Patrick O’Reilly, one of Ireland’s most celebrated artists, was one of 31 contemporary artists to donate works of art for an auction to raise money for those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.
The auction of 31 lots from artists including Anish Kapoor, Anthony Gormley, Wolfgang Tillman, Tracey Emin, Yinka Shonibare and Sarah Lucas, raised €2.1m at the auction which took place late last night at Sothebys in London. The amount raised was double the expected estimate.
O’Reilly is renowned for his life size bronze bears which are on public display both at home and overseas.
His "Life Goes On" bronze bear sculpture got more than double its reserve at the auction which was by invite only.
The sculptor said: "It is a great honour for me to donate a piece of my work to such a worthy cause. All of us were touched as we watched the horror of the Grenfell Fire tragedy unfold. I hope the auction will help in some small way to ease the pain of the survivors."
The proceeds will be divided up equally among the surviving families by the Ruby Portobello Trust, a North Kensington-based charity which has been closely supporting the Grenfell residents since the fire in June.
Film producer Hamish McAlpine and art consultant Katie Heller were the driving forces behind ‘Art for Grenfell’ and over the past few months were working with the artists to source works for the sale.
They said: "The edifice of Grenfell Tower stands as a reminder of the terrible failure of society to look after its poorest people. No one should have to endure the terrible trauma, these people have endured.
"It is only right that we should do all we can to help in any way that we can and the artists have responded with immense generosity and goodwill."