What enormous fun to collect together the work of North East artists for our forthcoming art auction. This will help the funding of our Cloud Nine play Rainbird, The Tragedy of an Artist and the artists have been incredibly generous supporting a piece of theatre about one of their own.
Someone has donated a Rainbird original, another has created his own portraits of the North Shields painter – one in acrylic, one in pencil, while a third has offered up an actual ‘rain bird’ – a mobile-cum-hanging of a wooden bird with inlaid broken china and glass bead raindrops falling alongside.
Some donations are extraordinary – Liz Maynard’s work is seven foot long and needs two to carry; nine rows each of three large ceramic tiles mounted on wood and recreating scenes from the Bayeux Tapestry. Dave Young, who is acting in the play has given us probably the most unusual item, a genuine Brazil football shirt, signed by Pele and beautifully framed and mounted. It is said to be worth £500.
Somewhat culturally different, but no less interesting is a full cartoon strip donated by the graphic artist Davey Jones who works for the famous, at times scurrilous North East Magazine Viz. One of Davey’s Viz characters is Johnnie Fartpants (little further explanation required) and this original strip, hand drawn in ink, is signed by its creator.
We have had enquiries from would-be bidders from as far away as Bristol, on of whom wants to bid over the phone while the auction takes place – you could almost think you were in Sotherby’s.
The auction promises to be a colourful affair, run as it is by the inimitable auctioneer Bertie Foster, a flamboyant highly entertaining character known to break off suddenly to play the spoons.
The Rainbird Auction is at The Exchange, North Shields, 7.30pm on Sunday Feb 25th.