Artists go ‘incognito’ in unique fundraiser for Irish children’s charity

More than 3,300 artworks are going on sale for a charity fundraiser, but buyers will not know who the artist is until their purchase goes through.

The ‘Incognito’ art sale is in aid of the Jack and Jill Foundation, which provides support for children with neurodevelopmental delay.

One family that relies on the assistance of the Irish charity said its work is “amazing” and that in-home support provides them with invaluable time for other tasks.

Described by organisers as Ireland’s biggest online art sale, buyers will have no confirmation of who the artists behind the individual works will be.

Each piece is priced at 65 euros, no matter the artist, with funds raised going towards Jack and Jill’s in-home nursing care and respite support services for more than 400 children across Ireland.

These may include children with brain injury, a genetic diagnosis, cerebral palsy and undiagnosed conditions.

Another key part of the service is end-of-life care for all children up to the age of six, irrespective of diagnosis.

There are more than 1,200 contributors taking part from Ireland and around the world, including well-known artists and other famous names.

Among the Incognito contributors playing hide-and-seek at the launch event were artist and former RTE Live at Three presenter Thelma Mansfield, RTE Home of the Year judge and architect Hugh Wallace, fashion designer Don O’Neill, portrait artist Rae Perry, landscape artist Cora Murphy, and president of the RHA Abigail O’Brien.

Among the other stars taking part in 2024 are iconic model and actress, Jerry Hall, comedian Colin Murphy, fashion designers Helen Steele, Heidi Higgins and Simone Rocha, milliner Philip Treacy, jewellery designer Chupi Sweetman and singer Brian Kennedy.

Mick Daly said Jack and Jill provide “amazing” weekly support to his two-year-old son Sean.

He said: “We can’t underestimate the work that they do, they’re brilliant. They provide us with two nurses to look after Sean so we get a number of hours of respite.

“We can trust them a lot, they’re very practical. They get on really well with Sean.”

Sean has a rare genetic disorder called megalencephaly-capillary malformation with polymicrogyria.

Sean’s mother Emma Dalton said this involves multiple folds within the brain and displays in Sean as a large head and that one side of his body is slightly longer and larger than the other.

He is currently non-verbal and cannot walk without the aid of a walker.

The family said the greatest benefit is the time, allowing the parents at home to be free for a coffee break, for chores or just time for themselves.

“There are supports out there. Sometimes, when you get thrown into this world where you don’t have any experience, you don’t know about that.

“What really benefits us is the hours back. It’s not about money, it’s not about doing extra things. It’s actually time.

“What we value the most for Sean is that we can get time back for ourselves because it’s full on sometimes and it’s just that space that you have, someone that is medically trained and they’re in safe hands if something was to happen.”

While the idea behind the sale process invites speculation, two contributors have left little doubt as to which postcard is their handiwork.

Keen-eyed art connoisseurs will note that one of the postcards features portraits of two characters labelled PJ and Jim.

Conspicuously, breakfast radio presenters PJ Gallagher and Jim Murray attended Thursday’s launch at the RHA Gallery in Dublin – and were openly self-detrimental about their drawing skills.

“We’re not up there with all the great painters in the world, like Van Gogh or Pavarotti, but we have produced a piece of minimalist brilliance for Incognito, and we’d like to think it’s a fair reflection of us as people – the triumph of achievement over talent.

“While we didn’t necessarily follow all the rules of Incognito; we think we’ve added value by adding something a little extra at the front of our very exclusive and original artwork.

“We’re breaking ground for a great cause! We’re delighted to support Jack and Jill again; and encourage everyone to see if they can spot our masterpiece in the collection.”

Award-winning architect Hugh Wallace said purchasing an Incognito artwork could be the perfect start to an amazing new art collection.

He said: “I love the idea of being able to buy someone’s creativity, imagination and thought in lovely little postcards.

“In time, you can even build up your own collection of artworks, which is super.”

Deirdre Walsh, chief executive of the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation, said artists love being part of Incognito and added: “We are incredibly grateful to them for their support.

“The Incognito art sale quite literally turns art into a currency for care.

“The funds raised through Incognito 2024 will translate into vital in-home nursing care, respite support and end-of-life care for over 400 families who are caring for children, up to the age of six years, across Ireland.”

Now in its eighth year, Incognito 2024 sees more than 3,300 original postcard-size artworks on show at

Buyers will have three weeks to peruse and pick their favourite pieces before the sale goes live on Wednesday April 24.

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