After a flight across the world to show its stunning beauty to the United Arab Emirates, Sharon White’s most spectacular artwork has landed back in Britain

It has travelled more than 10,000 miles from the Dorset coast to the United Arab Emirates, but this beautiful Tree of Life has returned home, after touching hearts in every city it has visited This stunning work, which depicts the sheer essence of beauty and femininity, is the brainchild of Christchurch mixed media artist Sharon White, who had a vision to capture the positive energy from the women she worked with to create a dramatic piece that would celebrate life and female strength.

Each butterfly attached to the Tree of Life was fashioned by women all over the UK who have been affected by breast cancer, including 50 women from the Christchurch/Bournemouth area.

The lace, fabric and fine detail were taken from bras donated and autographed by celebrities and headline names, from the likes of TV presenters Tess Daly, Denise Welch and Kirstie Allsopp and singer Jane McDonald.

Sharon wanted to the butterflies to represent positive transition, while the use of delicate fabrics echo the true meaning of femininity. As well as its extensive travelling, the Tree of Life was part of a campaign to raise awareness for Breast Cancer Care in 2014, has been exhibited at London’s prestigious Fashion & Textile Museum and seen by Royalty.

It now sits back on the wall at Atelier in Saxon Square, Christchurch, where Sharon runs her workshop. “I’m very proud of my achievements, which all started with just 50 ladies in Christchurch but has now reached over four million women worldwide,” she says.

“The Tree of Life continues to raise awareness for Breast Cancer Care and I am planning on creating a candle depicting the butterfly images featured in the artwork which will be available over the coming months.”

The mum-of-two truly believes in the therapeutic value of art. After 17 years in art education, she found herself in a bad way just a few years ago, following a marriage breakdown, a bout of pleurisy and a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome. During a year of convalescence, Sharon admits she went through a period of depression, but decided one day to start painting, raiding the kids’ art cupboard for supplies. And she hasn’t looked back since, becoming a regular exhibitor at the Atlantis resort in Dubai.

But painting for herself wasn’t enough – Sharon wanted to work under an “art heals” umbrella, which inspired her to create the Tree of Life. “I brought all the butterflies back with me and created the Tree of Life which went to the London Fashion Museum. I thought ‘now let’s hit the world’ – I took it to Dubai.”

Sharon was overwhelmed by the reaction to the work, which she says reduced some Muslim men to tears, and has since taken the Tree of Life to eight destinations, including the huge World Art Dubai exhibition.

“Whatever journey I’m on it’s about inspiring and helping people of all abilities and all ages,” she says.