Last December Rebecca Dykes, a young British diplomat, was senselessly killed in Lebanon. Shortly after her death, the Rebecca Dykes Foundation was set up by friends and family to channel her energy and build a legacy. The Foundation, which aims to build more stable communities in Lebanon with a focus on empowering women and improving the lives of the many Syrian and Palestinian refugees living there, has already raised over £220,000.
Now, almost a year on from Rebecca’s tragic death, the Foundation is hosting an exhibition displaying paintings of the places she loved and photographs of the humanitarian work she was passionate about.
Patron of the exhibition MP and Secretary of State for International Development and Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt says:
"I am honoured to be the Patron of ‘Into the Light’, celebrating Lebanon and its enduring friendship with the United Kingdom. The exhibition will bring into the light the beauty and resilience of Lebanon. In this way, it is a fitting tribute to Rebecca, who dedicated her life to helping communities overcome great adversity. I am proud to support the Foundation, which carries on Rebecca's important work.”
The show, in aid of the Rebecca Dykes Foundation will celebrate Rebecca’s work in Lebanon by two artists who knew Rebecca during her time there.
Tom Young’s paintings, intricately layered with glazes of watercolour and thick layers of impasto oil, are inspired by the places Rebecca fell in love with, from the Cedar forests of the Shouf Mountains to the ancient Qadisha Valley.
Tom Young says:
"As an artist and activist, I’m trying to do what I can to contribute something positive to Lebanon, transforming beautiful old abandoned mansions and hotels into cultural venues where people and children from all backgrounds can come to learn and create.”
Jonkler’s never before seen photographs, taken earlier this year, show the great variety of life in Shatila and Bourj el-Barajneh camps in Beirut. Rebecca ran numerous programs aiming to improve the living conditions of Palestinian refugees in Shatila.
In June this year, the Rebecca Dykes Foundation commenced work on its first project, a collaboration with Christian Aid and Lebanese women’s NGO KAFA, which supports victims of sexual and gender-based violence and promotes women’s empowerment at KAFA’s Shelter and Support Centre in Lebanon.
Proceeds of work sold will support the work of the Rebecca Dykes Foundation.