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Late artist still raising money for charity

12-06-2011 10:14 BJT

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Australia's leading indigenous artist Paddy Bedford is still raising money for charity - almost five years after his death. A collection of paintings by the late artist has gone under the hammer in Sydney to raise money for the education of young Aborigines.

In late November, Paddy Bedford's art works went on sale at auction in Sydney, after international previews in London, New York and Melbourne. The artist didn't start painting until he was in his 70s, but in the decade he did paint, he rose to the top of the indigenous art scene and earned a global following.

Now, the late artist can add another achievement to his legacy - the latest sale of his work represents the first time a fine art auction was being devoted to a single aboriginal artist. They included gouaches and paintings using natural earth pigments on board and canvas.

William Mora, a Melbourne dealer who acted as the principle agent for the works from the Paddy Bedford estate, explained before the auction that Bedford's estate provisions were deliberately planned.

William Mora said, "Well, they represent works from the last four or five years of his life, and during that time he decided to actually set up his estate, so he in fact put some of his very best works aside to go straight into his estate and not to be sold until after he died. And part of what he set up at the time was that the beneficiaries would not only include his family but also a thing called the Paddy Bedford Education Trust, which the proceeds from sales his work would go towards educating Gija children in the Kimberley."

Bedford's wish has been fulfilled.

Art dealers deemed the auction a success: 20 items were sold. And it was no local affair - international buyers from the UK, US, France and Switzerland, bought eight out of twenty works. More than 1 million US dollars was raised in total, and this money will go towards the education of young Gija children in Kimberley, where Bedford has his roots and started his artistic career at the age of 76.

From humble beginnings in rural Australia to international acclaim as an artist, Bedford's legacy is looking to benefit indigenous generations to come.

 

Editor:Liu Fang |Source: CNTV.CN

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