The sale comes ten years after Sotheby’s first collaborated with Aortic Centre Trustee and Consultant Cardiac Surgeon Dr. Jullien Gaer, and art adviser Polly Robinson Gaer, in an auction to benefit the pioneering work of Harefield Hospital. In this new collaboration, the collection of contemporary works will be sold to mark the public launch of the new Trust.
Dr. Jullien Gaer, Consultant Cardiac Surgeon and Trustee, explains: “There is a reason why those of us who work in the field refer to the aorta as the orphan organ: most people don't know where their aorta is nor what it does and yet it is the main artery of the body through which, quite literally, all of life flows. Compared to the aorta, pretty much everything else is small print. In the UK, about 5000 deaths a year are attributable to aortic diseases and this is almost certainly a significant underestimate. Many patients present too late, having to undergo complex, risky, emergency surgery and yet, detected early enough, most aortic conditions can either be prevented or managed at low risk. We are delighted to be working with these wonderful artists and Sotheby’s to raise awareness of this important problem.”
Contributing Artist Grayson Perry said: “I’ve been in awe of Jullien’s work for nearly a decade, having first had the privileged and very humbling opportunity to watch him perform open heart surgery in 2009. What Jullien and his fellow surgeons are able to accomplish is astonishing and absolutely critical, and we must do what we can to ensure the continued evolution of this work, and the work of all those at the Aortic Centre Trust who are changing lives every day.”