A number of paintings by some of Northern Ireland’s best-known artists are being auctioned in Dublin this week to raise money to help people in war-torn Ukraine.
hey are among 35 artworks in an online sale organised by the Adam’s auction house in St Stephen’s Green to aid the Irish Red Cross’s humanitarian efforts.
Most of the local artists in the auction, which it is hoped will raise at least €50,000, are deceased.
The sale includes sought-after works by Basil Blackshaw, Tom Carr, Markey Robinson, Maurice C Wilks and William Conor.
However, a portrait by 54-year old Belfast-born Colin Davidson is at the centre of a bidding frenzy.
The piece in question is a study of the late poet Seamus Heaney, and the auctioneer’s estimate of €2,500 has already been surpassed.
One of Davidson’s most recent exhibitions — Silent Testimony — is of 18 victims of the Troubles, and has already been seen at the Ulster Museum in Belfast, in Dublin, Paris and at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
A permanent exhibition of Davidson’s art is on display at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast, where he personally showed his work to the Queen during her visit to Northern Ireland in 2012, when she shook hands with late Sinn Fein deputy leader Martin McGuinness.
Davidson has also painted studies of actor Jamie Dornan, singer Ed Sheeran, former US President Bill Clinton and former German Chancellor Angela Merkel. One of the lots going under the hammer is a bronze by Irish-Ukrainian sculptor Vadim Tuzov.
The Irish Red Cross has welcomed the donation of so many paintings and sculptures by artists and collectors.
“Online bidding ends tomorrow (Thursday) and we hope the proceeds will raise much needed funds for the crisis in Ukraine,” said an Adam’s spokesman.