An invitation-only gala auction of artworks by the men and women of Bentley’s design and styling team last night raised more than £70,000 for The Christie cancer hospital in Manchester.
Bonhams the auctioneer donated its premises and services in Bond St, London, to host this exclusive event for over 300 guests. The auction was conducted by James Knight, international managing director of Collectors Cars at Bonhams.
The Bentley Styling and Design Art Project was the brainchild of Bentley designer Rich Gilmartin who has been supported by enthusiastic colleagues in the styling studio all of whom have been showcasing their artistic talents. Rich has now raised over £100,000 for the Christie since 2001 in recognition of the care given to his mother by staff at the hospital when she was suffering from cancer.
The collection included a vast array of sculptures, painting, digital art and photography all created by Bentley’s in-house design team, who are better known for the creation of iconic cars such as the Continental GT and the new Bentley Mulsanne.
A mixture of live bidding and silent auction attracted tremendous interest from Bentley owners and enthusiasts both in the UK and abroad. Fierce but good-natured bidding drove up the price of many pieces beyond that expected by the artists themselves. One sculpture alone raised over £20,000 for the Christie.
Dr Paefgen, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley said:
‘It is a pleasure and a source of great pride to see the creativity of our design team applied beyond our motor cars. This artistic skill is rarely seen outside the design studio so this unique collection has provided Bentley enthusiasts with the opportunity to own a real piece of Bentley design history.’
Christine Gaskell, Member of the Board for Personnel said:
‘The Christie is the leading centre for cancer research and treatment in the northwest of England and has touched the lives of many Bentley employees. Everyone at Bentley welcomed the opportunity to support this project and we have been overwhelmed by the interest in the collection.’
Toni Leden, Appeals Director at the Christie said:
‘The dedication and inspiration of the Bentley design and styling team has resulted in a stunning contribution to the work we do in cancer research and treatment. The collaboration with Bentley has been very successful and we are thrilled that the art works have raised so much money to support the Christie.’
Rich Gilmartin, the designer from whom the concept originated, said:
‘The Christie cared for my mother during her illness and I was truly inspired by the care and empathy shown to her by staff at the hospital. Because I was there at the time my connection to the hospital goes very deep and this project has been a very good, positive step to go forward and do something different.’
- Bentley Motors