Nepal fundraiser at artist Gordon’s home

Ngawang(centre), who has encouraged Gordon to return, with friends Nirjala and Sangeeta in 2019.

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Arran artist Gordon Davidson is planning a new art project in Nepal and is holding an art and acer trees sale to raise money to fund it.

Exactly 10 years ago Gordon was asked by the Gurkhas if he would help set up the Kalaa Jyoti charity, to take art to poor communities across Nepal.

Gordon worked with more than 2,000 people in 17 different centres from orphanages, homes to colleges, and even a monastery. Following the big earthquake in 2015, Kalaa Jyoti set up Arran House in Budhanilkantha to give A-level education to youngsters who did not have the money to fund it for themselves.

Like many good causes Kalaa Jyoti and Arran House have folded owing to the inability to raise funds during the Covid crisis.

The Arran House children have gone on to do good things. Adeep has started a café in Kathmandu, Finjo is working with computers in a company in Kathmandu, Tenzing is up in the mountains teaching art to poor villagers. Shankar is working in Toronto and Akriti is following her dream to be a nurse. Sangeeta and Nirjala liked the art project so much that they are now in the art school. Ngawang, who is also in the art school, pleaded with Gordon to return to continue the art work. Three of the projects he works with have joined in and have assured him they will look after him, in the absence of the Gurkhas.

Gordon told the Banner: ‘I am going to have to start all over again from scratch and I will have to fund it myself. I am going to open my house for two weeks selling my paintings, the kids paintings, my Japanese acer trees, art materials, nice things from Nepal and even some of my belongings…anything I can do to get back to Nepal. I’m planning to go back in September and October.’

Gordon has been asked to work with the Fab-Gate College in Pokhara, the Early Morning Art Club in the grounds of the Himalaya School in Budhanilkanha and the HCCH project for youngsters from the very remote region of Mustang. Gordon calls this group his Mustang Monkeys because of their enthusiasm for art. He is also considering a request from Saroj, one of the orphans from the first home in 2012. Saroj’s brother teaches in a school for children who cannot speak or hear. The school is in the remote Sindhapalchowk region, which was hit very hard by the earthquake.

‘Neeraj, my guide and pal, has told me that “life is not guaranteed in Sindhapalchowk”…which makes you think.’ Gordon said, adding: ‘It’s been an amazing project and it’s made such a difference to so many communities across Nepal. I can’t wait to get back.’

The event will take place daily at Prospect Cottage in Corrie (up lane near Corrie Hotel) from Monday May 23 to Sunday June 5, from noon to 5pm.

Gordon pictured at the Tiger Mountain farewell in 2016.