Art for hearts – National charity raises over £40k with art-inspired fundraiser


National charity Heart Research UK, in collaboration with law firm Walker Morris, has raised £43,000 with their ‘anonymous heART project’, auctioning unique artworks by a host of celebrities, politicians, artists and designers.

Over 400 pieces of original A5 sized artwork created by big names, including Nick Cave, Gillian Anderson, Steven Brown, David Cameron, Simon Pegg and Alan Titchmarsh, were auctioned on eBay between the 2 – 11 November,

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

The bestselling piece was an original ‘Hearty McCoo’ by renowned artist, Steven Brown, commanding a remarkable £975 on the online auction.

The second highest seller was a self-portrait titled ‘You are indispensable’, by worldwide star, Nick Cave, clocking in at £860.

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.’ ‘Red Whizz’ fetched a very healthy £670.

All the 466 pieces of artwork were on display at an invitation-only exhibition at King’s Place, London, where a further £5,000 was raised with an exclusive auction of larger art pieces generously donated by a host of international artists. The best seller on the night was another Steven Brown, an artist’s proof of ‘Wee Ben McCoo’, with the hammer falling at £1,500.

Barbara Harpham, Heart Research UK Chief Executive said: “We have never had such a response for a fundraising campaign. Artists and celebrities from all over the world donated artwork and the online auction was flooded with bidders until the last second. 

“From the comments we’ve had, supporters really enjoyed the thrill of winning their chosen pieces and there is certainly enthusiasm to have this a regular event. Next time, it will be even bigger and better and pay for even more pioneering heart research.”

David Smedley, Chairman of Walker Morris added: “We are thrilled that the project has been such a success for Heart Research.  It was a very unusual and distinctive event which we thoroughly enjoyed supporting.  The funds which have been raised will provide invaluable support to continuing research into the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease.

“We’re proud to have played a part in such an innovative project which has also helped to make art more accessible and enjoyable for so many people.”

The ‘anonymous heART project’ was sponsored by international law firm, Walker Morris, who have previously sponsored ‘The Triumph of Painting’ exhibition at London’s Saatchi Gallery, the ‘Artist Rooms: Damian Hirst’ exhibition at Leeds Art Gallery, and Ashley Jackson’s ‘Framing the Landscape’ project.