British author Neil Gaiman joins Spoonfuls of Northland talent for Great Plate ’21 Quarry Arts Center fundraiser


British author Neil Gaiman holds a plate designed by his son, while Great Plate coordinator and gallery manager Hannah Mitchell presents Gaiman’s design. Photo / Supplied

An international bestselling author added his twist to this year’s annual fundraiser for the Quarry Arts Center in Whangārei.

Popular British writer and television producer Neil Gaiman designed a plate – just like his 5-year-old son – to join The Great Plate ’21 fundraising dishes.

The fundraiser will have plaques designed by over 100 local and international artists sold at the TradeMe online auction, starting July 29, and on display at the Yvonne Rust Gallery in Selwyn Ave.

Local potters Mike Regan, Marilyn Wheeler, and Israel Dawson made the plates – minus thirty or so that were made and designed by the artist.

Great Plate coordinator and gallery director Hannah Mitchell said Gaiman mostly joined Northland artists in the list of creative “attendees”.

“He’s in New Zealand right now, and I was delighted when he responded to my suggestion to get involved with a resounding yes,” she said.

Gaiman was well known for his series of Sandman graphic novels and dozens of books – such as Coraline, The Ocean At The End Of The Lane and Neverwhere.

Many of his books – some written for adults and some for children – can be found in the libraries of Whangārei.

Gaiman’s plate design aligns with the genre of his books as it features a fantastic moon, with his signature on the back. His son imagined a gingerbread man upside down in front of his plate, also signed on the back.

The weeklong auction will end on August 5th, but each plate auction will end at a different time and may be extended depending on its popularity.

“With a large number of artists and a large audience waiting to bid on them, we recommend that you turn on all of your notifications and keep tabs on your desired plate closing times,” Mitchell said.

The Great Plate ’21 fundraiser aims to help the Quarry Arts Center maintain its 40-year-old role by supporting local artists, showcasing the region’s creative talent, and creating accessible arts programs.


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