It was one of those picture-perfect moments as they struck an artistic pose. A collection of leading Irish artists, among them Robert Ballagh, Helen Steele, Jill & Gill, Una Sealy and Asbestos, dropping their masks temporarily to reveal themselves for the launch of Incognito 2022, Ireland’s biggest online art sale in aid of the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation, which this year celebrates its 25th Anniversary.
The event, which took place in the Atelier Now gallery in Dublin’s Charlemont Square, was the launch pad for this year’s art spectacular which takes place on Thursday, April 21, from 9.30am.
The collection can be previewed online from this Thursday, March 31 at www.incognito.ie.
Demonstrating that their talents are not just confined to the music world, a galaxy of rock and pop stars have also got behind the mammoth effort and taken their brushes out to paint a picture for Incognito 2022 in support of Jack and Jill. Among them are the Rolling Stones’ Ronne Wood, Andrea Corr of The Corrs, Aslan’s Christy Dignam, and singer/songwriters Samantha Mumba, Damien Dempsey, Lyra, and Robert Grace. Long-standing Jack and Jill ambassador, and leading international fashion designer, Paul Costelloe, is also one of the mystery artists behind the more than 3,200 art works on sale.
Who’s Who of Artists
Among the other leading Irish artists participating in Incognito 2022 are Adrian+Shane, Ruthie Ashenhurst, Ange Bell, Don Conroy, Peter Curling, Bridget Flinn, Martin Gale, Morgan Gibbs, Maria Levinge, Sheila McCarron, Martin Mooney, Abigail O’Brien, Mick O’Dea, Shane O’Driscoll, Sylvia Parkinson-Brown and Mark Thompson.
Of course, what makes Incognito 2022 different to other art sales, is that the artist’s identity is kept top secret until after the sale closes. Now in its sixth year, Incognito 2022 sees over 1,200 seasoned and passionate up-and-coming artists taking part, from all over Ireland, and beyond.
Between now and sale day on Thursday, April 21, would-be purchasers are being urged to register their Incognito account, browse the art and select their favourite pieces into a Wish List ahead of the sale in order of preference. When the lottery goes live at 9.30am, all art works on Wish Lists are automatically entered into a lottery system where the lucky purchaser is selected at random and up to three artworks per Wish List will be attempted to be purchased. The remainder of the collection will then be available for purchase from 10am. Email notifications will be sent to everyone participating in the lottery system and purchasers will be advised which artworks they successfully bought. After the collection has sold out, the names of all the artists will be revealed. The postcard-sized works of art are priced at €65 each, and not only will purchasers be supporting a great cause in Jack and Jill, they will secure a piece of art that they truly love, without knowing who the artist is, and that’s something really special.
The Incognito art sale is about turning art into a currency for care, with funds raised going to support the work of the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation, which this year celebrates 25 years. The foundation provides specialist home nursing care, respite support and end-of-life care for 412 children with highly complex medical and life-limiting conditions in communities across the country. This includes children under six years of age with brain injury, severe cerebral palsy, as well as those with a genetic diagnosis or a neurodevelopmental condition yet to be diagnosed.
Art for Everyone
For singer/songwriter Lyra, it’s all about creating and escaping to another world:
“I love to create, whether it’s through songwriting, performing on stage or expressing myself through fashion, style and art; it enables me to escape to and explore a world of my own, where it’s just me, my music and the audience. I am delighted to participate in Incognito, as I got to create unique pieces of art that ultimately, will help Jack and Jill in their mission to help families with vulnerable children and I’m proud to give something back in this way.”
For artist and fashion designer Helen Steele, Incognito is about finding a little piece of treasure:
“Art has always been part of my life. It’s everything to me. I need to paint or do something creative every day and, if I don’t, I feel lost. My work is mood-driven and, as my art always starts with colour, it’s like colour therapy for me. As for Incognito, I think it’s important in a number of ways. Being a mum, having healthy children is the greatest gift in life. That is why I want to do everything that I can to support Jack and Jill’s work with other families who may be facing more challenging circumstances. Incognito is also a way for people who might never buy art to purchase something affordable that they can appreciate. Ultimately, it offers the buyer a little piece of art treasure. A little piece of joy.”
For Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation ambassador and fashion designer, Paul Costelloe, Incognito is a celebration of the richness of artistic talent in Ireland:
“For me, art is about capturing the moment. I use watercolours and love nothing more than to sit on a wall at Seapoint or Bullock Harbour, or on a beach when on holidays, capturing shadows coming over the sea, as the sun goes down. I truly think that the art in Incognito, and the level of quality, is incredible. It is a richness way above the price. I don’t think people appreciate how much talent there is in Ireland when it comes to art. People say the Irish are writers, or poets, or filmmakers, but, in fact, the art world is very rich in Ireland. It needs to be encouraged a lot more. I don’t think people buy nearly enough original paintings or works for their homes. There are too many blank walls. Art brings a lifetime of enjoyment, as well as being a possible investment. You’ve got something for life, something to hand on to your children.”
For TV personality and artist, Don Conroy, Incognito is helping to spread a love for art in homes all over Ireland:
“At the moment my art centres around a Zen Nature theme. It’s all about exploring a sense of mystery in the world around us. That said, I do try to do something a little bit different for Incognito. Don’t want to give the game away too easily! What I love about Incognito is that it introduces art to people who perhaps have never been to an art gallery or even thought about art. Incognito opens up art to a new avenue of exploration, and it is so much more accessible and affordable. People are able to purchase something original, while also supporting Jack and Jill families to stay together at home. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.”
For singer Samantha Mumba, her love of art goes way back to her school days:
“It’s an absolute pleasure to be asked to be involved in Incognito and to support such an incredible cause in the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation. I’ve always loved art and the process of creating. Art was one of the very few classes I actually really, really, enjoyed in school! Nowadays I definitely love doing it with my daughter for fun. I find it’s very relaxing as well.”