Going, going GoGo! as Norwich’s dragons get set to be auctioned
PUBLISHED: 08:16 01 October 2015 | UPDATED: 13:58 01 October 2015
Copyright Archant Norfolk 2015
After spending the summer decorating the streets of Norwich and winning a huge army of fans, tonight is the night that the city’s GoGoDragons! are set to be auctioned off and fly to their new homes.
Auction stars are difficult to predict
Auctioneer Mike Sarson said it was difficult to predict which of the GoGoDragons! would prove to be the superstars at tonight’s auction.
“It is nigh on impossible to predict – everybody has got different favourites,” he said.
He said Luda – designed by young artist Kieron Williamson, whose work regularly sells for huge sums – was one to watch in particular.
“Luda is the equivalent to five of Kieron Williamson’s canvases so potentially that could be an absolute flyer,” he said. “My favourite dragon in terms of creative design is Dragonfly; for the colour and fun element it is Patch and The Dragtabulous Delores; for simple effective design it is Bling and GoGoMosaic. For quality it has got to be GoGoMadder – the quality of artwork is absolutely stunning – and my top two for iconic Norfolk are IndyGoGo500 and Dragon Heart of Norfolk. But it seems really mean to be naming just these few because there are so many other dragons that are absolutely amazing.”
The auction, at The Forum, in Norwich, is the culmination of the whole GoGoDragons! project which saw children’s charity Break and Wild in Art bring a trail of 84 winged warriors to the city from June to early September. They became the superstars of Norwich’s summer and during the colourful characters’ return to The Forum in recent days they have attracted crowds of thousands.
But now it is time for us to bid a final farewell to them - and for some serious money to be made to support Break’s vital work to transform the lives of children and young people in need.
Tonight’s event will be hosted by television presenter and Break patron Jake Humphrey, and the man who has the all important task of being auctioneer is Mike Sarson, from TW Gaze, who will also be joined by a team of about 10 other volunteers from the Diss and Wymondham-based firm. He said the whole team was excited to be supporting such a great cause.
“It is all about having fun on the night but also raising a shed load of money, getting Break’s name out there and helping people understand what great work Break does,” he said.
Mr Sarson was the auctioneer at the 2013 GoGoGorillas! auction which raised an impressive £272,300 - and he has high hopes that the dragons will raise even more than their primate predecessors. At the 2013 auction just over 50 gorillas were up for sale whereas tonight there will be 82 of the 84 GoGoDragons! going under the hammer.
Mr Sarson said: “We have thought a lot about whether those extra 30 dragons will give extra revenue. I think they will. I think we will see higher individual figures and a greater overall figure, possibly £300,000 to £400,000.”
He added: “I think the GoGoDragons! have captured even more people’s imaginations and the quality of the artwork is even higher. There are also more sponsors involved and a lot of the sponsors will be keen to buy their dragons back - but they will have to compete with everybody else!”
He said there has been lots of interest in many of the dragons, both locally and from further afield, and that there would be people bidding online tonight as well as at The Forum. The bidding is set to start at 7.45pm, and with 82 dragons to sell Mr Sarson is aiming to allocate about one-and-half minutes to each dragon.
“We are going to put the foot to the floor. We would usually run through 150 lots in a hour but this is an event to entertain as well so we are aiming to do 40 lots in an hour,” he said.
“My role is to make it an entertaining evening and to get people to dig deep into their pockets for Break.
“I am really proud to be a part of it, the whole team at TW Gaze is delighted to be involved.”
Tickets for tonight’s auction are sold out but people can bid online by registering at www.gogodragons.co.uk
For all the latest GoGoDragons! news visit www.edp24.co.uk and www.eveningnews24.co.uk
Do you have a Norwich arts story? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at firstname.lastname@example.org