How art wizard Keiron is helping sick children

A SEVEN-year-old Holt art prodigy who shot to fame after his story was featured in the North Norfolk News will be joining the celebrity circuit today, when one of his paintings is auctioned off at a top London gallery in aid of sick children.

A SEVEN-year-old Holt art prodigy who shot to fame after his story was featured in the North Norfolk News will be joining the celebrity circuit today, when one of his paintings is auctioned off at a top London gallery in aid of sick children.

Kieron Williamson, who took the local art scene by storm after 19 of his stunning watercolours of Norfolk beauty spots were put on show as part of the Holt Festival, has produced an oil painting of Cley marshes for UK charity the Starlight Children's Foundation, which grants wishes to seriously and terminally ill children.

His star-shaped canvas will be sold at a celebrity auction at the Saatchi Gallery, Chelsea, on Saturday evening, with other lots on offer including a one-off rocking horse decorated by fashion icon Vivienne Westwood, matching Jimmy Choo handbag and shoes, a Philip Treacy hat, and a specially-designed Porsche 911 GT3 sports car.

Also on sale will be limited edition "Starlight Wish" prints priced at �1722 each - the average cost of granting a wish to a sick youngster - and, at a day sale, mini canvases created by youngsters during workshops held in London schools, galleries, hospitals and hospices. One of these is a pink jewel painting produced by Kieron's five-year-old sister Billie-Jo.


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Kieron's parents Keith and Michelle were contacted by the charity after news of his beautifully rendered watercolour, oil and pastel paintings hit the headlines.

"It just went crazy," Michelle said. "The phone just didn't stop ringing, we had a photographer outside the gallery and an American news channel even flew a camera crew over to interview us."

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Kieron's story was featured in magazines, newspapers and news websites all over the world, with the youngster also interviewed by TV news teams from the UK, Germany and America, and asked to be the focus of an hour-long TV documentary by a London-based production company.

He received commission requests for more than 50 pet portraits and, at a silent auction of his paintings held at Holt's Picturecraft Gallery a few weeks ago, prices reached up to �1500.

"We had lots of people asking for paintings but, because Starlight is for very ill children, Kieron was really keen to help and we were delighted when Billie-Jo was given the chance to take part as well," Michelle said.

Kieron, who is now working on paintings for an exhibition due to be held at Picturecraft in November, is taking his celebrity status in his stride and although he gets up at 6 o'clock every morning to paint, he still manages to find time to play football with his friends.

"He has coped really well with all the attention and enjoys the recognition as it matters an awful lot to him that people like his work," Michelle said.

Kieron, who has produced nearly 50 paintings in the last month alone, is looking forward to travelling to London with his family for Saturday's auction.

But, he says, the highlight of his new-found fame has so far been receiving a letter from one of the Queen's ladies-in-waiting thanking him for a watercolour he sent to Buckingham Palace and including information on royal family's collection of paintings by his art hero, Edward Seago.

For information on the Starlight Children's Foundation, visit www.starlight.org.uk

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