Disabled boy, 12, who started 'global phenomenon' sells artwork for hospitals

Noah, also known as Background Bob, has brought out a book of his artwork - with a little help from celebrities

Noah, also known as Background Bob, has brought out a book of his artwork - with a little help from celebrities - Credit: @Background_Bob

A disabled 12-year-old who started a "global phenomenon" by enlisting artists and celebrities worldwide to join his lockdown project is set to auction the stunning creations - in aid of Ipswich and Colchester hospitals.

Noah, from Dedham - who has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and hydrocephalus - started painting colourful backgrounds in April with his father, Nathan Jones, to help keep him busy during the first national coronavirus lockdown.

Noah's project has been described as inspirational

Noah's project has been described as inspirational - Credit: @Background_Bob

When Mr Jones appealed on social media for other artists to help Noah - also known as @Background_Bob - by sending in specially-created work for the project, the family were “overwhelmed” with the response.

More than 250 artists and celebrities from around the world including Ange Bell, Heath Kane and comedian Phill Jupitus took part, adding their signature style onto Noah's colourful backgrounds.

A feel-good book - Background Bob and His Amazing Friends - was created to raise funds for the children’s department at Colchester Hospital, with Noah's dad saying the youngster had a "real eye for colour".

More than 1,200 books featuring the works also sold out, raising more than £18,000 for the charity.

Artwork by Ian Phenna used by Noah

Artwork by Ian Phenna used by Noah - Credit: Ian Phenna


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Now, the bright artwork featuring everything from wildlife, superheroes, Lego characters and more is set to go under the hammer at a virtual eBay auction, starting at 6pm on Sunday, February 28.

It will raise crucial funds for the Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity, at a time when the two hospitals are dealing with the fallout from Covid-19.

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“We would love to say a huge thank you to all the artists who contributed to this wonderful project, those who have helped along the way, as well as all the supporters," Mr Jones said. 

"You now all have a chance to own a beautiful part of our project.

Holly Mia Saunders has contributed to Noah's project

Holly Mia Saunders has contributed to Noah's project - Credit: Holly Mia Saunders

"Please bid generously, it’s all for a great cause and the funds raised will really change people’s lives. Good luck!”

Mandy Jordan, associate director of charity and voluntary services at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) - which runs Ipswich and Colchester hospitals - said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to Noah and his family, as well as the artists who gave up their time to contribute to this fantastic project, for choosing to support our charity.

Artwork by Jacqueline Do Montainge features in Noah's project

Artwork by Jacqueline Do Montainge features in Noah's project - Credit: Jacqueline Do Montainge

“Every single piece which Noah and his collaborators have created is vibrant and unique and will make a stunning addition to any home.

"We’d encourage art lovers everywhere to log onto next week’s auction and take the chance to secure some truly original artwork which is guaranteed to raise a smile.”

Anyone who would like to bid should search for Background Bob on eBay.

For more information about Background Bob, visit his Instagram page @background_bob

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