Sidmouth screenwriter’s art swansong for charity

Shelley Griffiths pictured in her studio with the screenplay that has seen her semi-retire from art.

Shelley Griffiths pictured in her studio with the screenplay that has seen her semi-retire from art. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 9000-15-13AW - Credit: Archant

A TOP painter turned screenwriter’s swansong with art will benefit a cause close to her heart this week.

Shelley Griffiths, who has produced international best-selling abstract impressionist works under the name Laurie Maitland, has organised a special event to boost the Sid Valley Food Bank.

Her week-long charity exhibition is taking place at Kennaway House, from 10am to 4pm excluding Sunday, to mark her semi-retirement from art.

It will culminate with a gala evening and grand auction from 6pm to 9pm next Saturday, May 18, with special guest Vicki Campbell singing a vintage-style set.

The Herald reported last month how mum-of-one Shelley, 43, is set to swap canvasses for the silver screen after her first script caught the eye of an award-winning director and producer.

She will hang up her brushes to concentrate on East Devon-based Summer at the Mill and other writing projects.

“The charity exhibition is a clear-out with the aim of raising money for the Sid Valley Food Bank and helping me move out of my studio,” said Shelley.

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“I chose the food bank because it is a local charity who are doing fantastic job, going above and beyond just doing the bare essentials. A friend of mine in Sidmouth was struggling and couldn’t make it to the Friday opening to get food, so Anne-Marie [Jones] from the food bank filled a bag of food for her and her little boy, and took it to her. It wasn’t just tins and the long-life foodstuffs but fresh food too like eggs, bread and milk - things that cost money and don’t go into the food bins. They need cash to buy these things, so that’s why I chose them.

“Sid Valley Food Bank is a proper old- fashioned charity where every penny goes to the cause.”

Shelley grew up in London in the 1970s when times were tough and her family received charity food boxes once a week for a short time.

“We couldn’t have done without it,” she said.

“I like the idea that I can help do the same for others.”

Tickets to the gala night are available from the exhibition. Contact Shelley on 01395 519555 for more information.