Deafblind Preston artist Ava Jolliffe' NFT art collection sparks sale in aid of charity

Deafblind Preston teenager Ava Jolliffe is pushing back the boundaries with a new digital art collection which will be traded in cryptocurrency.

By Fiona Finch
Wednesday, 29th June 2022, 12:30 pm

She hopes her pictures, launched yesterday on Dropspace, will help raise funds for the Deafblind UK charity.

The collection of 250 images is called Spark and its role is not just for fundraising, but also to spread awareness of deafblindness, a condition affecting more than 400,000 people in the UK.

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Digital artist Ava Jolliffe whose art collection is launched today

Her mum Laura said: “The NFT ‘Spark’ collection is very special, and we believe it such a forward thinking and progressive way for the charity to raise both funds and support.“

NFT stands for non fungible token indicating the digital data work is unique. Laura said: “There’s 250 of these NFT digitally produced art pieces. They are selling for about £59 in cryptocurrency conversion. The owner owns the block chain behind the art piece – like a digital water mark. That goes into their portfolio as they own the art piece and they can trade that in the digital crypto market place.”

The collection includes what Laura terms normal and rare pieces.

Ava uses an iPad Pro in high pixellation to create her art works and the rare pieces have more colour, design and pattern. Purchasers add their name to a “white list” for a picture but they cannot be sure which they’ll get. Laura said : “You’re not sure if you’ll get a normal or one of the rare pieces. It’s an NFT lottery and that’s half of the fun.”

Ava has named her new collection Spark

The sale of her work is timed to coincide with next week’s Deafblind Awareness Week and the anniversary of the birth of campaigner and author Helen Keller.

Ava, from Broughton, has the rare degenerative condition, BVLT ( Brown Vialetto Van Laere syndrome), also known as Riboflavin transporter deficiency. Using sign language Ava,15, said: “ I am very happy to show that being deafblind does not have to have limits. I am an artist and I want people to understand that although I have disabilities I also have abilities and we should focus on what I can do versus what I can’t do.”

Laura added Spark had been chosen as the collection’s name because: “That’s what we want to do – to create that spark, that buzz, that people understand more about deaf blindness so they talk about it more. A lot of people think if you are deaf blind you don’t have any hearing and you don’t have any vision. It’s a spectrum disorder, some people are profoundly deaf and can see better and vice versa.”

Deafblind UK worked with Fungii Studios, which was set up by MBA students seeking to help charities and NGOs raise funds in new and innovative ways utilising NFT technology. Fungii said: “Where other NFT collections donate token amounts to good causes, Fungii Studios launches this collection with the majority of proceeds from the sale and resale donated to Deafblind UK and into the hands of the people suffering from deafblindness.”

One of the "rare" NFT art works in the sale

Ava has had solo exhibitions and she featured in the recent BBC programme ‘Britain’s Best Young Artist’.

Another of Ava's "rare" NFT art works being sold in aid of Deafblind UK
One of the less decorated images in the sale