At the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition last year, artist Mick Rooney RA showed a ukulele painted with underwater motifs and mermaids. It prompted him to approach Gemma Peppé, the director of Art on a Postcard at The Hepatitis C Trust and a campaigner who herself had the disease for 25 years. The pair commissioned 29 artists, including Norman Ackroyd and Allen Jones, to decorate their own handmade ukulele.
The instruments will be unveiled in a charity performance (tickets £35) at the Jazz Cafe on September 12, where they will be played by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, along with special guests The Massive Violins and Clean Bandit. They will then be auctioned at Long & Ryle on September 21, following a private view there on September 19. All proceeds from both events will be donated to The Hepatitis C Trust, which aims to eliminate the disease in the UK by 2030. For now, the charity offers advice and a patient hotline, and campaigns for policy reform.