David Cameron’s sheep raises money for Norfolk Churches Trust

The Secret Artists' Auction at The Hostry. Auction co-ordinator Christopher Hartop with work by Prim

The Secret Artists' Auction at The Hostry. Auction co-ordinator Christopher Hartop with work by Prime Minister David Cameron.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Discerning art critics had little difficultly guessing which masterpiece came from the prime ministerial hand at an auction of pictures to raise money for the Norfolk Churches Trust.

The Secret Artists' Auction at The Hostry. Work by artist Sir Antony Gormley.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Secret Artists' Auction at The Hostry. Work by artist Sir Antony Gormley.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Celebrities such as actor Sir John Hurt, sculptors Maggi Hambling and Sir Antony Gormley, and the EDP's very own Keith Skipper, joined local artists who drew or painted a picture to generate income at a silent auction last night.

Supporters of the charity had a chance to view the A5-sized cards before placing their bids at the Hostry at Norwich Cathedral, but with one catch - the identity of each artist was kept secret until the auction was complete.

While many of the works were elaborate water colours or designs, David Cameron's whimsical effort took the form of a cartoon sheep, accompanied by the message 'Ewe matter'.

Organisers said there was some competition from people who guessed which effort was his - a signed limited edition print. It sold for £160 to a buyer who asked to remain anonymous.

The Secret Artists' Auction at The Hostry. Work by actor Sir John Hurt.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Secret Artists' Auction at The Hostry. Work by actor Sir John Hurt.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The most popular piece proved to be a silhouette of seven figures on the horizon, by Angel of the North sculptor Sir Antony Gormley, which fetched £1,200.

Christopher Hartop, a trustee of the Norfolk Churches Trust who co-ordinated the event, suggested the winner of that piece may have known his 'artistic onions'.

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Mr Hartop said: 'It's been fantastic. There was a great response from the artists to start with. Most of them were local artists, and they were really enthusiastic.

'What I think did best were pictures of some of the churches. We had a lot of people who wanted to bid on their own churches. Anything local seemed to have done the best.'

The evening raised about £10,000 in total.

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