AN art auction inspired by a struggling, single-mum artist has captured the hearts of some big names in the field and raised an impressive £10,000 to help people living in food poverty.

Hexham’s mystery artist, who goes under the name Serann, created a painting inspired by the film I, Daniel Blake and a 200-year-old poem by Percy Shelley called Masque of Anarchy.

When John Thompson, owner of North East Art Collective in Newcastle, heard she was auctioning an original piece of work to support a foodbank, he launched an appeal to every artist and celebrity he knew to provide paintings for a charity sale.

Serann, known as Hexham’s very own ‘Banksy’, said she wanted to support a food bank because she was always one step away from having to use one herself.

She works in a shop as well as bringing up two children on her own, on top of her art work, and said: “I work hard, but I’m always one step away from having to use a foodbank. It incenses me that the disparity between the rich and the poor is ever growing and that in one of the richest countries in the world, people are having to use foodbanks.”

Serann’s own painting sold for £1,000 and the charity sale she inspired included over 100 six-inch by six-inch original pieces created by various artists, including Alexander Miller. Several Newcastle United players and their manager Rafa Benitez also submitted autographed creations.

Silent bids flooded in for the paintings, which were displayed in the North East Art Collective gallery in Eldon Garden, and raised a total of £10,000 for Newcastle West End Foodbank.

The foodbank is one of the largest in the country and provides around 10,000 people with food parcels per year and prepares around 6,000 hot meals a year for those in need.

John said: “When I heard what Serann had done and I went up to the foodbank to see for myself what’s happening; I was incredibly moved.

“We were overwhelmed by the support we got from artists and famous people and we didn’t expect to raise the amount of money that we did.”