Charity hopes on John Bellany as star of George Street art sale

The work of one of Scotland's most renowned artists will be up for grabs at a high-end charity art sale putting John Bellany at the top of the billing.

Helen Bellany, wife of the reknown Scottish artist John Bellany, with the painting 'Star of Hope'.
Helen Bellany, wife of the reknown Scottish artist John Bellany, with the painting 'Star of Hope'.

The star of the three-day Christian Aid autumn art sale from October 25-27 at St George’s and St Andrew’s Church West on George Street, is a watercolour depicting a Fraserburgh harbour by the former Edinburgh College of Art student.

This is the first time the painting, entitled ‘Star of Hope’ has been for sale or on public display.

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The revered artist, who died in 2013, has works at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven and the Tate in London.

Held in the same venue as the long-established Christian aid book sale in May every year, the proceeds will raise money for the charity’s work with some of The world’s poorest people.

Running for nine years, James Holloway, convener of art for the sale and previous director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery said this year was one of the best sales the charity has had for some time.

He added: “We are really fortunate to have John Bellany’s colourful harbour scene for sale. In the centre of the watercolour, Bellany has painted the Peterhead-registered boat ‘Star of Hope’.

“What a great symbol for the centrepiece of the sale whose purpose is to spread hope across the world.

“People are not only buying something lovely but the money then goes to an incredible cause.”

Mr Holloway said generous artist’s were donating their works regularly and by the time of the sale there could be even more enticing offers.

Also on sale is a lithograph of The Queen by Pietro Annigoni dating from around the time of the Coronation.

Proceeds from sale will go to this year’s Christian Aid Harvest Appeal and will be match funded by the European Union.

Every £1 spent will be worth £5 for work in Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Honduras and Malawi.

The October event compliments the charity’s mammoth May sale – thought to be the biggest charity book sale in the world – and has been annual event since 1974.

It has grown from a single box of books to many thousands of volumes raising £1.5 million over the last 15 years.

This year’s patron is artist and playwright John Byrne, who donated painting Self Portrait with a Small Bird, created specifically for Christian Aid.