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Gadgie artist and Futureheads guitarist contribute artworks to charity auction

Bids for "mini masterpieces" by Alexander Millar and Ross Millard will raise money to help North East rape victims

Freedom, pencil sketch by Alexander Millar, which is among the "mini masterpieces" produced for a silent auction in Newcastle
Freedom, pencil sketch by Alexander Millar, which is among the "mini masterpieces" produced for a silent auction in Newcastle

Gadgie artist Alexander Millar and the Futureheads guitarist Ross Millard are among the North East talents busy creating mini-masterpieces which will be sold in a silent auction to raise money for rape victims in the region.

Their one-off ideas will feature in an exhibition of more than 100 postcard-size donated artworks going on show in Newcastle next week ahead of the charity auction which will see them up for grabs, giving members of the public a chance to own a - very small - piece of original art.

All of the money raised will go to support the work of Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland, the Newcastle-based charity which is the oldest of its kind in the UK.

This week North East-based Millar, famous for his humorous image of the flat-capped working man which has won him fans around the world, was putting finishing touches to his latest artwork - a fraction of the size of his usual paintings - while Sunderland musician Millard, an accomplished artist himself, has already completed three colourful postcards with striking images representing Hope, Liberation and Solidarity.

Many of the contributors, keen to support the work of the charity, took inspiration from the these themes: terms most frequently used by charity users when asked to sum up how they felt about the support they had received. Others picked traditional subjects or favourite scenes.

Three postcards, Hope, Liberation and Solidarity by Ross Millard
Three postcards, Hope, Liberation and Solidarity by Ross Millard

The result is a huge range of art for the public to choose from when the auction gets underway.

There are mini oil paintings, watercolours, cartoons, drawings and collages by local artists such as Sharron Blackmore and Mark Taylor-Gregg alongside others further afield, including feminist artist Carol Rosetti and Pete Fowler, the Welsh creator of the iconic album artwork for the band Super Furry Animals.

All will be revealed when the Mini-Masterpieces art exhibition launches at North East Art Collective, in Newcastle’s Eldon Garden, on November 7.

The work can be viewed for free from that date and the silent auction will last until December 2, with keen buyers able to place a bid in a box at the gallery or submit it online at www.rctn.co.uk

Gallery owner John Thompson said: “I’ve seen many of the original pieces that the artists are creating and I can say this is going to be a cracking exhibition.

“The auction is a great opportunity to pick up a pocket-sized piece of art from some fantastic and highly-sought-after artists and at the same time raise money for a charity which works tirelessly in the region in supporting so many women.”

The fact that Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland - which has been offering support, information and counselling to women affected by any form of sexual violence since 1978 - will receive 100% of the funds raised is likely to make a big difference in difficult times.

The charity’s co-chief executive officer Sue Pearce said: “This year we’re working harder than ever to raise funds, to increase our counselling capacity and give more women access to our services.

“We can’t thank the artists and North East Art Collective enough for supporting this event and we’re looking forward to revealing the collection to the public.”


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