Auction raises €63,000 for artist who lost fingers
AN auction organised for the medical costs of an artist who had three fingers hacked off in a horrific knife attack has raised over €63,000.
Alexandra Trotsenko was attacked in her home and left for dead by James Kenny over two years ago. Without health insurance or a medical card, the 39-year-old artist was told by doctors it would cost €10,000 for prosthetic fingers to replace the ones she lost.
However, when her plight was publicised on RTE's 'Liveline' a number of high-profile celebrities and fellow artists donated items for the 'Art for Alexandra' auction which was held by Adams auctioneers in Blackrock yesterday.
Before the sale began, Ms Trotsenko thanked artists from all over Ireland who had donated their work.
"For almost over two years I was left without attention from the State. I was feeling bad and depressed but you changed my life. This has made a huge difference," said Ms Trotsenko.
Earlier this month her attacker Kenny was jailed for 16 years for using knives on her "like a butcher" when he broke into her apartment. The artist told how Kenny savagely attacked her with knives and a machete, leaving her for dead before going to an ATM nearby to use her bank card.
Over 200 works by artists including Robert Ballagh, Jane O'Malley and Markey Robinson went under the hammer with the highest bid of €5,200 reached for a bronze sculpture by Paddy Campbell. An autumn landscape by 'Liveline' host Joe Duffy raised €620.
"This isn't going to change the world. It's not going to heal her wounds, but it may give Alexandra more options. She has suffered catastrophic injuries," said Mr Duffy, who described the auction as a "lovely warm embrace from the Irish people" to the Russian.
Ms Trotsenko, who is married to an Irishman, had been an illustrator of children's books, but has been unable to work since the attack.
Artist Ken Bolger from Ballyferriter, whose donation of 'Celtic Figures Patina' on copper sold for €360, spoke of his sympathy for his fellow artist's plight: "I just couldn't imagine what it would be like not to paint or draw anymore."
The €63,795 raised will be added to €20,000 already donated by 'Liveline' listeners and will be used towards Ms Trotsenko's medical bills -- including the cost of prosthetic fingers.
Ms Trotsenko said she hoped to work as an artist again. "Hopefully I will draw again. I can't wait for that," she said.
Auctioneers Adams of Blackrock waived their fees on yesterday's sale.