TWO Manchester artists are in the running to win £2,000 after reaching the finals of a national competition with a chandelier made from lost earrings.
Glass artists Lauren Sagar and Sharon Campbell, who work together as Sagar and Campbell and who are based at Rogue Artists Studios in Manchester, have been plucked from over 750 entries to make it through to the final stages of the National Lottery Awards.
Their entry, The Chandelier of Lost Earrings, is a sculpture made from over 3,000 single earrings donated by owners who have lost the other half of the pair.
The sculpture, which received £9,500 of National Lottery funding through Arts Council England, is a finalist in the Best Art category of the competition which seeks to find the UK's favourite Lottery-funded projects.
It will now face a public vote before the winners are announced at a glittering ceremony hosted by TV, film and musical theatre star John Barrowman.
Artist Lauren Sagar said: “We're delighted to have reached the finals of the National Lottery Awards.
"Lottery money has really helped us to create, as custodians, a beautiful and enduring tribute to the extraordinary contributions made by innumerable people; their treasures, time and support.
"Being finalists we hope to be able to reach out to all the many anonymous contributors of beautiful lone earrings.
"We would like the opportunity of thanking them and of telling them how beautifully the Chandelier turned out!
"Then we really hope they will be able to go and find their earring amongst the thousands in real life."
There are seven projects competing for votes across seven categories reflecting the main areas of National Lottery funding: arts, sport, heritage, health, environment, education and voluntary/charity.
As well as securing their place at the National Lottery Awards show, the project with the highest number of votes in each category will receive a £2,000 cash prize and an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy.
John Barrowman said: “Every year I am moved to tears by the exceptional work that the finalists of the National Lottery Awards carry out.
"They typify everything that is right with society – the volunteering, community spirit and selflessness.
“I urge everyone to get behind The Chandelier of Lost Earrings as the artists aim to get the recognition they so richly deserve.
"National Lottery players should be proud that the £33 million they raise every single week goes to great projects like these.”
To vote for The Chandelier of Lost Earrings vist www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards or telephone 0844 836 9672.
Voting runs for four weeks from 9am on Wednesday 25 June until midnight on Wednesday 23 July.
You can follow the campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #NLAwards