Famed Artists Decorate Ukuleles To Go Under The Hammer

Ewbank's Auctioneers For Charity Event On September 21

Ukulele Auciton

Ewbank’s, Surrey’s leading auction house, will be putting 28 hand-decorated ukuleles on sale in a special charity auction, ‘Art On A Ukulele’ to raise money for The Hepatitis C Trust on September 21. 


The Hepatitis C Trust has teamed up with the artist Mick Rooney RA, the UK’s foremost independent ukulele maker Pete Howlett and The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain to work on this project. 


Luminary artists such as Bill Jacklin RA, Allen Jones RA, Cathie Pilkington RA, Ramiro Fernandes Saus, PJ Crook, Norman Ackroyd CBE RA and many more have taken part and decorated instruments. 


They will be played by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain at a performance at The Jazz Cafe in Camden, London on September 12, before being auctioned by the team at Ewbank’s on September 21 at the Long and Ryle Gallery, 4 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4PX.Ukulele Auctions


The sale catalogue is now online and open for bids at www.ewbankauctions.co.uk. Ewbank’s is waiving vendor commission for the charity, however all final invoices for buyers will include buyer’s premium at 27%. 


Here are some of the instruments, and information about the talented artists, which are going under the hammer on September 21:


The tenor boat paddle ukulele decorated in oils by Mick Rooney (b. 1944) is entitled “The Matelots Tale”. The illustrious Rooney studied at the Sutton School of Art, the Wimbledon School of Art and the Royal College of Art. Here he was awarded the Austin Abbey Major Scholarship to study at the British School of Rome, where he was commissioned by the Franciscan Order to create a wall mosaic for a new Basilica in Nazareth, Israel. Between 1968 and 1982 he taught part-time at various art colleges. He is a member of the Royal Academy and lives in Oxfordshire.art on a ukulele


Norman Ackroyd CBE, RA (b.1938) has decorated a donor boat paddle ukulele by etching on Japanese paper, and the final work is entitled ‘Windermere’. He studied at Leeds College of Art and the Royal College of Art, London. He has had many solo exhibitions, both in Britain and internationally, including Santiago, Chile; and across the USA in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Washington DC.


Spanish artist Ramiro Fernandez Saus (b.1961) has painted his boat paddle concert ukulele in oils, with motifs of tigers, monkeys, parrots and sailors. Over the past 20 years, Saus has become one of the most well-known Spanish artists of his generation. In 2005, he was given a retrospective at the Museum of Sabadell and his works are in the collections of the Reine Sofia in Madrid, and the Albertina Museum in Vienna.


Auctions RichmondControversial British artist Allen Jones RA (b.1937) has painted his boat paddle concert ukulele in his distinctive style depicting a cartoon dog. Allen is satirical and boldly inventive, his work embraces popular culture and has in turn influenced everything from design to film and fashion. In the 1960s, alongside peers like Hockney and Caulfield, he was closely associated with the rise of Pop Art.


Famed album cover artist George Underwood (b.1947) has painted a kala concert ukulele in oils, entitled 'You Can Ukulele Tattoo'. Underwood embarked on a career in music and, along with lifelong friend David Bowie he made one record (The King Bees) and also a solo record under the name Calvin James.  However he moved into studying art and specialised in fantasy, horror and science fiction book covers. Many former colleagues in the music business employed him to do their album artwork including for the first T Rex album and later David Bowie’s Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust album covers, which established him as a world-leading and creative art illustrator.


Peter Messer (b. 1954) is a well-known artist from Lewes in East Sussex. His kala concert ukulele carries the title 'Welcome to Hell, Here's Your Ukulele’ and is decorated in egg tempera. He works mainly in egg tempera on a traditional gesso ground and has exhibited in solo and group shows in the UK, US, Germany and France. Messer studied Fine Art at the University of Brighton, and his work is frequently exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and the New English Art Club.


British artist Lizzie Riches (b.1950) has painted a kala concert ukulele with a striking monochrome design. She went to Camberwell School of Art and to Goldsmiths, where she developed her own visual language. She is particularly fascinated by the relationship between human civilisation and the natural world. Riches first exhibited with Portal Painters in 1976 and has exhibited with them ever since, Lizzie has had solo exhibitions in Chicago and Paris.Auction West Sussex


PJ Crook MBE (b.1945) has painted a kala donor ukulele for The Hepatitis C Trust. Her paintings combine a highly distinctive style with extraordinary technical mastery. Rather than painting from photographs or direct observation, PJ prefers to draw from a combination of remembered observation and imagination, resulting in an intuitive and resolved composition. Her work features in many major private and public collections including that of Imperial War Museum London, Haavatz in Israel, El Mundo in Madrid, and La Ville de Paris.


Ewbank’s will be auctioneers for Art On A Postcard, a secret auction in November, also in support of The Hepatitis C Trust, which has raised over £250k for the charity over the past three years. Last year its main secret auction raised £75,000 from the sale of 450 postcard sized artworks from artists including Sir Peter Blake, Damien Hirst, Harland Miller, Gavin Turk, and Rachel Howard.


Viewing of all 28 ukuleles will take place the week of the sale at Long & Ryle Gallery, London, from 10am to 6pm Monday to Thursday, September 18 to 21. 


If you have any contemporary or fine art, or any other antiques and collectables, to consign for sale, please get in touch with Ewbank’s for advice on the process. Call 01483 223101 or email valuations@ewbankauctions.co.uk. Alternatively, just call in Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm at the Burnt Common Auction Rooms, just off the A3 near Guildford. Valuers are always on duty and there is plenty of parking on site.Auction South London


Live internet bidding through www.theauctionroom.com and Ewbank’s live bidding platform will be available. These platforms give online buyers the opportunity to participate remotely in sales at no extra cost, giving them savings of up to 6% over other commercial live bidding platform.