Tile’s sale to raise funds for Link Age Southwark from 10 December 

 “As a long-term resident of Southwark, I am overjoyed to be contributing to the work that Link Age Southwark is doing for the older members of our community. The charity’s ongoing commitment to improving the quality of older people’s lives is much needed and is heartening to witness.” 

Contemporary artist and writer Edmund de Waal CBE has donated a recently-created tile for auction by Link Age Southwark, to mark the charity’s 30 years supporting older people in the London Borough of Southwark –  Link Age Southwark’s mission is to alleviate loneliness and reduce social isolation for older people and those living with a diagnosis of dementia. 

Exhibited throughout the UK and internationally, and best known for his large-scale installations of porcelain vessels which are informed by his passion for architecture, space and sound, Edmund de Waal has been a Link Age Southwark Ambassador since 2018. The porcelain tile he has donated to the charity is entitled MMXXIII, 2023, and is 12.5 x 20.5cm in size. The writing inscribed in gold on the tile comes from a poem by the Romanian poet Paul Celan – a constant inspiration and touchstone for Edmund. It reads: “language with a gesture/ that you let happen like/ the dance of two words of just/ autumn and silk and nothingness”. 

Edmund de Waal has previously said about working with porcelain: “…when I need to make something, I’m often mesmerised or haunted by an idea or by a piece of poetry. A line from poetry, a word sometimes, or a piece of music, or a space that I’ve been thinking about, a particular place that I want to kind of question by making something for it. So, there are all these different possibilities when I begin. I am grounded in history, the history and culture of the materials I use, this extraordinary two-thousand-year history of porcelain. I don’t use this material lightly. It’s not a light material. It’s got incredible resonance, incredible power.” 

The tile will be auctioned on Ebay from 10 to 20 December. It is valued at £1,000, and the bidding will start at £500. https://www.linkagesouthwark.org/news/edmund-de-waal-tile-auction 

Over the past year, Link Age Southwark has supported 867 local residents, and more than 400 volunteers have given over 19,000 hours of their time. The Charity relies on donations for the services it provides free of charge – which include a befriending service; social, exercise and activity groups; digital, telephone and hospital buddies; a regular newsletter as well as one-to-one support with form filling and accessing local services. 

Sophie Wellings, Chief Executive of Link Age Southwark said: “We believe no older person should feel lonely, but we’re experiencing increasing demand for our services. We’re so grateful to Edmund de Waal for donating this unique and special piece to help us raise important funds to support our vision of friendly local communities in which older people thrive.”