On Sunday evening, thirty – nine 100 year-old tiles, from the roof of the Curzon cinema in Clevedon were turned into works of art and went under the hammer, raising a staggering £22,208. Aardman’s Nick Park’s tile, featuring Wallace and Gromit, was the star of the show reaching £5,101.
Artists, illustrators, animators, actors and film industry professionals decorated the 100 year-old tiles, in the “Art on the Tiles” eBay auction, to support the Curzon’s roof appeal to help save one of the oldest cinemas in the world from closure.
The tile by Aardman’s Peter Lord, featuring Morph, was the next biggest money-spinner generating a further £2,050 for the charity.
Morph was closely followed by a tile with Aardman’s Feather’s McGraw painted by Creative Director, Merlin Crossingham, which raised £1,419.
Peter Lord, co-founder of Aardman and creator of Morph, said:
“When I heard about the project, almost my first thought was ‘This’ll be perfect!’ The tile is baked terra-cotta clay and Morph has always been a little terra-cotta hero, so I thought they’d naturally belong together. The original idea was that I’d make Morph as if he was emerging from the tile – clay coming back to life. But when I sketched it out in plasticine, I couldn’t get it to work the way I wanted. To be honest it just looked like half-a-Morph on a tile, I couldn’t quite capture the movement I wanted. But while I was working, I found a pose that seemed lively and active and well, cheerful. Just Morph, sitting on the tile, clearly very happy.”
The community cinema charity had asked the community to help raise £100,000 towards the £600,000 appeal to completely restore the Grade II listed buildings roof, saving the UK’s oldest purpose built, continuously running cinema from closure. This auction smashed this target, with the community fundraising total reaching £109,502 on the night. The total appeal now stands at £457,000 and cinema hopes to start work on the roof in late February 2020.
Other artists included film critic Mark Kermode and his wife Linda Williams who together raised £460 with their Exorcist and Mary Poppins themed tiles; DC Comic’s and Marvel’s Mark Buckingham’s Spider-Man tile which raised £442; Tolkien illustrator and Lord of the Rings movie concept artist, Alan Lee, whose magical Forest Dwellers tile reached £771 and internationally renowned artist Clarissa James, whose golf leaf dragon sculpture tile raised £1,100.
Karen Edgington, Fundraising Campaign Manager, said:
“These tiles were made in a local brickworks in the 1920s. Nearly 100 years later the tiles have been transformed into stunning, unique works of art. We are overwhelmed with how much was raised last night – it is true testament to how much the Curzon is loved locally and respected nationally.”
In addition to this excitement, the Curzon staff and trustees received very good news from Clevedon Town Council, who have pledged £25,000 from next year’s budget towards the project, demonstrating the importance of this cinema as an anchor in the local community and as well as its historical significance worldwide.
CEO, Susannah Shaw, said:
“We are immensely grateful to the Town Council for this generous grant – which helps to ensure the cinema will continue to provide a cultural and social hub for Clevedon for years to come.”
Here are the details of how much each tile eventually sold for.
If you’d like any more information about ‘Art on the Tiles’, the Curzon Cinema or the fundraising, here are the contact details:
Karen Edgington, Fundraising Campaign Manager Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Tel: 07793 748350 Facebook @yourcurzoncharity Facebook @CurzonClevedon Instagram @curzonclevedon Twitter @CurzonClevedon