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Bone idol celebrities back good cause

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: February 19, 2013

  • Bone drawings by, from top, the Chapman brothers, Zandra Rhodes and Steve Redgrave

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Their recent exhibition in St Petersburg led Russian prosecutors to investigate complaints of "extremism" but the Chapman Brothers' latest work of art is all in a good cause.

The pair are among 30 celebrities who responded to Swindon art-lover Mark Heasman's appeal for drawings of bones to auction in support of the Anthony Nolan charity which runs the UK's bone marrow register.

Jake and Dino responded with a skull-headed creature holding a swastika. Hitler has featured in earlier works by the pair who grew up in peaceful Cheltenham. One of their exhibitions featured paintings by Hitler which the brothers had "prettified".

Sculls of a different kind appear in Olympic rowing legend Sir Steve Redgrave's picture, while fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, signature squiggles turn a dry bone into a fashion motif.

Mr Heasman, 23, became a big supporter of the Anthony Nolan charity after his best mate, Jamie, passed away from leukaemia, aged 23. He said: "After he died we found that he had left a note asking his friends and family to support the amazing work that Anthony Nolan do.

"I've done running events before and am running the Great North Run for Anthony Nolan later in the year.

"All of my friends had got tired of me asking them for money, so I needed to think of a new way to fundraise.

"I came up with the idea to ask celebrities to draw bones which I could then auction. I never thought that I would get this level of response from the celebrities.

"Because I'm a huge fan of their work, my favourite has to be the Chapman brothers' piece – I thought I'd have to be a millionaire before I got to handle something that special. Joanna Lumley's bone and Sir Steve Redgrave's rowing bone are brilliant too."

Mo Farah, Sir Bob Geldof, Kevin Spacey, Susan Boyle and Nick Frost are among others who took up the challenge.

Jayne Cromwell, head of regional fundraising at Anthony Nolan, said: "This is an incredibly innovative fundraising project – we've never seen anything quite like it.

"It costs the charity £100 to recruit each potential donor onto the bone marrow register, so fundraising makes a huge difference to our work. The more money we can raise, the more matches we can make, and the more lives we can save."

The eBay auction will launch at 9pm on February 21 and will end on Sunday, March 3, at 9pm.

You can follow the progress of the auction on Twitter and Facebook.

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