Bentley Art Project – Click above for high-res image gallery
Here's what we love about Bentley. While workers at other automakers sit around and scratch their butts in their growing downtime, at Crewe, they put their spare time to good use. Back in March, we brought you news that Bentley's craftsmen were crafting bespoke furniture while they waited for production to pick back up. Now the British automaker has put its designers to work creating works of art.
The pool of artists in Bentley's styling department were given a broad mandate to create artwork inspired by their workplace, and 22 transformed everything from canvas to plexiglass, bronze to leather into an impressive array of pieces, all of which you can view in our high-resolution gallery below.
The collection will be auctioned off by Bonhams on December 1 to benefit The Christie cancer research center in Manchester. Full detail in the press release after the jump.
BENTLEY DESIGNERS AND STYLISTS CREATE ART TO AID CANCER CENTRE
Bentley Motors is staging an art auction at Bonhams to raise money for The Christie, a cancer hospital in Manchester.
The men and women of the Bentley styling and design team have turned their creative energy to making art.
The aim is to raise money for The Christie Hospital in Manchester, a leading international centre for research and treatment. The art will be auctioned at an invitation-only evening event from 6pm to 8pm on Tuesday December 1 at Bonhams the auction house in London.
The collection includes a vast array of sculptures, painting, digital art and photography. Created in many different media, from sculptures in bronze and set in wood, to metal and leather, to Perspex, to palette knife and brush paintings on canvas, the works showcase the imagination of the men and women who design Bentley cars.
A total of 22 designers have been involved in the project, including digital designers and clay modellers.
Dirk van Braeckel, head designer, says the work embodies the best aesthetics possible, with advanced technology in the forefront, a combination "of the work we do technically with a passion for the brand that is very very strong in this team.
"The team worked up some early ideas on sketches and pen and paper but everything else is all done on a computer," he says. "There has been a tremendous response from all the team from the day the idea was born. People have been doing additional work – after originally saying they would do one piece, they want to add more work."
The team has received support and encouragement from the Bentley board, with 10 of the pieces on display to international press and customers who attended the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
The inspiration originated with Richard Gilmartin, whose mother died of cancer and who has been raising money for the Christie since 2001.
Bonhams the auctioneer has donated its premises in Bond St, London, to hold the auction for 300 invited guests. The auction will be conducted by James Knight, international managing director of Collectors Cars at Bonhams.
Entrance to the auction is strictly by invitation only, but from Wednesday November 4 all of the artworks will be viewable via the Bentley website www.bentleydesignpassion.com.
Online bidding will be available exclusively on the Bentley website www.bentleydesignpassion.com. All 40 pieces will be open for bidding from Nov 4, Online bidding will finish at midday on the day of the Bentley auction at Bonhams and the highest bids transferred to the auction room. The live auction of 25 artworks will take place at Bonhams, where guests will still be encouraged to bid silently at the event for the remaining 15 pieces.
The Christie is a specialist cancer centre in Manchester that treats 40,000 patients a year. It is currently building the largest early phase 1 clinical trials unit in the world that will further enhance its reputation for international research. The Christie Charity helps fund cancer research, cutting edge treatments, major new developments and extra patient services that fall outside the remit of NHS funding. These include complementary therapies, counselling and creative projects such as art and music therapy. Together they enable patients to take charge of their illness and them to work towards their recovery.