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Friday, 25 July 2014 02:33 pm

Online Christmas shopping keeps benefit auction going

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THE benefit auction for terminally ill camera repairman Phil Jacobs has now gone online – just in time for Christmas.

More than 150 photographic pieces were donated for the live auction on November 30, 68 of which were sold on the night, raising more than $14,000 for Mr Jacobs.

Auction organiser James Gilberd has now placed the remaining art works on Trademe to raise even more for his colleague and friend – and is hopeful the Christmas rush will get New Zealand art lovers bidding.

“It’s a great Christmas shopping opportunity,” says Mr Gilberd, who has used Mr Jacobs’ camera repair services since 1985.

“There’s heaps of stuff there. A lot of the pieces would make really great gifts. There’s a range of prices as well.

“Some of them are under $100.”

Seventy-nine items are now on Trademe, ranging from landscapes, to wildlife, to more abstract pieces, to photographs of New Zealand icons, such as Carmen Rupe.

Some of the pieces are by world-renowned New Zealand photographers, including Ans Westra and Karim Sahai – who donated three large framed wildlife photographs.

BEAUTIFUL WORKS: A piece donated by Kiwi wildlife photographer Karim Sahai

“Works like these usually sell for thousands and thousands at an art exhibition,” says Mr Gilberd.

He says bidding on the items on Trademe has been healthy so far, but hopes more people come forward and bid, so at least $6000 more can be raised by December 18.

“I think it’s very achievable,” says Mr Gilberd, who says he and his fellow organisers are keeping their operating costs for this project low.

“We’re not the type of organisation where only a tiny proportion goes to the actual charity. This is the opposite of that. Over 90% of the proceeds are going to Phil.”

“Trademe has come on board, and has topped up my account so I can keep uploading items. They’ve helped us out big-time.”

He says he is thrilled with the success of the live auction, which was held at Massey University’s new art and design school building.

“We had a great turn-out – we filled an entire lecture theatre with people. And the venue was superb.

“Everything ran really smoothly.”

Mr Gilberd has given the cheque for $14,000 to Mr Jacobs, who he says has been humbled by the generosity of the Wellington artistic community.

“He isn’t usually a centre of attention type of person, so he’s been a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing,” he says of Mr Jacobs, who has been repairing cameras in Wellington for more than 40 years.

“He and his family can really use the money. It will make the last part of his life a lot less stressful.”

More information on the Trademe auction is available online at www.philjacobsbenefit.weebly.com.

Mr Gilberd also encourages those who bid on pieces that did not reach reserve at the live auction to contact him at Photospace Gallery for further information on the online auction.

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is a Whitireia journalism student, most passionate about the arts and social justice issues. Sometimes, she even combines the two.
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