The often-divergent art world and truck industry converged with great results at a charity auction held during the Cat trucks launch in Uluru.
Highlight of the evening was the auction of a unique hand painted contemporary Aboriginal artwork featuring a striking Cat truck grille, which fetched an impressive $30,000.
The artwork by emerging talent, Billy Cooley, saw guests at the Cat truck launch in Uluru launch into a spirited bidding battle – and all for a good cause with the auction proceeds going to transport industry group, Transhelp.
Featuring a contemporary Aboriginal style and colour palette, the artwork also features strong pop art elements – and of course, one of the world’s most recognisable brands at its centre.
Brisk bidding was fuelled by competition between Western Australian and Queensland transport operators, before North Queensland Heavy Haulage managing director, Matt Yapp secured the canvas.
Now hanging proudly in the company’s boardroom, Mr Yapp said he was keen the artwork didn’t head west.
“I put up a good fight for it because I’m a Cat man at heart and it’s a one of a kind and was certainly for a good cause – it’s a good piece of art and now its mine.
“It’s got Cat on it and there’s only one of them in the world so I was keen to have it,” he said of his exclusive purchase – which he knows will assist a worthy cause.
“Transhelp can help drivers that are in distress, or with mental health issues – they’ve got social workers and counsellors that do a great job.”
“I was certainly well aware of the good work they do in the industry before the auction even though I haven’t had cause to call on their services.”
The Cat grille artwork should appreciate in value as artist, Billy Cooley star is on the rise. Based in the Mutitjulu Community Billy learned the Aboriginal dot art style under supervision of his extended family and is now developing his own style painting desert stories from the Mutitjulu community and depictions of the Tjukurpa – the law and stories of ancestors.
Billy has had works exhibited around the country as part of an exhibition of Cat Trucks Ride & Drive Program, and resides in Mutitjulu expressing his emotions and depictions through his artwork.
Mr Yapp said as well as the artistic impression of the Cat truck grille he was keen to add the ‘real thing’, a Cat Truck to the North Queensland Heavy Haulage fleet in the coming months. “I had a little bit to do with the trucks before they were released – providing feedback and opinion in conjunction with (Queensland Cat Dealer) Hastings Deering.
“I’ll put three 90 tonners (Cat CT630) in later this year quads and dollies carting heavy haulage loads. Mining has been slow for a few years in North Queensland but things have picked up now and things will look good with a Cat truck out front.”
“My wife Clare has advised against me collecting any more art and she was surprised at the price I paid but like I said it’s all for a good cause – it’s the charitable result that matters most,” he said.
Cat Trucks will be showcasing their launch trucks in Tarcutta on April 5th from 5.30pm with BBQ and refreshments in conjunction with the Trans-Help Foundation who will be conducting health checks for truck drivers on route to Melbourne and Sydney.