Friday, 31 January 2020

Under the Hammer

anticipation was high as the speeches got under way
© Teresa Newham

By the time last night's Journeys in Hope charity art auction began, there was real excitement in the room.  Representatives of the three nominated charities -  the Westminster Lourdes PilgrimageAid to the Church in Need and Safe Passage - had spoken movingly about their work, while Jennifer Scott, Sackler Director of the Dulwich Picture Gallery, had reminded us that an artist cannot paint a picture which touches others without having first been moved themselves in some way by the subject.

the bidders were greeted with refreshments
© Teresa Newham

My husband and I had volunteered to wrap the paintings - a backroom role which meant we didn't watch the bidding itself.  No matter - runners brought each piece to our room as they sold, while we grabbed a suitable piece of bubblewrap and secured it round the work with stretchy film.  There was quite enough jeopardy in that, and I was pleased I didn't have time to worry about whether the pictures I'd exhibited would sell . . .

the auctioneer's podium
© Teresa Newham

The auctioneer rattled through the twenty or so lots in half an hour, and we wrapped like crazy so everything was ready for the buyers to collect. Some people had bought several paintings each - one of whom had to get three of the largest framed items home on the tube - a luckier bidder had an office at the venue and only had to take their purchases along the corridor. And we didn't have to carry either of my paintings home!

behind the scenes
© Teresa Newham

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