A fitting finale

How do you close a national charity campaign for children in a way that delights the young people involved and continues to raise valuable funds for the charitable organisation?

Children & the Arts’ Face Britain project exceeded all of our expectations. With more than a quarter of a million entries, we were amazed at the eagerness and enthusiasm of teachers, parents and, above all, children to create and share their self-portraits. It was a hugely challenging and rewarding project to run (you can read more about that here), but we also wanted to make sure that it ended on a high.

We couldn’t have found a better canvas. From 19 to 21 April, we combined over 200,000 self-portraits created by children around the UK to form a giant single image of HM The Queen, projected onto Buckingham Palace. It was an image that delighted the young artists and captured global media attention.

Face Britain

This spotlight is vital for Children & the Arts and the spectacular ‘closing ceremony’ has also helped to bring a considerable amount attention to Face Britain’s final activities: two very special auctions, which will further promote to the children’s work and our mission as a charity – and raise valuable funds for our future projects.

Two special auctions

Yesterday, we launched a dedicated Face Britain eBay page at: www.ebay.co.uk/facebritain

Until 13 May, we will be holding an open online auction for a host of exclusive celebrity self portraits. Lucky eBayer bidders could pick up an original self-portrait by Jamie Oliver, Adele, Amanda Holden, Nick Park, The Wanted, Derren Brown, Fearne Cotton or Ronnie Wood (plus many more.) There are almost 50 different celebrity self portraits in the auction.

We were also fortunate enough to have self-portraits donated by a number of well-known artists, including Tracey Emin, Ryan Gander, Maggi Hambling, Colin Self, Angela de la Cruz and Mary McCartney.

On 9 May, we will be auctioning those works at the Face Britain Gala Dinner & Auction at Christie’s, King Street, SW1. A few remaining tables (£2,500 for a table of ten) and a limited number of places (£250 each) are available at this unique event. Guests will also enjoy a performance by Tim Minchin, comedian and composer of the Olivier Award-winning ‘Matilda the Musical’, as part of the evening. (For more information, please email rebecca.darke@childrenandarts.org.uk or call +44 (0)203 326 2233.)

New film

The auctions mark the closing point of a hugely ambitious project, which was conceived three years ago and has reached out to the largest number of children we have ever engaged in a single project before.

We feel that the Buckingham Palace projection and eBay auctions are a fitting way to end a project, which we will look back on with fondness and pride. To help capture this incredible journey – and to thank those children whose creativity and passion made it happen – we have also created a short film about Face Britain, which is currently being finalised. We’ll be posting more details about it soon on this site.

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