#DearDarlingByTheSea was a campaign in support of, and supported by the Eastbourne based charity WayfinderWoman Trust, in the South East of England. Initiated by Ivilina Kouneva, the project covered the time between Valentine’s Day (February 14th), celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th, and ended on Mother’s Day (March 27th) 2022.
The name of the campaign came from a conversation with a friend on how to express one’s affection to their partner without going into the ‘taken for granted’ “Yes dear” or the too popular and exploited “darling”. Dear and Darling together cover nuances of real affection as well as being playfully amusing. According to the English dictionary, Dear Darling means precious, beloved. By the Sea is where both the creative and the charity are based – on the East Sussex coast of England.
At the centre of the campaign were a hundred drawings sized 210×297mm; most of which were created especially for the #DearDarlingByTheSea campaign. The drawings are just brief stories of the everyday attempts of a female artist to comprehend the fragility of human contact in the context of climate change and the post-pandemic reality. For this collection of images, Kouneva used discarded pieces of paper and materials in her studio, as well as reworking older pieces. The campaign was very well accepted within the community of creatives and art lovers. Quite a few pieces were related to themes and topics about our relationship with the environment, articulating natural elements and archetypal symbols.
This campaign was a great opportunity to support the creative practice of a female artist and a female-led charity that nurtures inspiring women.
“I can’t think of a better time of the year to celebrate us, women, our uniqueness and our resilience. There are many inspiring stories which unfold within other stories about women braving their way through life’s uncertainties, in search of safety. I can’t think of a more suitable charity to donate to, as their ethos and work resonate very strongly with me. I am truly excited about our collaboration.” Ivilina Kouneva, founder of the DearDarlingByTheSea campaign.
Wayfinder Woman Trust is a female run, volunteer led charity, helping women find better lives by building their self-confidence and skill sets so they can challenge any barriers that prevent them from stepping into who they are destined to be. WayfinderWoman Trust was honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2021.