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Page last updated at 13:17 GMT, Monday, 9 November 2009
Spectrum charity auction success
London by Stephen
London by Stephen Wiltshire who was diagnosed with autism when he was three

A charity art auction, held in late October in Newquay has raised thousands of pounds for local organisation Spectrum.

The evening featured many star guests including musician Rick Wakeman.

Telephone bidders and guests in attendance managed to raise £31,000 by purchasing the art work.

All of the proceeds will go to helping the Spectrum charity's art project for people with Autism and Asperger's syndrome.

The Lightness of Being Art
One of the pieces auctioned on the night -The Lightness of Being Art

During the auction, appetite for work by artists such as; Patrick Hughes, Rankin, Damien Hirst and Mark Lascelles Thornton was at a high in Newquay's Headland Hotel.

With the advent of a formal dinner and drinks, bidding got quite heated and was further provoked by auctioneer Philip Buddell.

The organisers reported that: "In the spirit of the event certain guests appeared to be bidding not just against their friends and colleagues, but against themselves."

Patrick Hughes' extraordinary 3D image of Venice, "Moonshine 2008", made almost £4,000. A telephone bid from Birmingham acquired Irene Lees' "Fairtrade" for £1,000 and Damien Hirst's tiny doodle of a shark inside his coffee table book "The Elusive Truth" was bought for almost £2,500 by Truro's Driftwood Gallery.

London businessman, Udi Amin purchased the centrepiece of the auction, a large triptych inspired by a 'graffitied' cell door from Dartmoor Prison and known as 'The Divinity of Monsters' for £6000.

Rick Wakeman and Mary Simpson, CEO of Spectrum
We are delighted and overwhelmed and we can't thank our supporters enough
Mary Simpson - CEO Spectrum

Three of the four collaborators on the project, Paul McGowan, Mark Lascelles Thornton and Chris Stocker sat nervously through the bidding on this and other works they had created for SpectrumArt 2009 and its theme of communication.

Reflecting on that moment, artist Paul McGowan said: "It's awful waiting to see work you've spent so long creating go under the hammer

"You never know how much it's going to go for and we really wanted to make a lot of money for Spectrum - so we're pretty pleased."

Another highlight of the evening was the appearance of guest speaker Rick Wakeman.

Rick entertained bidders with jokes and delivered a virtuoso keyboard performance including 'Bah-Bah Black Sheep' in the style of Mozart, and 'Pop Goes the Weasel' in that of Rachmaninov.

Speaking about the auction, Mary Simpson CEO of Spectrum said: "So many people put so much effort into making SpectrumArt a success, you just never know how it's going to turn out - especially in this economic climate.

David Ashwell - Vertigo
David Ashwell - Vertigo David is an LA film & TV producer brought up in Cornwall

"We had sealed bids on the table and telephone bids coming from across the country, as well as the dinner guests here in Cornwall and we've done even better than we did at our last art auction two years ago. We are delighted and overwhelmed and we can't thank our supporters enough."

The work of the charity, Spectrum, centres around improving the social skills of people with autism, and also Asperger's syndrome and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

The money raised by the auction will hep support the Art Ark project where people with the condition can express themselves through creating art.

The art workshops which take place on a restored barge, moored alongside a quay looking down the river at Penryn are also attended by professional artists who advise the artists in workshops.

Auction raises funds for autism
27 Oct 09 |  Arts & Culture



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