A piece by Ahmed Mater will be the first artwork to be auctioned in November. Photo: Supplied
A piece by Ahmed Mater will be the first artwork to be auctioned in November. Photo: Supplied

WHO to conduct art auction as part of Covid-19 response

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Oct 8, 2020

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Pretoria – The World Health Organisation (WHO) Foundation, Christie’s and the United Nations 75 (UN75) have collaborated with artists in an effort to raise funds to support its Covid-19 response.

The WHO Foundation said the Healing Arts auction aims to increase awareness and raise funds in support of the most vulnerable communities with the weakest health systems to act effectively in response to the pandemic.

“This initiative represents a unique opportunity for the art world to step up to this global challenge and support communities on the front line of the pandemic, ensuring everyone, everywhere has the tools they need to overcome it,” said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Ghebreyesus said all proceeds from the initiative will support the urgently needed mental health response to the pandemic through the applied use of arts in health-giving and recovery.

The auction will run over the course of a year, with works to be offered in a number of sales across a wide range of genres. The first work to come under the hammer this November in London is “Magnetism”, a piece from 2012 by Ahmed Mater.

“Art has a unique ability to help us comfort, confront, contextualise and create community. And when embracing science and evidence as a bedrock, art and culture can help us imagine a better way forward to a positive future,” said WHO arts and health lead Christopher Bailey.

Dirk Boll, president of Christie’s Europe, Middle East and Africa, said Christie’s was honoured to be working with the WHO Foundation and UN75, offering a platform for artists and works in the coming year to assist individuals and communities.

“We’re also very pleased to present the work of Ahmed Mater as the debut lot in our year-long auction collaboration, today one of the most celebrated artists from Saudi Arabia, as well as a doctor and an individual who is very active in promoting the different artistic strengths of his region, dedicated to making culture accessible to as many as possible.”

African News Agency (ANA)

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