THE artworks are bold, bright and beautiful – just like the idea which brought them together, from all over the world.

Art for Africa was the brainchild of actor and writer Rony Bridges, who died of lung cancer in 2019.

The charity auction, which this year includes more than 100 works from artists as diverse as Peter Howson, John Byrne and Elisabeth Kopjar, is live tomorrow (Thursday, November 18), in partnership with McTear’s.

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Money raised will help to build the Sunflower Sanctuary, a project aimed at supporting children with autism in Uganda.

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“In Uganda, many of these children are locked up, chained up, and have never seen the light of day,” says Michaela, a former Glasgow Times Scotswoman of the Year finalist.

“Many believe they are cursed by the devil. We have uncovered more than 50 families so far and have been working with them, trying to bring about much needed change.”

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She adds: “Proceeds from Art for Africa will help us build the Sunflower Sanctuary, which will be a holistic centre for children and families affected by autism and disabilities.”

Rony and Michaela set up Starchild to build a school for the creative arts in Uganda, where Michaela’s late brother Frankie was born.

Frankie died in a house fire, aged just 26, when a power failure started a blaze in his block of flats in Govanhill. Just a few months before his death he had begun to look into his background and Michaela was determined to finish the task.

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Having traced Frankie’s family to Luwero, where she had an emotional meeting with his brother, Michaela returned home – but horrified by the levels of poverty she had seen, she set up the charity Starchild, to help the community build a brighter future for its children.

Art for Africa was Rony’s idea, and his passion. With the help of friends and local businesses, he encouraged artists to donate artworks for auction, raising thousands of pounds to build the school for Uganda’s poorest children.

As well as building the school itself, the charity supported a local women’s health project and provided mosquito nets, sanitary products for teenage girls and microscopes for science classes.

The Sunflower Sanctuary – named after Rony’s favourite flower – is Starchild’s latest project.

With support from her friend Moe Rocksmore, Michaela has collected 119 pieces of art for this year’s auction – some from as far afield as Russia. Michaela says: “I have been overwhelmed by the response from artists. Their generosity and support has been wonderful.

“Just about all the artists I contacted offered us art. Also, McTear’s didn’t hesitate to offer us their support once again.

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“They have been a tremendous support to Starchild over the years. I know Rony would be as thrilled and overwhelmed as I am.”

She smiles: “We even have a few portrait pieces of Rony and sunflowers which were his favourite.”

Art for Africa takes place at McTear’s Fine Auctioneers on Meiklewood Road from 2pm until 5pm on November 18. Paintings available include works by Peter Howson, Gordon Wilson, Alexander Millar, Frank McFadden, John Byrne, Laetitia Guilbaud, Moe Rocksmoore, Lynn Howarth and many more. ”The live auction is an opportunity to meet the trustees, the artists and other interested individuals, and to hear about our work in Uganda whilst enjoying some refreshments and the excitement of the day,” says Michaela.

“It’s also a chance to purchase some wonderful art without a gallery price tag and it’s all going to a great cause.”