ART OF CHANGE: Works by David Hockney, Rankin, Ben Okri, Boy George and many other artists and celebrities go under the hammer for WaterAid

29 September 2022
WaterAid/ Issy Oakes

Download all artwork photos here 

The artworks include specially created pieces by artists and celebrities including Boy George, Rankin, Ben Okri and Rosemary Clunie for WaterAid’s ‘Art of Change’ secret auction launching this week. The collection, curated in collaboration with Hidden Gallery, features climate-themed works to raise awareness of the devastating impact of climate change on vulnerable communities’ access to clean water.   

Held during British Art Fair at London’s Saatchi Gallery, which runs from 29 September – 2 October, this is no ordinary exhibition, as none of the art in the auction is labelled with the artist’s name. Without knowing who created each prize piece, bidders are invited to use their artistic instinct to potentially make the buy of a lifetime. 

The British artists featured range from celebrities and household names to emerging talent. All the artists involved are kindly donating between 50% to 100% of their sale to WaterAid, helping to bring clean water to everyone, everywhere. 

The artworks exhibited are by the following artists: 

Ben Okri & Rosemary Clunie collaboration, Boy George, Carolyn Trant, Carrie Reichardt, Damien Hirst, David Hockney, Giles Deacon, Haseebah Ali, Henry Ward, Heywood & Condie, Jessica Albarn, Jonathan Barnes, Julian Wild, Nettie Wakefield, Pure Evil, Rankin, Rowena Easton, Sir Peter Blake and The Connor Brothers. 

British photographer and director Rankin said, 

“The climate crisis is a water crisis, from too much to too little, it’s now an emergency. This year alone we have seen how the changing climate is having devastating effects on the world.    

“Addressing this is a daunting task. That's why it's so important we think about supporting sustainable adaptation. By contributing to Art of Change and supporting the vital work WaterAid does for communities on the ground, we can ensure we are one step closer to fighting against the climate crisis.” 

Visual artist Jessica Albarn said, 

“Nature has always been at the centre of my artwork. It has been a love of mine and the fact climate change is destroying so much of what makes this earth wonderful is devastating. That is why contributing to this collection and supporting WaterAid in their climate fight was so important to me.”  

Poet Ben Okri said, 

“The destruction of our environment and the impacts of climate change are now an unavoidable conversation. There is nowhere to hide. Those suffering the most are not those causing the problem. In Nigeria, the country of my birth, over 46 million people are without access to clean water. Progress is being made, but much more needs to be done. This is a solvable problem. This is why I am pleased to share this artwork, created by Rosemary Clunie and me, with this collection to support WaterAid in the important work they do." 

Gay Hutson, Co-Founder and Director, British Art Fair, 

“Climate change is the single most important issue we face today and it is essential that we all consider the impact of everything we do in the light of it. For British Art Fair 2022, we are pleased to support WaterAid’s vital work in combatting the devastating consequences of the climate emergency in the ‘Art of Change’ auction. Bid high!”  

One in ten people worldwide do not have clean water close to home. With more extreme weather such as more droughts and floods, it’s becoming even harder for the most vulnerable communities to access clean water, which is affecting women and girls the most as the burden of collecting water for the family often falls upon them. 

Tim Wainwright, WaterAid’s Chief Executive, said,  

“The climate crisis is the biggest threat of our lifetime, and art is an amazing way to highlight the issue, share thoughts and ideas and bring emotion across. Art stimulates creativity of the mind, which is what we need to address the global change that is on our doorstep – and is impacting vulnerable communities across the globe. 

“Working in partnership with British Art Fair, we are so pleased to have curated these incredible pieces, all highlighting the devastating crisis happening to our people and planet currently. This year we have seen heatwaves, floods, droughts, hunger and disease outbreaks. Water is at the centre of the climate crisis and therefore must be at the centre of our climate fight.” 

WaterAid’s Art of Change auction will be located in a dedicated area on the second floor of London’s iconic Saatchi Gallery.  

Visit in person or place your bids at (live at midday on Thursday 29 September 2022) and join the conversation online using #ArtOfChange. 


For more information, please contact:  

In London: Rachel Sewell, PR Manager, [email protected] or Jemima Young, Senior Media Officer, [email protected], or call our after-hours press line on +44 (0)7887 521 552   

Notes to Editors:  

The exhibition is held on the second floor at British Art Fair and all works can be viewed in person with all bids collected online at (live at midday on Thursday 29 September 2022)  

Attendance is included in British Art Fair’s ticket price of the day. 

The auction opens at 12noon on 29 September and closes at 5pm on 2 October when the winning bids will be announced.  

WaterAid is working to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. The international not-for-profit organisation works in 28 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 28 million people with clean water and nearly 29 million people with decent toilets.  

For more information, visit our website, follow us on Twitter @WaterAidUK, @WaterAid or @WaterAidPress, or find us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.  

771 million people in the world – one in ten – do not have clean water close to home.[1]  

1.7 billion people in the world – more than one in five – do not have a decent toilet of their own.[2]  

Around 290,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's more than 800 children a day, or one child every two minutes.[3]  

Every £1 invested in water and toilets returns an average of £4 in increased productivity.[4]  

Just £15 can provide one person with clean water.[5]  

WHO/UNICEF (2021) Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2020. Joint Monitoring Programme. Geneva: World Health Organisation.   

WHO/UNICEF (2021) Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2020. Joint Monitoring Programme. Geneva: World Health Organisation.   

WaterAid calculations based on: Prüss-Ustün A, et al. (2019). Burden of Disease from Inadequate Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Selected Adverse Health Outcomes: An Updated Analysis with a Focus on Low- and Middle-Income Countries. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health. vol 222, no 5, pp 765-777. AND The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (2020) Global Burden of Disease Study 2019. Seattle, WA: University of Washington.   

World Health organization (2012) Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage  

Since 1985, Saatchi Gallery has provided an innovative platform for contemporary art. Exhibitions have presented works by largely unseen young artists, or by international artists whose work has been rarely or never exhibited in the UK. This approach has made the Gallery one of the most recognised names in contemporary art. Since moving to its current 70,000 square feet space in the Duke of York’s Headquarters in Chelsea, London, the Gallery has welcomed over 10 million visitors. The Gallery hosts thousands of school visits annually and has over 6 million followers on social media. In 2019, Charles Saatchi formally stepped back from his management of Saatchi Gallery with the organisation beginning a new chapter in its history as a fully independent registered charity. Saatchi Gallery has an expansive education and learning programme and partners with a wide variety of schools, colleges, universities and community organisations.  

Registered Charity Number: 1182328 

#saatchigallery @saatchi_gallery 

Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York's HQ, King's Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4RY 

Founded in 1988, British Art Fair is the only fair dedicated to Modern and Contemporary British Art. Its showcase of paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures covers all the important artistic movements of the past 100 years. Most of the great names of 20th century British art are represented: Frank Auerbach, David Bomberg, Lucian Freud, Elisabeth Frink, Terry Frost, Barbara Hepworth, David Hockney, L..S. Lowry, Henry Moore, Paul Nash, John Piper, Bridget Riley, Walter Sickert and Graham Sutherland alongside contemporary names such as Grayson Perry, Banksy and many others of the 21st century. Much of the work is privately sourced and fresh to the market, and dealers – many of whom have been with the fair since its inception – keep work back for it each year. The result is a niche event of the highest quality. 

British Art Fair 

29 September - 2 October 2022 

Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York Square, King’s Road, London SW3 4RY @britishartfair 

Buy Tickets: 

British Art Fair Press Contact:  Jessica Wood, [email protected] 07939 226988