by Chris Tobin
An artwork produced and donated by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been snapped up by an opposition MP.
National’s Andrew Falloon, MP for Rangitata, was the successful bidder for the work at a recent charity auction organised by the Timaru North Rotary Club at the Aigantighe Art Gallery.
Mr Falloon, who paid $600 for the work, said he did not intend hanging it in his home or parliamentary office.
“I’ve had a few suggestions from colleagues about what I might do with it.
“I just picked it up a couple of days ago, so I’m going to check with Timaru Girls’ High School this week to see if they want it.”
The signed artwork resembles a basic shopping list with the words “to do” at the top under which is the word “everything”.
One reporter loftily proclaimed the work was reminiscent of a McCahon or Hotere.
“The same artwork by Jacinda Ardern has gone for more than $2000 when it’s been put up previously,” Mr Falloon said.
“The money raised at the auction goes towards a local arts scholarship, so I was keen to ensure that Rotary got a reasonable amount for it.
“I don’t think the auctioneer was going to let me go without putting a bid on it. It’s all a bit of fun and I was happy to do so for such a good cause,” Mr Falloon said.
There were two other bidders for the work.
“My wife Rose and I also bought four pieces at the auction.
“The one I really wanted was the painting by local Timaru artist Roselyn Cloake.”
Ms Ardern’s artwork now in Mr Falloon’s possession is not unique.
She produced two other To Do versions last year. One sold for $2500 as part of a fundraiser for the Parent to Parent charity.
Another was sold at at a Cancer Society Ball in Christchurch for the same amount.
Other prime ministers have produced works that were sold for charity. Sir John Key did a number of sketches of the Beehive.
There was also controversy in 2002 when then prime minister Helen Clark signed an artwork that was auctioned which she had not painted.