Brighton Dome and Chestnut Tree House join forces for Big Heart Auction

The Big Heart Auction is a very special charity art auction, raising money for Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice and Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival's Umbrella Club, for young people with life-limiting conditions.

The auction will include a wonderful range of donated artwork from professional local, national and celebrity artists, illustrators and photographers. All the works will be available to purchase via the online auction on EBay running from 1-10 July and you can view them all online at

One highlight for 2016 is 'The Art Bird' by the immensely popular Sussex-based children's illustrator Sir Quentin Blake. Sir Quentin says, ‘I am delighted to donate The Art Bird painting to Chestnut Tree House for their Big Heart auction. As a children's book illustrator I'm particularly pleased to be able to support this wonderful children's charity in this way and I hope that my contribution will enable them to continue their invaluable support for so many families.’

Other celebrity artists include former star of TV’s The Bill, Chris Ellison, who donated a piece of work called ‘Landscape’, Julie Graham (At Home with the Braithwaites and William and Mary) wo donated a drawing titled ‘Smudge Says Have a Heart’. Shoreham-based actress and comedian Carol Cleveland, best known from Monty Python, created a picture called ‘Fairy Queen’

This year's Big Heart Auction is also taking a road trip around Sussex to ensure more people have a chance to see and experience the wonderful art included in the auction. Opening at the Candida Stevens Gallery in Chichester on 15-17 February, selected pictures from the auction have also been to Crawley on 25-29 April, Worthing Dome on 16-17 May, Towner Art Gallery Eastbourne on 7-9 June and will be at St Mary in the Castle Hastings on 21-23 June and Brighton Dome Founders Room 1-5 July.

Sarah Arnold, Head of Fundraising Development at Chestnut Tree House, says, ‘Our Big Heart Auction returns after the phenomenal success of last year where we raised over £30,000. I’m overwhelmed at the generosity of Sussex’s artistic community and very proud to reveal today the artworks we have in our Big Heart 2016 collection. We have a terrific breadth of work available to bid on and will continue to add artworks in the coming months, so do keep returning to our website to see the latest additions.’

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, says, ‘Buoyed by the success of last year’s auction, it’s a delight to partner with Chestnut Tree House for an event that is becoming a real highlight of the local art scene. To see people’s creative flair translate into funds that help support local charities is a great thing. We are so grateful to the artistic community for supporting the event by donating their works.’

The inaugural auction in 2015 was a huge success raising over £30,000 with a number of celebrity donations, which included a Tony Ross picture given by David Walliams. On donating Walliams says, ‘I was only too happy to get involved with Chestnut Tree House’s inaugural Big Heart Auction. I saw first-hand the amazing work the hospice does caring for children with life-shortening conditions and their families when I was privileged enough to visit the house and read to the children. I know that the funds raised from the auction will

make a real difference to children and their families across Sussex.’

The 2016 Big Heart Auction couldn’t take place without the generous support of both our headline sponsors Green People and Classic Consulting, both of whom have been long standing supporters of Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice.


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• All proceeds from the sale of artwork will go to Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice and Brighton Dome. Money raised will be split 80% to Chestnut Tree House and 20% to Brighton Dome.

About Chestnut Tree Hospice

• Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice provides specialist palliative care services to 300 children and young people aged 0 - 19 with life-shortening conditions in East Sussex, West Sussex and South East Hampshire.

• The services we offer include assessment, advice and information for children and young adults with life-shortening conditions, specialist short breaks, emergency care, step down from hospital and end of life care. Our Community Team cares for families in their own homes in East Sussex, West Sussex and South East Hampshire. Our Multi-disciplinary Team offers support for the entire family following diagnosis and through the whole disease process. Chestnut Tree House also offers bereavement support which includes therapy, counselling and spiritual care. There is also a specialist neonatal care service, services for under 5s and transition advice for young people moving to adult services.

• Finally, Chestnut Tree House offers care for families after the unexpected death of a child or young person, including the use of our ‘Stars’ bereavement suite.

• At Chestnut Tree House our goal is to provide the best quality of life for children, young people and their families, and to offer a total package of practical, social and spiritual support throughout each child’s life, however short it may be.

• It costs well over £3.5 million each year to provide all our care services. Families are never charged for their care and the hospice receives less than 7% from central government, so it relies heavily on the generosity, help and support of the local community.

About Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival

• Brighton Dome is the south coast's premier multi-arts venue - a three space, Grade 1 listed building made up of the Concert Hall, Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre at the cultural heart of one of England's most creative cities.

• Each year Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival presents over 600 events spanning music, theatre, dance, comedy, literature, spoken word, visual arts, film, digital and more as part of its year round programme as well as producing the internationally-acclaimed Brighton Festival in May.

• With a rich history spanning over 200 years (starting life as the Prince Regent's stables and riding house), Brighton Dome provides an extraordinary space in which to bring the arts alive. A hub for artists across the region, Brighton Dome commissions and supports both emerging and established artists and companies, enabling them to develop, take risks and deliver work of the highest quality.

• Brighton Dome is a registered arts charity which aims to champion the power of the arts, to enrich and change lives, and inspire and enable artists to be their most creative. Each year, the work of the Creative Learning team reaches over 15,000 people in Brighton & Hove and beyond through innovative projects such as Miss Represented - an arts collective of vulnerable young women who have been involved with the criminal justice system; the Umbrella Club - a membership club for children and young people with life-limiting conditions and their siblings and carers; and Three Score Dance Company, created to offer contemporary dance opportunities for men and women aged 60+ in Brighton & Hove.

• Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival are working with the Royal Pavilion & Museums to realize a future vision for the Royal Pavilion Estate. For updates and news please visit