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Laura Marie Project

Kerry Tankard

Visual Arts


Elizabeth Brown had an idea, and with a bunch of support from many Wellington arts and culture barons, it came to pass. On Tuesday 22 May 2007 at the Aaron Lawrence Gallery an auction and exhibition opening was held to raise funds to help Laura Marie, a Honduran child with a brain tumour, to receive surgery in Cuba. Elizabeth met Laura Marie when she was staying in Tegucigapla, the Honduran capital. Her mother, Emily, was employed as the maid of the family with whom Elizabeth shared accommodation. So thanks to artists from Arlo Edwards, Simon Morse, Mephisto Jones and Guy Capper through to arts legends like Marianne Muggeridge, Roger Morriss and Freeman White, an auction of significant Wellington art took place. And the bidding was brisk, ably managed by Ian Paterson, the principal of Just Paterson Real Estate, despite first time auction attendees who didn’t have their bidding numbers, but learnt quickly to register as bidders. Many of the artists were in attendance, quietly chuffed at the prices their art went for at auction. Bidding wars ensued… Once the lots had been under the hammer, the party continued until the booze ran out, as these events are accustomed to do in the art world. Around 300 people were present, and upwards of $5,000 has been raised towards the project.