Hebden Spirit Creative Auction

I have apologies to make as I been a little bit quiet lately; both on this blog and on a social front with friends and family! The reason was the enormous amount of work that went into this event which took place last Friday at the Hebden Bridge Town Hall.

Hebden Spirit Creative Auction

Hebden Spirit Creative Auction

However, the hard work of myself and the great team I worked with paid off on Friday night when £6491 was raised! This amount was above and beyond what we all expected, especially considering the initial idea came from one of my ceramicists on twitter … little did we know that Helen Russell’s seed would grow so big and so wide and attract the generosity of so many creatives and collectors. 

Helen Russell

Helen Russell

The night of the floods Helen watched with horror as many of her favourite haunts in Hebden were damaged and friend’s lives affected. She doesn’t live in the town but both personally and professionally it is a home from home and it quickly became obvious that many others around the UK felt the same. In a moment of frustration at not being able to help she suggested on Twitter that a creative fundraising auction might send a message of support to those affected. An hour later saw a list of 20 artists wanting to donate and Hebden Spirit was born.

The Creative Auction catalogue kindly put together by Alison Bartram and Richard Aked and printed for Hebden Spirit by Lamberts

The Creative Auction catalogue painstakingly put together by Alison Bartram and Richard Aked and kindly printed for Hebden Spirit by Lamberts

As the owner of Heart Gallery, a business that was hit by the floods with the building damaged and stock ruined, I understood the impact of  what this devastating act of nature would do not only to my business I had worked hard to build for 6 years but to Hebden Bridge itself.

Alison in Heart Gallery

Alison in Heart Gallery

All businesses in Hebden Bridge would be affected by the floods, even if they hadn’t been affected physically by the flood waters. Negative reporting by the press meant that members of the public were given the impression that we were down and out, closed and boarded up! We needed to tell them we most certainly weren’t closed but OPEN FOR BUSINESS and ready for them to come back and visit our beautiful town. I got involved in the auction as I could see it was such a positive event for the town and it focused on supporting the community.

Amy Leader, Business Development Officer at The Town Hall where the auction took place on Friday night, has seen that the floods in Hebden Bridge have encouraged businesses and individuals in our town to collaborate more than ever with really exciting results. The fact that the auction raised so much money is positive for the town in so many ways; as a show of support, and also to fund projects that remind people why Hebden Bridge is so unique.

OPEN FOR BUSINESS

OPEN FOR BUSINESS

The auction attracted a total of 103 lots, donated from artists all over the UK, but with a strong emphasis on talent from Hebden Bridge itself. Many kind donations of jewellery and craft turned up at Heart Gallery from my makers; past, present and future and others were handed in at the Town Hall by local artists based in studios in Hebden Bridge or working from home. The Post Office also had to cope with numerous packages of various sizes turning up from around the UK and Ireland from creatives who had heard about the fundraising auction taking place. From tigers …

Amur Ambush - Stella Mays

Amur Ambush – Stella Mays

… to textiles …

Lindsay Taylor - textile necklace with detachable corsage

Textile necklace with detachable corsage – Lindsay Taylor

… ladies …

Woman in dress - Sarah McDade

Woman in dress – Sarah McDade

… to lampshades ….

Lampshades - Karen Revill at revillrevill.com

Lampshades – Karen Revill at revillrevill.com

… from birds …

Julia Ogden - Hebden Houses

Julia Ogden – Hebden Houses

… to bowls …

Jenny Tidman - felt bowls

Jenny Tidman – felt bowls

… silver …

Jodie Hook - silver ribbon necklace

Jodie Hook – silver ribbon necklace

…to sexy …

Angela Smyth - A Grand Entrance

Angela Smyth – A Grand Entrance

… there was something for everyone and boy did everyone turn up on the night and thoroughly enjoy themselves.

Viewing before the auction - photo bluplanet photography

Viewing before the auction – photo blu planet photography

Viewing before the auction - photo bluplanet photography

Viewing before the auction – photo blu planet photography

Bidding begins - photo bluplanet photography

Bidding begins – photo bluplanet photography

Bidding starts to get serious - photo bluplanet photography

Bidding starts to get serious – photo bluplanet photography

Our Auctioneer Jason Elliott does a stirling job - photo bluplanet photography

Our Auctioneer Jason Elliott does a stirling job – photo bluplanet photography

Jason Elliott doing his stuff - photo blu planet photography

Jason Elliott doing his stuff – photo blu planet photography

I spoke to Jason afterwards and he declared that the Creative Auction had been so successful that it meant we could financially support lots of ideas that have been developed since the floods. We are only able to do that through the generosity of the artists that donated work, the people that turned up to bid on the night and the team of volunteers that put the whole thing together. We are all so proud that our hard work and determination to make this Creative Auction a success for Hebden Bridge was rewarded on the night with £6491 in the bank!

Hebden Bridge is planning a food festival, a poetry trail, and lots of exciting festive events which will be included on a Pop Up Hebden that will travel the north of England, telling people that the town is back open for business and money raised at the auction will help fund many of these projects.

The team that made it all happen. Helen Russell, Hannah Nunn, Amy Leader, Jason Elliott, Nina Wadcock, Richard Aked, Alison Bartram and Sarah Mason (sadly missed the photo shoot at the end of the night)

The team that made it all happen. Helen Russell, Hannah Nunn, Amy Leader, Jason Elliott, Alison Bartram, Nina Wadcock and Richard Aked, Alison Bartram – photo blu planet photography. Sadly Sarah Mason missed the photo shoot at the end of the evening.

Thanks go to Helen Russell from Mercury Arts who set the ball in motion and the auction would not have possible without Richard Aked of Artome, Sarah Mason of Sarah Mason Photography, Jason Elliott Director at Hebden Bridge Blues Festival and Amy Leader from The Town Hall working in harmony alongside me in the weeks leading up to September 28th.

Helen Bradley from Metropolis Events, Hannah Nunn from Radiance and Nina Wadcock were also fundamental in getting this show on the road and we all made a cracking team.

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