Digital round-up: Heart Research UK runs blind online auction for celebrity artwork

Plus: MND Association video attracts thousands of viewers in first 24 hours

A detail from one of the artworks available in the auction
A detail from one of the artworks available in the auction

If you’ve ever yearned for a work of art created by Nicola Sturgeon, then a national health charity might have just what you’re looking for.

Heart Research UK is offering artwork created by celebrities in an eBay auction for a fundraising campaign in November. For its heART project, it has attracted names from entertainment, politics and the arts, including Nick Cave, Jo Brand and Ralph Steadman, as well as Scotland’s First Minister.

Although bidders will be able to see the list of artists, the creator of each individual piece of work will be kept anonymous, to be revealed once the auction, which is sponsored by the law firm Walker Morris, is over.

Barbara Harpham, chief executive of Heart Research UK, said: "We’ve had an overwhelming response to the anonymous heART project from artists, designers and celebrities all over the world.

"Everyone has the chance to own a piece of iconic art, and what we raise will help us continue our ground-breaking medical research, helping us to benefit patients as soon as possible."

Bids can be made between 2 and 11 November, and all the artwork is available to view at Kings Place in London on 8 November.

"Unbelievably fantastic", "powerful" and "the best creative I’ve seen so far for MND campaigns" are among the Facebook comments about a powerful 60-second video highlighting the devastating effects of motor neurone disease.

The film, called The Ride, was launched across YouTube, Facebook and the MND Association’s website yesterday and shows the speed with which the neurological disease can affect a person. It depicts Luke celebrating his 38th birthday, but he is suddenly struck by MND and is sent on a two-year rollercoaster ride resulting in the loss of physical control. The video has already been viewed more than 340,000 times.

The film, which is supported by the campaign hashtag #TakeOverMND, marks a change in style by the charity for its awareness-raising. In a statement, the MND Association described it as "a bolder approach".

Chris James, director of external affairs, said: "Motor neurone disease devastates lives, robbing those living with it of their ability to walk, move, communicate and ultimately to breathe. It pulls no punches. That’s what we believe The Ride does by putting the viewer in the position of someone who is living with MND. Unfortunately, that is the reality of the disease – any one of us could develop it at any stage of our adult lives."

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