Art for hearts – National charity Heart Research UK raises over £37,000 with art-inspired fundraiser

National charity Heart Research UK has raised £37.500 with their ‘anonymous heART project’, auctioning unique anonymous artworks by a host of celebrities, artists and designers.

Over 450 pieces of original A5 artwork created by huge names including Robert Smith (The Cure), Alan Titchmarsh MBE, Zoë Wanamaker CBE, Keith Lemon, Ralph Steadman, Paul Insect were auctioned on eBay between the 4th – 13th November.

All of the pieces were sold anonymously, and though a full list of contributors was available, the artist of each piece was kept a secret, only being revealed now the auction is over.

When the virtual hammer came down, all 457 of the pieces found new homes, raising tens of thousands of pounds for Heart Research UK’s pioneering research in to the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease.

The bestselling piece was an original painting by Robert Smith, iconic rock star and frontman of The Cure, which commanded a stunning £5,050 in the online auction.

The piece, entitled “I could have held on to your heart…” featured the lyrics “If only I could have found the right words…”, taken from The Cure’s hit song ‘Pictures of You.’

The second highest seller was by internationally-acclaimed street artist Paul Insect, with his 3D piece titled ‘Reflections’ fetching a whopping £2,500. Fans of Insect’s work, who has previously worked alongside Banksy at the Cans Art Festival, include Damien Hirst, who purchased Insect’s whole show days before it opened.

Making up the top three was an original painting by Ralph Steadman, most famous for designing the artwork for Hunter S. Thompson’s ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.’ ‘Passport Photo’ fetched a hefty £1,270 on eBay.

All of the artwork was also on display at a public exhibition at Northern Ballet, Leeds.

People from far and wide came to view the artwork, including one ‘Cure’ superfan who travelled all the way from Liverpool to gaze upon a piece created by their idol. There was also an evening auction of larger pieces of artwork, which raised over £2500 and was formally introduced by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Eileen Taylor.

Kate Bratt-Farrar, Chief Executive of Heart Research UK, said: “The dust has finally started to settle from 2019’s anonymous heART project, and what a few weeks it has been. We’ve been blown away by the generosity of the artists, supporters and everyone who has donated their time and efforts to the campaign, and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved.

“At Heart Research UK, we’re always looking for fun and interesting ways to raise money. The anonymous heART project allows people to support ground-breaking medical research but also get a little something back, owning their own mini-masterpieces

“What makes this project so special is that everyone has the chance to own a piece of iconic art, it really is making high class art available to all. We’re over the moon that all 457 pieces have found a new home, even mine!

“It was incredibly exciting receiving all the artwork and seeing the bids fly in on eBay. The feedback we’ve had from artists and supporters has been overwhelmingly positive, and we’re so excited to see what pieces will be created next year.”