Okoia artist Michelle Sigley's painting of a pair of Red Band gumboots hanging from a line with a blue-skied and cloudy backdrop has sold at auction.

The oil canvas painting fetched $335 from a buyer in Silverdale, however, it was actually the second time that the piece was sold.

"The person who won the painting the first time around for $455 generously donated the funds and also donated the painting back to be auctioned again," Sigley said.

"I have offered to do a special painting for him to thank him for his generosity, so hopefully he has a child or a pet he would like painted."

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Sigley created the artwork to sell at auction with the proceeds going to the Gumboot Friday fund which is an initiative of I Am Hope, backed by Mike King's Key to Life Charitable Trust.

Michelle Sigley's oil canvas painting raised $790 from two auctions for Gumboot Friday and the funds will be used to provide free counselling for youth. Photo / Supplied
Michelle Sigley's oil canvas painting raised $790 from two auctions for Gumboot Friday and the funds will be used to provide free counselling for youth. Photo / Supplied

Gumboot Friday was created to address mental health issues for youth and the funds raised are going towards providing free counselling for students that need it.

It is an important cause to Sigley, who lost a boyfriend to suicide when she was 14.

In support of Gumboot Friday, Sigley wore gumboots in her studio in Okoia, 5km east of Whanganui where she does murals, tattoos and paintings.

Her daughter Indy, 8, and son Vann, 6, go to Durie Hill School, also participating in the event.

"They wore their gumboots and they had a gumboot throwing competition. It's quite hard to explain to them what Gumboot Friday is about at that age," Sigley said.

"Teachers have to talk to them at a young age about how it's okay to talk to someone. They were great, they even made little gumboot trophies for the winners."

In 2018, 137 young Kiwis killed themselves and an estimated 3500 others attempted to end their lives.

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Gumboot Friday took place on Friday April 5 with participants wearing gumboots, donating gold coins and taking part in various activities.

The point of wearing gumboots was that for some people, having depression is like walking through mud and this was a chance for others to experience what that feels like.

Sigley worked on and off on her project for two months and although the funds raised fell just short of her $1000 target, she was happy with what she achieved.

"I don't know why our statistics are so bad in this country, it baffles me. Hopefully next year it's bigger and better and more schools get on board," Sigley said.

"We want the younger generation on board because they're the ones that we've got to protect."