranj Singh: NHS doctor specialising in the care of children and young people;
  • Sinitta;
  • Tricia Guild: founder and creative director of Designers Guild;
Sitting Pretty: Upholstered Chairs by Stars
  • Deborah Azzopardi;
  • David Bent;
  • Silia Tung;
  • Rozanne Bell;
  • Samson Soboye;
  • Sam Edkins; and
  • Giovanni Bedin

Daniel Lismore’s photography and fashion design college studies were interrupted by a modelling career at age 17. He has worked with some of fashion’s biggest names and was featured in magazines such as Vogue UK, L’Uomo Vogue and ID Magazine. In 2012, Lismore joined forces with designer Sorapol Chawaphatnakul, merging artisanal techniques with subversive silhouettes to create decadent idiosyncratic luxury. Since their launch in 2012, they have skyrocketed to cult status in the fashion industry to create the innovative fashion house SORAPOL. This uniquely wrapped chair is ‘upholstered’ with true Daniel Lismore style and flair, created by incorporating a mask of his face from his current exhibition at SCAD Fashion Museum in Atlanta.

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