Highlights of 2019: The Record Breaking Go Wild Gorillas Auction

 

Plus my Wild In Art adventures.

How could this not be a highlight? To be commissioned to create two out if 40 sculptures that raised over a million quid? The highest Wild in Art raise ever! Featuring artists including Stuart Semple and DC’s Kenneth Rockafort, and cheerleader by Henry Cavill himself. It was the top rockstar moment of my career so far.

I even went as far as to say that I’ve peaked! As both a fundraiser and an artist. Even before the spectacular auction, the project was a highlight throughout. It marked my first visit to the island. With a distinctive continental flavour it was like a mini holiday with my art. I met some brilliant artists along the way too. My sculptures both got beautiful seaside locations, including just opposed the aging hire, I had stayed in tinlaint, beneath the castle. It meant that picturing the statue in place, despite being unable to visit, was much easier.

The Auction 

The night of the auction blew my mind, Our Island raised £27,000 at auction. Jersey Big raised £25,000. It was incredible, and all the sculptures went for one phenomenal amounts.Of course I have my tongue in my cheek when I talk about having peaked, but it feels like a tough act to follow. I felt like a proper artist though! My career is still new, and I have been drawing in the closet my whole life. These moments in the real world, where my work is being elevated so much, are still huge ‘pinch myself’ moments.

Other Wild In Art Adventures

These two sculptures joined my Wallabies Gone Wild Wallaby and my Great North Elmer as my Wild in Art 2019 contributions. Plus my Cows About Cambridge sculpture debuts in March 2020. My charity sculpture raise for the year is nearly at an incredible £60,000. A huge highlight for me indeed! 

This piece is part of a three part blog series on my highlights from 2019.  

Highlights of 2019: Armley Murals Project


This incredible project allowed me to paint my biggest mural ever in September 2019. With support from Leeds City Council and Seagulls paint, Mike Winnard of Armley House studios led the project to regenerate walls in the district of Armley.

Four artists were given four areas in Armley to paint. We were also offered mentoring time with the talented artist Mike. Getting pro tips on the painting and preparation process was a great opportunity for me. Mike was as friendly and helpful as he was knowledgeable. 

The Selection Process 

As part of the project we were given free reign over our proposed piece of art, of which mine was voted in a local forum to be commissioned. Painted over 3 days the 14 foot long mural I painted adorned the side of a local home. I was given chance to meet the locals and get their frank & honest but overwhelmingly positive response to my work.

The Inspiration Behind It 

I chose to create a piece that celebrated community and positivity. From growing up in a town facing a high level of deprivation, not unlike Armley, I know how important optimism and a strong sense of community can be. I wanted something bright and positive that would appeal to young and old. From the comments I heard from local to kids and older residents I think I managed it. 

Why It’s a Highlight 

It felt good to be trusted to paint something so huge on someone’s home and so prominently in a residential place. The positive response it got and the experience I got in painting and scaling up such a large piece were the cherries on top. Id love the chance to get back to visit the piece, so would like to resolve that for 2020.

If you have a photo of the mural, please remember to share it with me! 

This piece is part of a three part blog series on my highlights from 2019.