The Lockdown Collection: a R2-million success story
In just two days, from conception to roll-out, the TLC team launched a 21-day lockdown campaign – called The Lockdown Collection, commencing on 27 March 2020.
Each day, the campaign revealed the artwork of a participating artist – among them, Penny Siopsis, Sam Nhlengethwa, Diane Victor, Ardmore Ceramic Art, Gerhard Marx and Thenjiwe Nkosi. The foundation piece, a drawing by William Kentridge, entitled Where shall we place our hope, was sold for R500 000, which established the Fund prior to the auction.
Buyers placed bids on the artworks, such that each piece was ‘underwritten’ at an average value of R25 000 to R50 000 by the time of the campaign’s concluding auction event – the Unlocking Event.
Before the Unlocking Event itself, the reserves had already reached over R500 000. Donations were also welcomed throughout the campaign.
Held on 19 April 2020, the Unlocking Event auction, hosted by Aspire Art Auctions, was conducted via a unique live webinar session, with a ‘live’ auctioneer and an estimated 500 virtual attendees.
The cherry on the top was Artist Proof Studio’s donation of two additional works for auction – one by Lukas Ngweng and another by William Kentridge. The Unlocking Event sold and auctioned every item in the catalogue – something the auction community terms a ‘white-glove sale’. Each piece of art was sold at (or very close to) market value. Sometimes well beyond. But most remarkable is the sum collected by The Lockdown Collection campaign – a staggering R2 million. This allowed for an immediate initial donation of R250 000 to the President’s Solidarity Fund, as well as instant allocations to the Vulnerable Visual Artists Fund (a fund established by TLC). This Fund has paid out grants to over 100 vulnerable artists, to date. ‘You brought joy to my family, as artists depend on the sale of their artworks to make a living,’ said one grant recipient. Many others expressed deep gratitude and felt motivated to continue creating art.