Andrew Sweeney along with his brother Calvin James Sweeney set up the Irish charity the ‘Scoop Foundation’ in 2009. The charity uses creative fundraising to raise money and awareness to help the vulnerable in Ireland, Cambodia, India, Iraq, Kenya and Syria. One of the notable fundraising events is the Art Auction featuring numerous contemporary Irish artists which takes place annually.
Where did you spend lockdown?
At my rented home in Dublin.
Did you have access to a work space during this tim? If not, how did you continue to work?
Worked from home, I was very lucky to have a lot of space.
Can you talk through the work that the SCOOP Foundation do?
We raise funds, mainly through events – most notably our annual contemporary art auction – in order to support the education of displaced, impoverished and homeless children and young adults around the world. We have projects in Iraqi Kurdistan, Cambodia, India and Ireland, and have supported projects in Syria, Iraq, Yemen & Kenya.
Given the limitations and restrictions of the last few months, how did your ongoing projects change?
We cancelled the bulk of our events, but we decided to continue with an online art auction.
Did you have any projects during this time that went ahead?
We decided to continue with an online art auction that was a resounding success, raising 87k over two days, auctioning off 170 artworks. We ran the event from my sitting room in Dublin, and it basically consisted of my brother and I on camera, and using the Invaulauble.com platform, selling artworks, with about 50% of the physical artworks in the room for it – these were delivered to us by artists in the week leading up to the auction, and who lived in the 2km radius.
Do you think the changes adopted over the last few months will change how you will work going forward?
100%, the online aspect will now become the centre of the auction.
Do you have any upcoming projects?
We are planning another auction for November, this time focusing around artisan and craft based xmas presents, all in the hope that we can encourage xmas shoppers to support local artists and artisans this xmas, instead of giving the money to online sources, who benefited most out of the global pandemic. We will try run a physical dinner for this event.