Celebrity doodles auctioned for Leeds charity

Paul Ratcliffe
Paul Ratcliffe
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Have you ever wanted to own a little piece of rare art created by a celebrity?

Well for some people, that dream became a reality last night, thanks to a charity fundraising event in Leeds.

Beermats designed by actor Sir Ian McKellen, playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourn and Olympic boxing champion Nicola Adams, among others, were created for an auction organised by arts@trinity, the arts organisation based at Trinity Church on Boar Lane.

Blank beermats were sent by the organisation to famous names in theatre, sport and politics, with a request for them to provide a doodle, drawing or signature to help raise money.

The pieces were being sold at a silent auction during a dinner at the church held to celebrate the first anniversary of its arts hub, which was set up to nurture new, young and aspiring talent in music, drama and the arts.

Director of Theatre at arts@trinity, Paul Ratcliffe, said: “We were thinking about fundraising ideas for the anniversary and about how people sometimes write ideas down on the back of a beermat. We thought if we got a pack of blank beermats and sent them to people then they could do their own doodle on the back of a beermat.

“I’m surprised at how they are all so different and that people have gone into so much more detail than just signing them.

“Buyers will be supporting three key charities and they will walk away with a unique piece of artwork created by a celebrity.”

Other beermat designs were created by Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, Leeds scriptwriter Kay Mellor and some local artists.

As well as the beermats, a signed paitning by Yorkshire artist Ashley Jackson was being sold.

Funds raised during the auction will be shared between arts@trinity, Baggage Handlers, which is a city-based writing group for people living with mental health issues, and the Joanna Project, a local support agency for women involved in or at risk of being involved in prostitution.

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