Cairns artist hopes Star Trek jeans are winner among bidders

JULY 26, 2015 6:00AM

Star Trek Jeans
GOOD CAUSE: Cairns artist Elizabeth Barden's celebrity-signed, Star Trek-themed jeans artwork, which will go under the hammer next month to raise funds for the Children's Medical Research Institute. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

A REDLYNCH artist is banking on a bidder crazy for Captain Kirk when her autographed, painted Star Trek-themed jeans go under the hammer to raise money for Jeans for Genes Day next month.

TALENT: Cairns portrait artist Elizabeth Barden with previous artworks auctioned off for Jeans for Genes fundraising. PICTURE: SUPPLIED
Elizabeth Barden, a foundation member of Portrait Artists Australia, has for more than a decade been painting celebrity portraits on to denim signed by the talent from Miranda Kerr and Lisa Kudrow to Vanessa Amorosi and Grant Hackett.

Sometimes, she said, her artworks have appeared so realistic to the untrained eye that she’s been asked whether they are a photo of the celebrity rather than a painted piece.

Year after year, she has been asked to contribute her latest jeans creation to an annual celebrity art auction fundraising for Sydney’s Children’s Medical Research Institute to continue work into the treatment, cure and prevention of childhood diseases.

“I have been blessed to have three healthy offspring, but I know others who have been less fortunate, so I am more than happy to donate my time to help this worthwhile charity,” she said.

This year, Ms Barden has produced an artwork using the autographed denim jeans of actors William Shatner and Chris Pine, who have both played James T. Kirk, captain of the USS Enterprise, in the Star Trek franchise.

The piece has been framed and will be auctioned at the Jeans for Genes Gala Dinner in Sydney next month alongside about a dozen other pairs of signed jeans painted by artists from across Australia.

Ms Barden said the artworks could fetch anything between $3000 and $35,000 with previous pieces starring Megan Gale and Jennifer Hawkins going for about $16,000 each.

“Here’s hoping there’s a Trekkie among the ball’s invited guests,” Ms Barden said.

Jeans for Genes Day will be on August 7.