Secret paintings exhibited for charity


Secret paintings by Bono, Michael Stipe, Colin Farrell and others were unveiled at the RHA Gallery in Dublin today.

Secret Art is an exhibition of 400 works by national and international celebrities as well as students from the National College of Art and Design. A fundraiser for the Chernobyl Children's Charity, the artworks will remain anonymous until sold.

The exhibition, which also includes artworks by The Edge, John Rocha, Pat Kenny, Christy Moore, Ryan Tubridy and Saoirse Ronan will run at the RHA Gallery from November 21st - 25th. Each with a price tag of €150, the name of the painter will only be revealed post-purchase.

Chernobyl Children International founder Adi Roche said while donations to the charity were down 60 per cent in the past 12 months, the power of Irish giving was still alive.

“I'm conscious that Ireland is a country in need itself now…but I have great belief in the Irish sense of internationalism, our sense of responsibility and conscience,” she said.

“No matter how bad things are for us here, we know there are people in other parts of the world that are in far greater need. Maybe the giving is smaller but nonetheless the hearts of the people of Ireland still remain compassionate.”

Patron of the charity Ali Hewson said: “This is about basic human rights for children who have no voice…we have a responsibility to help those children, whether it's to have a dignified death, or some sort or warmth, comfort and stimulation in their life. That's what it's really what it's about.”

Broadcaster Dave Fanning who painted for the exhibition said buyers “can assume the money is going to the right place because it's someone like Adi who has given her whole life to this”.

“People will go along and say 'I like that, or I wonder who did that'. You pay your money and you might get a painting by somebody incredibly famous or the booby prize and you'll mine.”

Other artists include music producer Brian Eno, actor Woody Harrelson, singer Glen Hansard, film director Neil Jordan and rubgy international Brian O'Driscoll.