Child artist’s portrait of Cobargo fire captain sells for $1,300 at auction

Cobargo 2550

A girl who wanted to bring a smile to people’s faces by recreating a portrait of RFS Cobargo captain Mark Ayliffe has helped raise thousands of dollars at auction.

Ten-year-old Briella Perriotte from Campbelltown asked her mother for a copy of the photo taken by freelance photographer Sean Davey during Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s visit to Cobargo so she could paint a version of it herself.

She said she felt compelled to help in some way.

“I wanted to give the people who saw it a bit of hope, even if it was just a smile for one second,” Briella said.

“I wanted them to feel happy again.”

After spending a few days painting the portrait, Briella approached her mother, Connie Perriotte, with the final piece and asked if she could sell it.

“She wanted me to try and sell it for her for $2 so she could donate that money to the firefighters,” Ms Perriotte said.


A photo of RFS Cobargo captain Mark Ayliffe wearing firefighting gear. (Supplied: Sean Davey/The Australian)

Ms Perriotte decided to share the image on her Facebook account where her friends on social media suggested she auction the painting off instead.

‘Hopefully it helps’

The painting was auctioned off last night and sold for $1,300 with the funds going to Cobargo’s Fire Brigade.

Copies of the original have also been sold for a total of $680, with $130 of that going to the Cobargo Fire Brigade as well.

The remainder of the funds went to bushfire-related charities of the buyer’s choice.

In total, nearly $2,000 was raised — a steep jump from an initial $2 selling price.

The young artist hoped the funds will help support firefighters.

“I just hope it will make a bit of a difference, even if it’s a small change,” she said.

“Like getting them new shoes or more masks.”

The Perriottes had no previous connection to Cobargo, but they wanted to help the town after it was severely impacted by the Badja Forest fire.

“It’s been really overwhelming and amazing this past week,” Ms Perriotte said.

“Hopefully it helps make some kind of a difference and it helps the people of Cobargo and surrounding areas know that the outside world know and that they do care.”