Tuesday 18 September 2018

Irish artist donates work to raise funds for Grenfell Tower tragedy

Patrick O'Reilly joined names such as Anthony Gormley and Tracy Emin in the fundraising auction

Patrick O'Reilly's 'Life Goes On' sculpture
Patrick O'Reilly's 'Life Goes On' sculpture
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

An Irish artist donated a piece to a star-studded art auction set up to raise funds for the Grenfell Tower tragedy - and it sold for twice the reserve.

Patrick O' Reilly, best known for his lifesize bronze bears, donated a sculpture called 'Life Goes On' alongside works by other well-known artists including Anish Kapoor, Anthony Gormley, Wolfgang Tillman,  Tracey Emin, Anthony Gormley, Yinka Shonibare, Sarah Lucas and many others.

The auction took place last night at Sotheby's in London and O'Reilly's work, measuring 50cm by 60cm, achieved in excess of the double the reserve.

In total, 31 lots were up for sale at the invitation only event, though there were telephone and internet bidders.

The auction raised just shy of £2m (€2.2m) and the proceeds of the sale will be divided up equally among the surviving families by the Ruby Portobello Trust, a North Kensington–based charity which has been closely supporting the Grenfell residents since the fire in June.

Celebrated film producer Hamish McAlpine and art consultant Katie Heller were the driving-forces behind ‘Art for Grenfell’ and over the past few months were working with the artists to source works for the sale.

They said: "The edifice of Grenfell Tower stands as a reminder of the terrible failure of society to look after its poorest people.

"No one should have to endure the terrible trauma, these people have endured.

"It is only right that we should do all we can to help in any way that we can and the artists have responded with immense generosity and goodwill."

Patrick O’Reilly added: "It is a great honour for me to donate a piece of my work to such a worthy cause. All of us were touched as we watched the horror of the Grenfell Fire tragedy unfold. I hope the auction will help in some small way to ease the pain of the survivors."

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