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Art auction throws lockdown lifeline to cancer charity

By Gavin Musgrove

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A painting of Seilebost Beach on the Isle of Harris by Fiona Glynne Percy raised £1500.
A painting of Seilebost Beach on the Isle of Harris by Fiona Glynne Percy raised £1500.

An online art auction marking Marie Curie’s Great Daffodil Appeal has helped raise a staggering £76,986 for the charity.

The funding is the equivalent of almost 4000 hours in home care for their patients needing end of life care and support.

Artists from across the Highlands and beyond brought colour and excitement to the annual fundraiser which, due to Covid-19 restrictions, could not be staged at public events as normal.

The online art auction, hosted by a small group of local artists and art lovers, has surpassed all expectations by raising the much-needed thousands for the charity’s nursing services.

The fundraising initiative, Art Works for Marie Curie, was sponsored by Saffrey Champness Accountants Inverness and lasted 10 days.

Community fundraiser Vonnie Stevenson said: "The art auction was an idea we came up with in January when we all realised, we were in for another long haul of lockdown.

"It has been hugely well supported by artists and bidders alike and became addictive viewing for 10 days as the total just went up and up.

"We are so grateful to everyone involved in making it such a success.

"Our nurses are busier than ever before, when our usual fundraising channels have all but gone, and it was just wonderful to feel that we have made such a big difference with this event."

The wide-ranging collection was supplied by artists from across the country with some of the Highlands' most celebrated painters including Ruth Bradley, Fiona Glynne Percy, Gill Wilson, Allan MacDonald and Leonie Gibbs supplying original works.

Nearly 200 submissions of art, from landscape to still life and abstract works, many paintings set in virtual rooms, were auctioned online to help finance the charity’s frontline services, providing home-based nursing care for those urgently in need of end-of-life support.

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