Big-name artists and celebrities illustrate beermats to fight testicular cancer

Ralph Steadman, Jon Burgerman and Courtney Love are among the hundreds of celebrated creatives illustrating beer mats to raise money for Cahonas Scotland.

It’s a bit of a cliche that good ideas are hastily scribbled down on the back of a beermat, but in the case of Beermats for Balls, it’s actually true. The project, which sees over 200 creatives whip up miniature masterpieces on a beermat, aims to raise funds and awareness for the testicular cancer charity Cahonas Scotland. And the paintings are currently up for grabs in an online auction.

Created by Cahonas founder Ritchie Marshall, Beermats for Balls is a new fundraiser which uses a creative approach to engage the art community and combat testicular cancer. “The idea was to combine art with advocacy, using beermats as the canvas to capture public attention whilst raising vital funds for testicular cancer education, awareness and support,” Ritchie tells Creative Boom.

The project’s compelling nature and unique platform for artistic expression helped attract high-profile creatives. “Many artists felt a personal connection to the cause or were drawn to the opportunity to use an interesting medium and their art to make a difference,” Ritchie adds.

Some of the many names involved include Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Ian McKellen, Joanna Lumley, Joe Lycett, and Alan Cumming. A whopping 600 pieces have been created for the online auction, which follows on from a recent exhibition of the work at Glasgow’s Saltspace Studios.

“The overwhelming support for this initiative demonstrates the power of creative ideas in driving significant awareness and educational efforts,” says Ritchie. “Each artwork not only captures the unique spirit of its creator but also helps spread a vital message across communities.”

Given that testicular cancer can be difficult to talk about, the genius of Beermats for Balls is that it transforms the conversation into something more lighthearted. This is especially useful because the disease is highly treatable if caught early, so anything that stops people from shying away from it can only be a good thing.

Norman Ackroyd

Courtney Love

Julian Opie

Anita Klein

“Humour has a unique way of breaking down barriers and opening up conversations about topics that can be difficult to discuss,” Ritchie reveals. “By using humour in some of our beermat art, we’ve made the topic of testicular cancer more approachable and less intimidating, allowing for easier engagement and education.”

This humour can be seen in beermats depicting a pair of happy, hugging testicles, a clever use of the phrase ‘bag for life’, and even a cheeky appearance by Johnny Bravo. Not all of the artwork depends on humour, though. Pieces by Vanessa Gardiner, Zoe Anker and Zerin Drury, to name a few, are more faithful representations of their style.

Miaz Brothers

Jon Burgerman

Ralph Steadman

Anne Desmet

Nick Grindrod

The funds from the online auction, which is currently running on eBay until 26 May, will be directed towards testicular cancer awareness campaigns and help Cahonas provide resources and support to those affected.

“Our goal is to ensure that men are better informed about the signs of testicular cancer and encouraged to perform regular self-checks, as well as helping patients currently going through treatment via our Chemo Care Packs and peer support,” Ritchie reveals.

And given the success of the exhibition and auction, Ritchie is confident that Beermats for Balls could become an annual event. “Our vision for the future includes expanding the reach of the auction and involving more artists,” he adds. “We hope to see it grow not just in scale but also in impact, reaching a wider audience each year.”

Want to do your part to help this amazing cause? Head to the Beermats for Balls auction page and place your bid now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.