Celebrity Art Auction

Steam Fair in Priory Park, Crouch End

Steam Fair in Priory Park, Crouch End - Credit: Archant

North London artists and celebrities raise money for The National Brain appeal with a silent art auction

Stephen Mangan with the Antony Gormley artwork

Stephen Mangan with the Antony Gormley artwork - Credit: Archant

Celebrity residents and north London artists who have been affected by neurological diseases have taken part in The National Brain Appeal’s fundraising exhibition A Letter In Mind.

Crouch End father and daughter Craig Barnard and Matilda Swift-Barnard were among those who donated original artworks to the exhibition on the South Bank.

Muswell Hill deisgner and illustrator Anita Mangan, who lost her dad to brain cancer and her graphic designer husband Matt Cooper who lost his mother to Alzheimer’s disease both donated works which sold for £85 in the silent auction.

Anita’s brother, Camden-based actor Stephen Mangan opened the private view, “I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler and the best thing about the exhibition is that there isn’t any artwork created by me. My cousin-in-law Paul has a brain tumour and is having treatment at The National Hospital. I’ve met the staff and seen their incredible work at first hand,” he said.

Tower Bridge by Craig Barnard donated for art auction

Tower Bridge by Craig Barnard donated for art auction - Credit: Archant

Works, including a piece by actor Stephen Campbell Moore and Antony Gormley, were sold anonymously with the artist’s name only revealed once it was bought.

All funds go to The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, which treats diseases of the brain, spine and nervous system.

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Anita said, “Creating this artwork was a no brainer (excuse the pun). My piece was inspired by a card that my dad found so funny where a peacock was showing off to another animal - it’s too rude to repeat the caption..”

Craig Barnard said, “My dad has had Alzheimer’s for some years, so it was important to me and Matilda to support this exhibition. Painting is my passion and I’m delighted she has the bug too. The whole experience has been memorable, from heading down to Priory Park with Matilda when she painted Carters Steam Fair, to going to the Private View. It was such a proud moment to see her stunning artwork on display. For mine I went down to Butler’s Wharf one sunny Sunday morning to paint Tower Bridge. As a London artist, it is always a joy to paint our city’s iconic buildings.”

Matilda, 20 who is studying interior architecture, said, “My dad encouraged me to draw and paint since I was young and we love painting together. This is the first time I’ve been involved in an exhibition and it has been a really special experience. Our paintings both sold so we’re happy that we’ve helped to raise money.”

Actress and Celebrity MasterChef winner Sophie Thompson, who lives in East Finchley, is another long-standing supporter of the charity.

Her close friend Joanna David had brain surgery at The National Hospital. She said: “It is such a lovely event, with such a beautiful and fascinating range of artworks on display. To be able to buy an original artwork for £85 is amazing, The fact that you don’t know the identity of the artist until their piece has sold adds to the fun of it!”

Campbell Moore, who starred in The History Boys on stage and has twice undergone surgery at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery to remove a tumour on his pituitary gland, said he found painting particularly therapeutic when recovering from his surgery.

“To be able to create this artwork was a lovely way to say thank you to all the extremely skilled and wonderful staff who cared for me so well when I was a patient,” he said.

See the artworks at nationalbrainappeal.org/how-to-support-us/a-letter-in-mind/gallery