A maquette for a public sculpture by Hackney-based street artist STIK is being offered for auction by Christie’s on Friday (23 October), with the proceeds funding the borough’s new socially inclusive sculpture program.
The sculpture, Holding Hands, was commissioned in 2017 by Hackney Council following STIK’s design for the borough’s pride banner in 2016.
Unveiled on 21 September, the sculpture stands in Hoxton Square and depicts two genderless figures holding hands. The patinated bronze statues stand 12-feet-high and in close proximity to STIK’s earliest works.
A spokesperson for Christies said: “The work’s theme is clear: love and unity in an era when social distancing and stormy politics are pulling us apart. And its timing couldn’t be more poignant as attitudes towards inclusivity in public statues evolve.”
“For STIK, this work is a testament to hope and community, a ‘sign of universal love and solidarity’ as resonant today as it will be a century from now.”
The auction house in London is selling the original bronze maquette for the public sculpture as part of their Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale.
The proceeds of the auction are set to fund a diverse programme of outdoor artworks across the borough of Hackney.
Hackney Council’s new public sculpture program is described by Christie’s as “a lifeline to the arts community at a time when artists are being told to reskill and galleries and museums are being forced to close. It is hoped that a new generation of diverse and underfunded artists will benefit”.
STIK’s works have been previously sold at charitable auctions to benefit causes across the borough.
2016 saw a set of proofs for his Sleeping Beauty screenprints raise £32,500 for Hackney’s Homerton Hospital and in 2018 the sculpture Up on the Roof raised £150,000 for Cardboard Citizens, a theatre group working with people affected by homelessness.
Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville said: “I’d like to thank STIK for his record of activism, collaborating with the borough and this generous donation. We’re proud in Hackney to be able to support and share the creativity of our residents. This represents a longstanding commitment to inclusive public art that can be enjoyed by everyone in our parks and public spaces and I can’t wait to see the creativity that STIK is helping us to showcase and unlock.”