On Thursday evening, the who’s-who of Brighton congregated at Soho House for a charity event hosted by Enter Gallery artist, Mark Woolley.
With Norman Cook on the decks, and a many a Brighton legend present, the aim of the night was to auction Woolley’s artwork – Legend and Folklore of Brighton, to raise as much cash as possible for homeless charity, Centrepoint, and three Brighton-based charities; Martlets Hospice Care, Chestnut Tree House and Rockinghorse Children’s Charity.
In today’s blog, we’re revealing more about Woolley, and the piece that has helped him to raise more than £20,000 for these essential charities.
Mark Woolley is a London and Sussex-based artist, and the Founder of Electric – one of the UK’s leading hair brands. Woolley’s art is fuelled by a passion for pop culture and for celebrating British creativity, especially in the forms of fashion, art and music.
Woolley started working on Legend and Folklore of Brighton during lockdown, when he set about collecting images that define Brighton. When Woolley put the shout-out for images, he was clear on one thing - that he wanted to represent everyone who calls this city home, “Everyone from people who used to sell drugs in The Zap club in the 90s to people serving ice cream on the seafront.”
The finished piece features over 300 images of people and places that define Brighton, and is designed to be a celebration of the artistry, diversity and forward-thinking mindset of our wonderful city by the sea. Speaking of the piece, Woolley tells us:
“Brighton’s always been a place where interesting people have chosen to base themselves. We’ve got a lot of famous residents, artistic residents. I wanted this piece to be a celebration of Brighton’s diversity and culture, as well as its colourful characters.”
“The piece features established contemporaries, like Laurence Olivier, Norman Cook and Cate Blanchett, but mixed in amongst them are more local characters like Disco Pete, and Dave Day – or The Lion Man as he is better known.”
“To finish off the piece, I’ve taken the blue-green of the railings on the seafront and silkscreened that abstract image of the pavilion over the top.”
All in the Details
With hundreds of images to pour over, Legend and Folklore of Brighton is truly an artwork that reveals a different detail each time.
Nestled between local heroes are big names from music including Fatboy Slim, Adele, Nick Cave, Supergrass and Royal Blood, and sports stars like Chris Eubank (and his controversial haulage truck) and jockey - Ryan Moore.
The piece captures the history of Brighton via backstage snaps from Fatboy Slim’s 2002 Big Beach Boutique, behind-the-scene snaps taken during the filming of Quadrophenia, and the IRA bombing at The Grand Hotel in 1984.
Many a Brighton landmark is also immortalised within the piece, including the West Pier, the North Laines’ iconic Guitar and Keyboard Centre (GAK) and Enter Gallery (and our CEO, Lawrence Alkin) even make an appearance.
An artist himself, it’s little wonder Woolley has chosen to feature a number of artists who also call Brighton home. Dotted around the piece, you’ll spot Enter Gallery artists, Lucy Sparrow, Dan Baldwin, Mike Edwards and Poppy Faun.
With bidders at the ready, self-made millionaire and Brighton-celeb, Robbie Raggio took to the mic, to auction off three artist proofs of Woolley’s piece, alongside the two-metre original piece.
Each of the artist proofs was snapped up, as was the original, which sold for over £6,000.
Overall, the night was a roaring success with over £20,000 raised for the chosen charities, and guests dancing into the wee hours.
You can get your own copy of Legend and Folklore of Brighton here.