A few meters in, with the vibe of importance already assigned to all guests, hospitality oozed out of the PhotoVoice staff as I received my very own name badge. I can tell there’s money involved here, and big sums that they’d like to get their hands on. Fair play if the goal is to raise for charitable aid!

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I made my way upstairs to the main exhibition hall, wondering whether our economic dilemma lurks in the minds of tonight’s potential buyers; could the current credit crunch crisis hinder the expectations of a charity auction… a photography one at that?

 

Five minutes into the Live Auction, I propose this matter to Matt Daw, Projects and Systems co-coordinator at PhotoVoice. He believed the credit crunch would polarise auction sales particularly because, although fewer might be interested, those who indeed have money would be more willing to splash out; a spin I hadn’t yet anticipated!

 

With the silent auction off to a slow start, Jeffrey Archer’s charm breaks the crunchy ice, teasing the contents of people’s wallets, and bringing in a more appropriate mood. David Steen’s print, John Cleese ‘On Haystack’ (1985) jumps unpredictably from a mere £500 ‘bargain’ (Archer) to suddenly scoring an impressive £5,000 from an bid sent earlier on by fax.

 

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Other impressive sums included ‘Tatjana Veiled Head’ by Joshua Tree (1988) for £6,500 and the very last picture (go figure), Robert Doisneau’s La Famille du Blanchisseur (1949) for a fantastic £7,350!

 

Average yields of about £550 were raised for Ivor Picket’s ‘In the Forest of Chianti’ (2005), also displayed in our Foto8 2008 Summer Show, and Anastasia Taylor-Lind’s ‘Peshmerga’ (2003), which scored a justified £800. The total amounts announced at the end of this tensely exciting event raised a staggering difference of £34,000 up from last year’s £68,000; £102,000 for various PhotoVoice projects.

 

So then, although the beginning was slow with reluctantly consumed drinks demanding civilized decisions… eventually, people’s love for exceptional photography took the lead; photography if you really want it, isn’t always out of reach!

 

- Kiri Scully