Celebrities donate art for Leeds’ St Gemma’s Hospice

Some of the mystery works from the secreat arts project.
Some of the mystery works from the secreat arts project.
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Some of the UK’s most famous faces have put their creative talents to the test for a secret project in aid of St Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds.

Stephen Fry, Katherine Jenkins, Prime Minister David Cameron and Brian Blessed are among the high-profile names who answered the Moortown hospice’s plea to create postcard-size pieces of art for an online fundraising auction.

Katherine Jenkins.

Katherine Jenkins.

Their work will go on display at next month’s Leeds Art Exhibition at the same time as bidding opens on eBay for a week. But the sale comes with a twist - the artist behind each piece will be a secret until the bidding process is over and names are revealed.

Since 400 pieces have been submitted, art lovers have as much chance of netting masterpieces by up and coming talent and professional artists as they do celebrities.

Danielle Le Cuirot said she has been amazed by the response to their first ‘Secret Art Project’. She said: “We used social media to contact celebrities - we tweeted a lot of them or went through their PRs. Some we found contact detail to got to directly. We were just trying to spread awareness.”

Danielle said word seems to have spread particularly fast in the art world with many artists asking the hospice for postcards after seeing their friends do it. She said: “It’s been fantastic. We’ve got over 400 pieces and more are still coming in. It’s such a fun, unique and exciting thing. And when the online bidding starts, people won’t know who did it. They’ll have to take a gamble.”

The art will be on display in a secret room at Leeds Art Exhibition, which opens at The Grammar School at Leeds on October 23. Some of the artists whose work features in the exhibition have also created ‘secret art’ so eagle-eyed visitors could try and spot the similarities.

All proceeds from the Secret Art Project auction sill go to St Gemma’s Hospice, as well as a percentage from the annual art exhibition itself. Art lovers can bid while at the show or when bidding opens from Tuesday October 22 until Friday October 31. Visit www.st-gemma.co.uk/sap.

The famous faces who are taking part include:

Matt Bowman, of the Pigeon Detectives

Ricky Wilson, of the Kaiser Chiefs

Singer Katherine Jenkins (singer)

Prime Minister David Cameron

Labour leader Ed Milliband

Actor Danny Dyer

Stephen Fry

Comedian Frank Skinner

Leeds’ own Leigh Francis - aka Keith Lemon

Brian Blessed

Sir Ben Kingsley

Sir Ian McKellan

Jockey A P McCoy

Yorkshire artist Ashley Jackson

Julie Britton and daughter Connie Seabourne were among those attending the event.

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