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The Gold Brush: Italian cabin crew based at Stansted Airport plan to create a Bishop's Stortford art sanctuary in the form of painting workshops



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Three artists from Italy are hoping to inspire the Bishop’s Stortford community to put their troubles to one side and focus on creating something beautiful.

Carlo Simula, Valentina Lupi and Margherita Schiavone forged their group, The Gold Brush, in July. The trio work as cabin crew from Stansted Airport. They have been friends for eight years since they first moved to Bishop’s Stortford.

Carlo, 32, and Valentina, 31, work for charter airline Titan Airways while Margherita, 31, is employed by Ryanair.

Carlo Simula and Valentina Lupi beside their artwork at Smoke BBQ Kitchen
Carlo Simula and Valentina Lupi beside their artwork at Smoke BBQ Kitchen

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the aviation industry hard. Travel restrictions and a slump in demand among holidaymakers has forced airlines to lay off employees. All three artists have seen their employers cut their workforce.

The friends decided to throw themselves into a new adventure, push each other forward and pursue their passion for art.

“We’re not flying much and we have had a lot of free time. The three of us are really into art, but we never got a chance to see our potential,” explained Carlo. “So many of our colleagues started businesses online. We started to paint; an easy technique that’s not hard to do. It’s good fun and it’s relaxing at the same time.”

The Gold Brush are Carlo Simula, Valentina Lupi (both pictured) and Margherita Schiavone
The Gold Brush are Carlo Simula, Valentina Lupi (both pictured) and Margherita Schiavone

The Gold Brush launched an Etsy store to sell their works, along with an Instagram account to publicise them and to lead tutorials.

They have started taking commissions from Stortford restaurants. They have illustrated a canvas for Eat 17’s artisan pizzeria Petrucci’s and painted murals for Smoke BBQ Kitchen in Hockerill Street.

Furthermore, East Herts Council (EHC) has selected The Gold Brush’s design for its Clean Air Day initiative, meaning that their work will soon be displayed all over town to draw attention to the project.

Graham McAndrew, EHC’s executive member for environmental sustainability, said: “We received some excellent designs for our Clean Air Day competition focused on encouraging drivers to switch off their engines when they’re parked. The Gold Brush design was a striking and colourful entry and we’re planning to turn their design into signs for lampposts in our car parks. It’s been a pleasure to work with a small local company too.”

Carlo Simula at Petrucci's Pizzas in Eat 17
Carlo Simula at Petrucci's Pizzas in Eat 17

In August, The Gold Brush linked up with Grove Cottage, the London Road home of Mencap in Bishop’s Stortford. “Every time that we make a local sale, part of the income goes to them,” said Carlo.

Carlo, Valentina and Margherita now want to open up their project to the wider community by offering painting workshops. One was scheduled for the afternoon of Sunday November 15 at South Street’s Body ‘n Soul yoga studio based at The Lifestyle Village, formerly Epiphany Clothing, but it has been cancelled because of the lockdown.

Visit www.instagram.com/thegoldbrush or email thegoldbrush@outlook.com for details.

The Gold Brush (42699803)
The Gold Brush (42699803)


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