Langport in the Picture 

Earlier this year, Langport Artist Donna Vale, responded to a call to tender for a piece of work for Westminster Abbey and in February, Donna was delighted to be informed that she had been successful and commissioned by The Royal Commonwealth Society and Westminster Abbey to provide the Commonwealth Service with a commemorative and unique artwork.  This piece of work took the form of a book that gathered the hopes and wishes of children from the Commonwealth.

Donna said “It was a real shock to get the phone call to say I had been picked to make the piece, but also exciting at the same time. It is a really good opportunity to promote the Arts in the South West”

Donna was asked to design and create an art task for children aged 3 to 12 years. The outcome was to bring the many individual contributions together to make a beautiful and unique object that reflects the 2018 Commonwealth theme of “Towards a Common Future”.

Aaron Paterson, of Westminster Abbey Education team, felt that Donna’s style, her ability to facilitate a creative process, work to tight deadlines, together with her inimitable style made her the perfect artist to take on this challenging piece of work.

Donna spent a few days at Westminster Abbey with The Royal Commonwealth Society during February half term. She worked tirelessly with hundreds of children and the Community Education Officer’s team creating beautiful images. The children’s work was then transposed onto the pages of a book with a velvet embroidered cover. This book was delivered to Westminster Abbey and will be presented at the Service.

Held on Commonwealth Day, Monday 12th March and with the Royal Family in attendance, the Commonwealth Service is the largest annual multi-faith celebration in the UK and celebrates the unity, diversity and links of a modern Commonwealth that fosters greater understanding of its achievements and role, particularly among young people.

This service usually takes place in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, the British Prime Minister, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, High Commissioners, Ambassadors, Commonwealth dignitaries and approximately 700 UK school children.  In addition to global dignitaries and school children attending the event, Donna is proud to be attending as the artist who created this commemorative piece.

Donna added “It has been a privilege to work with a team at Westminster Abbey and what an amazing place to teach a workshop. I am looking forward to attending the service in London and seeing the Royal Family.”

The Service features a mix of testimonies, readings and musical performances from talented artists across the Commonwealth and will reflect the 2018 Commonwealth theme of “Towards a Common Future”. The theme focuses on building on the strengths of the Commonwealth to ensure we are responsive to global challenges and deliver a more prosperous, secure, sustainable and fair future for all citizens, particularly its young people.

Donna founded her studio in Langport in 2013 after graduating with a first-class honours degree in art and textiles and holds classes and workshops in Langport.  Her studio space can be hired by tutors and artists alike using their skills to teach popular classes.  Donna’s classes attract students and artists from as far as London, France and Denmark who come with friends and family to stay in this beautiful part of the country.  You can find more information about Donna’s Langport studio and her work at or by calling 01458 251475.