Artist STIK raises over a quarter of a million pounds at Christie’s to create new public sculpture programme

An original maquette of ‘Holding Hands’ by artist STIK has been sold for £287,500 at Christie’s. The money raised will be donated to Hackney Council to create a new wave of outdoor public sculpture and installation art, reflecting the borough’s diverse communities.

The maquette is a quarter sized version of the permanent four-metre ‘Holding Hands’ bronze sculpture, which was unveiled in Hoxton Square in September 2020. ‘Holding Hands’ depicts two figures facing in opposite directions yet holding hands in a sign of universal love and solidarity. The unique bronze maquette significantly exceeded its estimate of £80,000 - £120,000 and is a new auction record for the artist.

The new fund will be open to all artists regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age or other status. The programme aims to respond to evolving attitudes towards public monuments. It will also offer a lifeline to the arts community during a difficult time for the sector where museums and galleries face closure and artists are being asked to retrain.

Artist STIK said: “This project is intended to facilitate a new wave of public sculpture in East London, celebrating the diverse communities who live here.”

Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville
"I’d like to thank STIK for his record of activism, vision for collaborating with the council and this generous donation. We’re proud in Hackney to be able to support and share the creativity of our residents. This represents a longstanding commitment to inclusive public art that can be enjoyed by everyone in our parks and public spaces and I can’t wait to see the creativity that STIK, through the sale of this work, will help us showcase and unlock."

Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville

Notes for editors:

For more information about the unveiling of ‘Holding Hands’ read our September press release.

Details of the new outdoor artworks and how to apply will be released in the coming months.

Images of 'Holding Hands' in Hoxton Square are available on the Council's Flickr account

‘Holding Hands’ had its genesis in 2016 when Hackney Council asked STIK to design the official Hackney banner for the London Pride Parade featuring two non-gender specific figures. In 2017, STIK began working with the Council to find a permanent home in one of Hackney’s many green-flagged parks with ‘Holding Hands’, his first public sculpture.

For more information on Hackney’s Cultural Development department visit


Previous press releases with information on STIK’s work within Hackney are available on the Hackney.gov news room

About the artist:

STIK has lived and worked in Hackney for 20 years, seeing the borough from many different perspectives and has painted numerous murals in Hackney, many as a way to give voice to the various communities in the borough. He has had successful exhibitions of his paintings around the world. His work has sold at major auction houses and his monumental public artworks can be found in the streets of cities such as New York and Tokyo. STIK still continues to live and work in Hackney, where he has a studio.