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Allie Webb for Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

Allie Webb for Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

For more than a year now, Sorry Thanks I Love You has been an official partner of Sydney’s integrated cancer clinic Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. We’ve been raising funds specifically for their psycho-oncology department, whose psychologists and counsellers meet with thousands of patients and their families every year, because in our experience, having a strong mind is one of the key determinants to dealing with cancer.

While we’ll be continuing to raise funds for Lifehouse by accepting gift wrapping donations in our stores, this Christmas we’re launching a special artistic project in collaboration with Sydney-based artist Allie Webb, as part of the Gourmet Traveller x Sorry Thanks I Love You Christmas Boutique.

Allie Webb is something of an artistic celebrity in the hospitality world. Her theatrical linocuts and murals deck the walls of new Sydney institutions like Shady Pines Saloon, Pino's Vino e Cucina and Restaurant Hubert, and in a past life she even designed cookbooks for Penguin Lantern.

Image credit: James Evans

The Melburnian moved to Sydney with husband Anton, who is behind Sydney's Baxter Inn, Frankie’s Pizza and some of the other bars and restaurants Allie has decked out.  She’s a self-confessed people-watcher who loves eating out, and her work of late has focused squarely on these themes.

“I’m surrounded by the hospitality industry, and most of my friends are involved in and passionate about food. This is where a lot of my inspiration comes from,” says Allie.

Allie created a special artwork, Il Caffé 2017, especially for the Gourmet Traveller x Sorry Thanks I Love You Christmas Boutique, so that we could raise funds for Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.  By purchasing a greeting card printed with Il Caffé 2017, you will automatically go in the running to win the original artwork.

“Il Caffe 2017 is part of a new series I’m working on revolving around Australian/Italian dining,” Allie says. “My husband Anton is from Italian heritage and our visits to his Mum’s house in Carlton always involve lots of Bialetti coffee - always with a splash of brandy -  and boxes of Brunetti treats. Huge platters of panettone and crostoli are endlessly brought out, too.”

At more than a metre long, an artwork of this size takes a considerable amount of time to create.  Allie starts with charcoal drawings first, and then tacks them to the wall so she can sit with them for a couple of days. From there she copies to grey lino and starts cutting – a meticulous process that takes at least 20 hours.  The proof is in the pudding, and the work can be seen in the flesh at Sorry Thanks I Love You Martin Place.

The winner of the original artwork will be announced at a champagne shopping night in store at Martin Place on Tuesday 19 December.  Cards can be purchased online here, or in store at either Sorry Thanks I Love You stores in Sydney. They're amongst the line-up of pantry produce, wines and spirits, and specialist kitchen accessories curated by the Gourmet Traveller team and their award-winning chefs for the GTxSTILY Christmas Boutiques.

For your chance to go in the running and to support Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, buy an Allie Webb greeting card here, or visit us in store at No 1 Martin Place, Sydney or 140 George Street, The Rocks. Or donate directly to Lifehouse's psycho-oncology service by clicking here.

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The GT x STILY Christmas Boutique is open until Christmas Eve at the two Sorry Thanks I Love You stores in Sydney: Ground Floor, No 1 Martin Place, Sydney and 140 George St, The Rocks. Not in Sydney? Shop the entire range online at sorrythanksiloveyou.com/gourmettraveller