Wolves in Wolves are auctioned off, raising more than £35,000 for charity – video and pictures
The city wide art exhibition which brought Wolverhampton to life this summer came to a fitting close with an auction of the iconic Wolves in Wolves.
The sculptures, painted by a raft of professional and amateur artists were set up in a trail across the city which thousands took part in.
But yesterday around 150 people packed out the Jack Hayward Suite at Molineux with the aim of taking their favourite home.
A charity auction hosted by BBC Antiques Roadshow specialist Will Farmer saw more than £35,440 raised for charity across 52 lots, ranging from specialist ‘mini wolves’ to 15 of those found along the trail.
The biggest sale saw a piece called Garden by Claire Rollerson, which was sponsored by the Grand Theatre and placed at the city centre bus station, go to a bidder for £3,200 – with the new owner, who did not want to be named, ready to give it pride of place in her own garden.
Fittingly, the first and last wolves auctioned off went to the same bidder, Daniel Cartwright, from Penn, who purchased Wild by Stef Fridadel, which was at Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Sacred Grandfathers by Jasyn Lucas, which was given a home for the summer at the iconic Chubb Buildings.
Mr Cartwright, who spent a combined £4,100 on his wolves, said: “I just loved the artwork on Wild, it is the most wolf like out of all of them.
“That is going to be put in my office at the Chubb Buildings.
“I brought Sacred Grandfathers for the Lighthouse, it was in there already and I know they loved having it in there, so they can have it back now.”
Bidding started slowly on the night, with the big money saved until later in the evening, once co-auctioneers Will Farmer and Andrew Mayall coaxing those in attendance to push themselves for a good cause and the once in a lifetime chance to take home the unique sculptures.
Graham Mogford, from Tettenhall, spent £1,200 on Beowulf by Parastoo Duffet, which could be seen in Queen Square throughout the trail period.
He said: “I used to see it when I got off the bus and made my way to work.
“It was the first wolf I saw and I saw it so often that I grew a bit of a soft spot for it.
“Now I am going to put it in my garden, it is going to have pride of place there.”
At its peak, more than 50,000 trail maps were picked up by people looking to catch a glimpse of the wolves in the city, with thousands more downloaded digitally
Starting off the evening, councillor Elias Mattu, mayor of Wolverhampton, thanked those who had took part in the trail and encouraged those in attendance at the auction to not hold back with their bids.
He said: “I would like to thank everyone involved in the Wolves in Wolves project.
“Our dedicated artists, generous sponsors and partners who have all contributed to make this project a phenomenal success.
“Wolves in Wolves gave the city a blast of colour and excitement and it was fantastic to see the immense Wulfrunian pride felt by everyone in the city.
“It has been wonderful to see so many people, young and old alike, out in the city on the lookout for wolves.
“From the launch in July to the very end of the trail, we have seen families, friends and even visitors from as far as Canada, China and Australia enjoy our beautiful wolves.”
- Watch as we take a tour of the Wolves in place across the city
It wasn’t just the large wolves which were snapped up by eager biggers, with their smaller counterparts also being given new homes, with a beautiful black and gold piece by Meg Gregory going for £1,000.
Auctioneer Will Farmer, who made sure to get every penny out of bidders he could, said: “I think this has been a fantastic project.
“I have links to the city and I think it brought a lot of colour and life to Wolverhampton.
“It is a great end to the story that they have been given new homes and will be looked after by the people who enjoyed them during their stay.
“To be involved tonight was a great honour.”