Bears of Sheffield auction: Artist 'stunned' as space inspired sculpture sells for £20k

An artist says she was surprised and overjoyed after her Bear of Sheffield sold for £20,000 at auction.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 1:53 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 3:08 pm

Grace Invader, or Grace Goodwin to her pals, created a space inspired Bear design called Nebula in which she wanted to capture the effects of a space scene, with galaxies and nebulas.

The 29-year-old, who lives in Woodthorpe, was at the auction in The Crucible when her bear sold and said she was stunned by the result.

Nebula was auctioned after Pete McKee’s Bear called Thank You Sheffield Children’s Hospital sold for a record breaking £30,000 which Grace feared was the end of the big bids.

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Grace Invader, or Grace Goodwin to her pals, created a space inspired Bear design called Nebula

She said: “Nebula was lot 56 of 61 and I was scared that people had run out of money after Pete McKee. I was absolutely floored when mine got to £20,000. I was stunned and couldn’t have called that. I don’t know who bought it but a massive thank you to them.”

Grace said working on the Bear had turned her year around after Covid had threatened to ruin it. “When I got the call about doing a bear, I just cried,” she added.

“I’ve had a life long passion for art from drawing on my mum’s driving licence aged three and recently I’ve been doing lots of chalkboards for wedding seating plans and welcome signs,” said Rotherham-born Grace, who studied graphic design and illustration at Hallam University.

She said Nebula was inspired by all the beautiful colours that are seen in photographs of space. The design creates a glowing, misty effect, with so many stars twinkling in the background and foreground that it is impossible to count them.

Grace Invader, or Grace Goodwin to her pals, created a space inspired Bear design called Nebula

“The actual design was done the night before the deadline after I decided to have a second attempt. I love stars and when you look at how mists and colour blend in space it is beautiful.”

Other highlights included a 'golden' bear sold for £20,000 to the city’s own Dan Walker and his Strictly Come Dancing partner, Nadiya Bychkova.

In total, the auction raised £525,200, marking the completion of Sheffield Hospital Charity's fundraising journey for the cancer and leukaemia ward at the hospital.

Grace Invader, or Grace Goodwin to her pals, created a space inspired Bear design called Nebula