North-London artist Cindy Lass has been commissioned by Sir Elton John, George Michael and the Queen. But it is her latest endeavour that she feels particularly passionate about.
The mother-of-two recently completed a painting of “Anne Frank’s tree” for the Anne Frank Trust. The teenager famously looked out on to a chestnut tree, which provided a rare glimpse to the outside world, as she spent two years hiding from the Nazis in an Amsterdam attic. Anne died in Bergen-Belsen in 1945, aged 15.
Mrs Lass’s painting, No Time To Blossom, is to be unveiled by actress Emma Thompson on June 12, to commemorate what would have been Anne’s 79th birthday. “No project has ever been closer to my heart,” Mrs Lass, who is in her 30s, tells People. “I have painted this iconic tree in all its beauty, in the hope that all the children of the world can one day be allowed to blossom. I hope the painting keeps alive the images of a tree which gave a glimpse of nature to Anne during her childhood imprisonment and will continue to challenge prejudice, reduce hatred and raise awareness of what Anne, her family and six million others went through, encouraging the he future generation to think about how they treat other people.”
A member of St John’s Wood Synagogue, she says working on the piece, which took around four months to complete, was an emotional process. The painting will be auctioned later this year, with proceeds going to the Anne Frank Trust UK.