An original maquette of ‘Holding Hands’ by artist STIK sold for £287,500 at Christie’s auction last Friday significantly exceeding its estimate of up to £120,000. The sale of over a quarter of a million pounds is a record amount for the artist who will now donate the money to Hackney Council to fund diverse artists. 

The maquette is a quarter sized version of the permanent four-metre ‘Holding Hands’ bronze sculpture which was unveiled in Hoxton Square in September. It’s arrival instantly lit up the square in a time of much-needed positivity and has seen a wave of social media posts of people standing with their loved ones under the towering figures. 

The new fund will be open to all artists regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age or other status. The programme aims to respond to evolving attitudes towards public monuments. It will also offer a lifeline to the arts community during a difficult time for the sector where museums and galleries face closure and artists are being asked to retrain.

Artist STIK said: “This project is intended to facilitate a newwave of public sculpture in East London, celebrating the diverse communities who live here.”

Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville, said: “I’d like to thank STIK for his record of activism, vision and for continuing to collaborate with the council and for this generous donation. We’re proud in Hackney to be able to support and share the creativity of our residents. This represents a longstanding commitment to inclusive public art that can be enjoyed by everyone in our parks and public spaces and I can’t wait to see the creativity that STIK, through the sale of this work, will help us showcase and unlock.”

STIK’s ‘Holding Hands’ maquette at Christie’s