Freo artist Michael Knight will be taking part in this year’s Art Auction

Art lovers, Fremantle’s annual Help The Homeless Art Auction is almost back!

June 8 is the date to bung in the diary; the 10th time this celebrated event will be held, with works from many well-known Australian artists up for grabs, many at bargain prices. 

Jean Baptiste Apuatimi Jikapayinga Freshwater Crocodile

As usual, the money raised from this enchanting evening at Fremantle Town Hall will go to help members of the community in need of a helping hand; including the wonderful Starlight Hotel Choir, who will be performing at the auction.

Julie Podstolski’s Evensong

Curator Lyn Dicerio promises this year’s event – which includes works by the likes of Harald Vike, George Haynes, Jo Darvall, Julie Podstolski, Milk Green and Stewart Scambler – will be memorable.

Amanda Shelsher’s Bird Song

“We have some special things for our tenth birthday, and people won’t be disappointed,” says Lyn.

Charles Blackman print Orpheus – Lovers

She’s talking to us at the Fremantle studio of artist Michael Knight, who has two works up for grabs at this year’s auction: a watercolour and pencil Portrait Of A Girl, Fremantle and an oil landscape, Canal Rocks From Inside.

 “I feel an empathy and a connection for the people this event assists,” Michael, whose paintings appear in collections across Australia and who is a regular contributor to Help the Homeless, tells The Starfish.


“Being an artist, you feel at the mercy of people’s charity, buying your work. When you see people on the streets you know what it feels like to be vulnerable, how hard it can be to make a buck, so you’ve go to have some empathy.”

During years spent in Melbourne, he has fond memories of collaborating with people with mental health challenges to produce a giant mural, something he’d be keen to attempt locally at some stage.

Michael is also currently curating an upcoming exhibition of select works from the CY O’Connor Erade Village Foundation collection, En Plein Air, featuring paintings by Harald Vike and Frank Norton, (June 21-30  at the Earlywork Gallery). 

Michael’s sculpture and painting

As such, Michael was able to provide the Help The Homeless Art Auction with works by Vike, two Frank Norton and two Elizabeth Durack drawings, and a Charles Blackman print.

“As usual at this event, we have some real treasures to be purchased, but was also have such a blend of prices, so there’s something for all price ranges,” Lyn assures.

“And this year for the the first time, antique pieces, jewellery and glass objects will also go under the hammer.”

Michael and Lyn in his studio

One of the antique pieces is a Cranberry, silver-plated  glass basket, circa 1900,  with a price estimate of $420 to $520.

 An eye-catching Murano glass bowl, circa 1940, is also up for grabs with a starting price of $400.

A precious metal platter by feted local artist Mark Leib (winner of the Art Gallery of WA’s Tom Malone prize in 2017)  is also up for grabs, with a minimum price of just $100.

One of Michael’s portraits

Another treat is a work by Tiwi artist Jean Baptiste Apuatimi; with a minimum price tag of $3000, which is about a third of the usual price for a work by this internationally recognised artist.

“This year, for the first time, one hour before the auction starts, buyers can purchase the works for the maximum price listed in the catalogue,” says Lyn. “So if you’re heart’s set on having something, this is your chance to ensure it’s yours!”

“We also have some fun items, like Mills And Wares Arnott’s biscuits cases, dating as far back as the 1940s, which were created for children and sold exclusively at the Perth Royal Show. We’ll be filling the cases with biscuits as well – so how can bidders go wrong?” she laughs.

Peta Miller auction piece White Cockatoos

Guests are always met with the welcome spectacle of a table of sandwiches, cheeses, biscuits and other delights before bidding takes place. 

As well as providing financial support for the Starlight Hotel Choir ( performing on the night) The Homeless Art Auction supports mobile health clinic Freo Street Doctor, and Multicultural Futures, which provides crisis and short term accomodation to migrants and refugees.

The Tenth Help The Homeless Art Auction And Sale  is on at Fremantle Town Hall at 4pm Saturday June 8, with MC Gerry Gannon and auctioneer Scott Willis.

To view the works online visit www.blackswanhealth.com.au

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