Banburyshire artist helps Ukrainian refugees by donating artwork to auction

A Banburyshire artist has helped Ukrainian refugees by donating a picture to an art auction that raised some £6,500.

By Richard Howarth
Monday, 27th June 2022, 4:47 pm
Dave Watts, from Lower Heyford, donated a pastel picture of a street in Seville.
Dave Watts, from Lower Heyford, donated a pastel picture of a street in Seville.

The auction on Friday, June 24, was conducted by Clive Emson, who’s appeared on BBC TV’s Homes Under the Hammer. All the money raised will go to the Red Cross appeal for Ukraine.

Dave Watts, from Lower Heyford, donated a pastel picture of a street in Seville. Almost all the pictures in the auction had a blue and yellow theme, to reflect the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

Dave, 65, found out about the auction through a Facebook post of a former colleague, John Brice, who lives in Kent.

Dave Watts with his pastel picture of a street in Seville.

The auction was held in Rochester Cathedral and all the pictures had been on display in the cathedral for the previous week.

Before the bidding started, there was a live video link-up with an artist in Kiev and a woman from Odessa who has come to Britain to live with a Ukrainian family gave an emotional speech thanking everyone for their support.

More than 60 pictures were auctioned and almost all were sold. John, who runs a pub in Kent, had the idea for the auction when he had a drink with a friend who is an artist. His friend spoke about selling a picture to help Ukraine. “I thought why don’t we do it on a bigger scale”, said John.

Dave’s picture was sold for £250 to a couple from Rochester. He and his wife, Sue, drove down to Kent for the auction.

He said: “We met so many passionate people, both artists and members of the public who came out to buy the pictures. And when the Ukrainian refugee spoke in the cathedral, it was very moving. Everyone gave her loud applause.”

Dave, a former radio journalist, has sketched since he was eight but has only painted seriously since he’s been retired. He’s already raised £250 for the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal for Ukraine by auctioning a picture through his Instagram account, Davewattsstudio.

“So many ordinary people in Ukraine, who have done absolutely nothing wrong, are now suffering because of President Putin’s needless aggression,” he added.

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