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Sunday 17 November 2019

Brian selling €30,000 artworks to help fund his fight against cancer

Singer Brian Kennedy is auctioning his pictures
Singer Brian Kennedy is auctioning his pictures

Singer-songwriter Brian Kennedy, who has been battling cancer- related health problems, is selling off part of his art collection.

The Belfast star (52) will offload 21 paintings at De Veres' auction house on March 26.

The works include nine by the late Patrick Scott, who was conferred the title of Saoi, the highest honour bestowed on an Irish artist.

Kennedy, who came to prominence in the 1990s, is also auctioning four Louis le Brocquy prints and work by Sean Scully, Walter Ver- ling and Colin Watson.

A part of the collection is a charcoal portrait of Kennedy by Colin Davidson.

The singer recently had a nine-hour operation for colorectal cancer in a London hospital.

"I've been on an incred- ible journey in the last two years of leaving no stone unturned, and this seems to be the best path," he said.

Chemotherapy

The treatment meant his colon, rectum and prostate were removed and he was given a colostomy and a urostomy. He is now undergoing chemotherapy.

Kennedy paid tribute to the "army of angels" who looked after him and the support of his friends.

He earlier told RTE's Ray D'Arcy Show that his surgery and treatment was costing £100,000 (€116,000) and he "didn't have enough health insurance".

There was also a recent ball when singers including Van Morrison donated instruments to fund Kennedy's medical costs.

The guide estimate for the art he is selling is €29,500.

De Veres director Rory Guthrie said the auction house was approached recently to sell the paintings.

"Brian was happy for his name to be mentioned. He didn't say why he was selling them," he said.

"It's early days on the lead-up to the auction, but there has been interest."

Also being sold at the auction is a Jack Butler Yeats once owned by two former Fianna Fail taoisigh, Sean Lemass and Charles J Haughey.

"We don't know how the vendors came to own the painting, but it too will draw a lot of attention," Mr Guthrie said. The Yeats oil on canvas is priced at up to €200,000.

Entitled Tralee, it is viewed by historians as a highly important work showing the artist changing from his observational phase into his mature, expressionist style.

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