Grayson Perry turns diamonds into cash with charity Deck of Cards

Transplant Links Community Charity Cards

Grayson Perry is one of a string of top artists and celebrities putting their talents to use in backing a major fund-raising campaign for Transplant Links Community, which gives patients who have been dealt a difficult hand the chance to change their life for the better through kidney transplantation.

The artist heads list of celebrities donating original playing card designs to auction, taking place tomorrow, Friday 11th December 2020, at Woking-based Ewbank’s – to raise cash for kidney transplant training in developing countries in Africa and The Caribbean. 

Transplant Links Community Charity Cards - Art by Grayson Perry
Art by Grayson Perry
Transplant Links Community Charity Cards - Art by Robert Fitzmaurice
Art by Robert Fitzmaurice

Alongside Perry are David Mach and Frank Bowling – both of whose work is in leading national collections, including The Tate – David Bowie’s close friend George UnderwoodDavid Shrigley, whose artwork filled the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square and other notable figures.

TLC was founded in 2007 by Dr Jennie Jewitt-Harris. The charity was founded to address the massive global issue of kidney failure, which is an increasingly important hidden epidemic in Africa and the Caribbean.

Transplant Links Community Charity Cards - Art by Sean Jefferson
Art by Sean Jefferson

TLC patron Baroness Floella Benjamin – just named Bazaar’s Woman of the Year  and made a Dame in the honours list – commissioned the works personally from each artist and has also produced artwork herself for a card. All will be offered without any charges.

The designs, donated by an exclusive list of artists and public figures, are all themed as playing cards in the TLC Deck of Cards fundraising campaign, creating a unique Deck of 52 playing cards and two jokers.

The original artwork will be auctioned online on Friday 11th December at Ewbank’s Auctions of Woking, Surrey from 9.30am. You can view the artworks online now at ewbankauctions.co.uk – where you can also place advanced bids.

Special edition complete packs of cards containing copies of the artwork can also be purchased from www.tlcartauction.com.

The money raised will help us to fund the charity’s next life-saving mission to Africa or the Caribbean, where a marvellous team of volunteer doctors and surgeons can teach their skills in kidney transplantation to local medical teams, and save lives at the same time.

This is a truly unique and special opportunity for art to literally save lives.

“Overheads are kept low with only two paid members of staff, so the money raised goes directly towards life-saving work in Ghana, Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, Nepal, Papua New Guinea,” said Aimee Jewitt-Harris, who runs the charity with her mother Jennie, who founded it – both are also contributing artists.

The funds will be used to train doctors, surgeons and nurses in developing countries to be able to perform life-saving kidney transplant operations; give parents, wives, husbands, friends, and other family members the chance to save the life of their loved one by donating a kidney; help children with kidney failure to go back to school with a functioning kidney; and help adults with kidney failure to go to work to provide for their families with a functioning kidney.

TV star Floella Benjamin said, “TLC works tirelessly to save lives of children and adults who suffer with kidney failure in developing countries which do not have the knowhow to undertake transplant operations.

“As a patron of this incredible charity, I have seen the work they do first hand and I know the huge difference it makes. I have called upon friends and artists to create a unique collection of artworks based on a deck of cards, where all of the original artworks will be sold in a one-off online auction to raise money for this vital cause.

“The artists have come up trumps – the works are stunning and I’m so grateful to them all.”

Jennie Jewitt-Harris, CEO of TLC said, “We’ve been blown away by the generosity of our 54 contributing artists, especially during this difficult time. The range of ideas that the artists have come up with is extraordinary; it’s a fantastic mix of wonderful and unique original artworks. The auction is a rare opportunity to bid for some truly remarkable artworks, the proceeds of which will go directly towards the training of healthcare professionals in developing countries. Thank you to every single one of the 54 artists and to Andrew and Chris at Ewbank’s Auctions for their invaluable support.”

Chris Ewbank, Founder of Ewbank’s, explained why the event is so unusual.

“Ewbank’s are delighted to be supporting TLC in staging such an unusual unreserved auction. The fact that the sale is unreserved means that there are no minimum prices and gives an opportunity for everyone to access and purchase works by some of the UK’s top artists such as Grayson Perry and George Underwood at affordable prices.”

“A transplant offers a person a better quality of life and that is what I am experiencing now, commented one recipient, Shaneke who lives in Jamaica. “I am able to do things that I never imagined I would be able to do again.”  

• Bidding online only on Ewbanks website: TLC Deck of Cards Charity Art Auction on Friday, 11th December 2020 from 9.30am

• A deck of cards can be purchased from www.tlcartauction.com

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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