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A refreshing way to buy art

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Helen French tells us why she loves to support the MS Trust's Secret Art Show.

Helen's artworksI’ve bought art from the MS Trust’s Secret Art Show for the last three years.

It’s a no-brainer for me - a chance to get an original piece of art at a bargain price, the opportunity to support the MS Trust itself, and the intrigue of not knowing which artist I’m buying until the artwork comes through my letterbox.

I’m the first to say I don’t know anything about art, but the Secret Art Show makes it easy even for ignoramuses like myself. The name gives it away - sort of.

The artists are secret.

In other words you don’t know ‘who’ you’re buying until the artwork gets into your sweaty little hands. Some are well known and others less so. There’s a real mix of styles and subjects available.

The artwork isn’t secret, of course.

And that’s what makes the Secret Art Show so accessible and so much fun. If you don’t know who the artists are and the price for every piece is the same, you’re left with only one way to choose what to buy - which picture do you like the most? And isn’t that refreshing?

It all comes down to whether you want the watercolour of the robin, or the nude oil painting. What do you want hanging up on your wall? You go for what you like because anything else is pointless. If you end up with a painting by a well-known artist for £45, that’s merely a nice bonus.

The pictures are all 12cm by 12cm, which is dinky enough to persuade artists to give their work away to charity, but big enough to ensure each piece can still make an impact when it’s on display.

One of my friends has MS and I like to support the MS Trust whenever I can. But it’s even easier to donate when I’m also partaking in a bit of fun - an arty tombola of sorts, if you like - and getting something beautiful in return.

My favourites tend to be pictures of castles and birds for some reason. What do you like?

Go to this year’s Secret Art Show and find something you love.