A LOCHWINNOCH artist has raised hundreds of pounds to help fund the fight against racism by putting an original drawing up for auction.

Kieran MacKenzie, 20, drew the picture of a raised fist after being inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests which have taken place across the world in recent weeks.

His artwork attracted a number of bids in an auction on his Instagram account and eventually sold for £600 to an anonymous donor, also from Lochwinnoch.

Of the money raised, £400 has been donated to various protest campaigns and to help pay the bail funds of protestors arrested in America, with £100 donations being made to the Black Lives Matter Global Network and the Coalition of Racial Equality and Rights, which is a Glasgow-based racial justice charity.

Kieran told The Gazette he decided to do something positive after being “truly disgusted” by the treatment of George Floyd, who died after a white police officer in Minneapolis knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes. 

“I’ve never been one for speaking out much but I realised that, with this issue, the more people who are talking about it, the better,” he said.

“Artists and content creators on Instagram have been finding ways to raise money for the Black Lives Matter movement and I loved the idea of using my passion for making art to help the cause.

“The response I received was amazing. I’m so grateful to everyone who participated and shared the post, making these donations possible.”

After buying the artwork, the donor contacted Labour man Paul O’Kane, who will be the party’s candidate for Renfrewshire South at the next Scottish Parliament elections, to ask for his help to make sure it is displayed in an appropriate setting.

Mr O’Kane, who is a councillor in East Renfrewshire, where he represents Newton Mearns North and Neilston, now hopes it can find a home at the Houses of Parliament.

“I have arranged for the artwork to be sent to the new Leader of the Opposition, Keir Starmer MP, and look forward to seeing it in his office at Westminster,” he said.

“Well done to Kieran and to the donor who bought the artwork.”

To view more of Keiran’s artwork, visit instagram.com/kezignosaur.