Pub entrepreneur Colin Beattie was the successful bidder for First Minister Alex Salmond’s 2011 Christmas Card artwork of Bella Caledonia at a recent auction at Glasgow’s Great Western Auctions, which was attended by the First Minister. The proceeds, £4,800, are going towards Alex Salmond’s charities CHAS, Sciaf, the Glenachulish Preservation Trust and the Small Tribes Trust.
Mr Salmond said, “I am absolutely thrilled that the artwork from my 2011 Christmas card has once again raised such a substantial figure for four extremely deserving charities.
“Painted by Alasdair Gray – one of Scotland’s most iconic artists – Bella Caledonia is an entirely appropriate figure to help benefit such good causes given she has been described by the artist as a strong woman with a passion for social justice.”
Colin is pictured below receiving the portrait from auctioneer Anita Manning of Great Western Auctions outside of Granny Gibbs, in Whiteinch. The portrait will go on display at Grannie Gibbs until Christmas, thereafter it will return to Òran Mór its spiritual home. This is where Bella Caledonia was originally depicted in Alasdair Gray’s spectacular mural ceiling in The Auditorium which is one of the largest pieces of public art in Scotland.
Colin Beattie is delighted with his purchase. He said, “I have a strong belief in public art and I am delighted to be able to exhibit this iconic image at Granny Gibbs. I am a great fan of Alasdair Gray’s and I relish the fact that we are able to display a portrait from one of Scotland’s foremost artists in a community pub, and not an ivory tower. I hope that her customers will raise a glass to welcome this iconic Scottish beauty.”
The portrait was sold at Great Western Auctions which coincidentally is located next to Granny Gibbs. Anita Manning comments, “I would like to say thank you to Great Western for selling the painting, and to Colin Beattie for buying it. I am delighted that it is going to be displayed at Granny Gibbs. We are located next door to the pub, and we are a integral part of the community, so it gives me great pleasure to know that the portrait will remain in the community for the next few months displayed at Granny Gibbs.”
The picture shows Anita Manning presenting the portrait to Colin Beattie outside of Granny Gibbs.