Years after the big fire that cost many lives, people are still trying to get their lives back together. Some are still suffering from the loss of a loved one, others are still working through the emotional pain the fire has left behind. And like everyone struggles in their own way, people who help do that in their own way as well. Some have created a charity, others have taken in people who needed shelter after the fire. Arron Val, however, decided to focus on the prevention. He created a series of paintings to make people aware of fire hazards.
Arron Vals rise to fame
He was brought up in a modest family in Ealing, London with a Philippian mother, British father and two older brothers. Their parents worked hard to make ends meet and had to leave little Arron in the care of a babysitter more often than not. It was then when he discovered his love for painting. The babysitter used to leave him alone for long periods of time and his brothers were already much older, so he couldn’t play with them. He recalls his 6th birthday as the day he discovered his true passion. That’s when he got a colouring book with crayons from his mother. It wasn’t long before his first pieces of art were created. A few years later, a teacher noticed his talent when she gave the kids a homework assignment that included creating a piece of art. The teacher told Arrons parents about his talents and they have supported this ever since. It ended up with artschool being the only logical choice for Arron. He went through it with flying colours and has since started a successful career as an artist. The highlight being Art Basel, where he was able to sell a big part of his paintings last year.
As Arron Val grew up in London, he was very concerned when he heard about what had happened with the Grenfell Tower. Immediately he realized that he did not really know what to do either, if he would ever get caught in such a fire. If he didn’t know, he figured, a lot of other people wouldn’t either. So he decided it was time to start making some warning signs. To be able to do that, he first needed to understand the fire hazards and what to do in many different occasions. He followed a few fire aid and first aid courses and soon after started to work on his first cautionary art pieces. The first one shows a women crawling on the floor with her head down as to not inhale the smoke. In the end, the entire series consists of 5 pieces and all proceedings will go to the Grenfell Towers victims.
Portraits of loved ones
After creating his Warning signs series, Arron Val decided he could do more for his fellow Londoners. That’s why he decided to create portraits of some of the people who lost their lives in the fire. Initially he wanted to give the victims a face, but when he started speaking to the people they had left behind, he realized something. Allowing these people in pain to help him create art, also helped with the healing.