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Rolls-Royce taps 12 artists for breast cancer auction

May 21, 2015

Maggi Hambling for Breast Cancer Fund for Rolls-Royce Maggi Hambling for Breast Cancer Care for Rolls-Royce


Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is gathering work from 12 top artists to be featured alongside small replicas of the brand's Ghost model for a exhibit and auction.

The proceeds of the auction will benefit the Breast Cancer Care, and the general atmosphere of the display may lead to outside donations. The brand's attempt to bring in numerous parties to collaborate means that a larger radius of people will be affected.

"If you look at the clientele of the Rolls buyer you will see that they are successful buyers who dabble and can afford this type of unique art form," said Lauren Fix, automotive expert, Lancaster, NY.

"This resonates with the Rolls buyers and will be a very successful venture, especially when its tied in to a good cause," she said.

Ms. Fix is not affiliated with Rolls-Royce, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Rolls-Royce was unable to comment as an industry expert.

Helping out

For the collection, Rolls-Royce tapped artists Maggi Hambling, Richard Wentworth, Gavin Turk, Mark Wallinger, JJ Adams, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Charming Baker, Natasha Law, Angela Palmer, Andrew Salgado, Stuart Semple and Yinka Shonibare.

The artists sought to capture the anxiety, trauma, resilience or anyone one of the endless possible emotions that breast cancer elicits or simply the sheer scale of the disease.

Richard Wentworth for Breast Cancer Fund

Richard Wentworth for Breast Cancer Care

For instance, London artist Charming Baker created a piece called "One in Eight" that drew its inspiration from the fact that one in eight women in Britain will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

Charming Baker for Breast Cancer Care for Rolls-Royce

Charming Baker for Breast Cancer Care

Mr. Baker describes his process in a press release: “It is important to me that the work I produce for this brief is relevant to the subject matter we’re dealing with. One in eight women in the UK will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. So I have set the car in a clear block of resin, suspended in the middle of the block – floating, pristine.

"The block has been drilled 16 times, in a very orderly and simple grid pattern. Fourteen drill holes pass through the clear set resin only, two pass through the resin and the model car. It is a sculptural piece which looks very simple, but with an underlying reference to the huge numbers of people who are touched by breast cancer in the UK each year."

Each of the pieces are centered on a 1:18 scale replica of a Rolls-Royce Ghost, an element that is incorporated in startling and fresh ways.

Mark Wallinger for Breast Cancer Fund

Mark Wallinger for Breast Cancer Care

The auction preview will take place from May 20-25 in the Rolls-Royce showroom in Berkeley Square, London.

Art for Breast Cancer Fund for Bentley

Piece from the auction

The private auction will take place at the Royal Automobile Club on June 30. Interested consumers are encouraged to contact Breast Cancer Care for more information.

Standing out
Breast cancer initiatives tend to cluster in October, national breast cancer awareness month.

Last October, a bevy of luxury brands took up the cause of breast cancer awareness, but were the campaigns truly effective?

From donating portions of sales to getting the word out through social campaigns, brands actively promoted their part in the initiative. However, with so many different campaigns going on, it may have been difficult for the participating brands to get noticed in a sea of pink (see story).

For example, The Peninsula Hotels committed itself to Breast Cancer Awareness month, presenting consumers with an extensive and varied array of content.

Breast cancer awareness is a cause embraced by many luxury brands, making it challenging to be original. Although Peninsula Hotels did not do anything genuinely groundbreaking, the scope of the brand’s “Peninsula in Pink” efforts stood out (see story).

Brands have to be careful to create well thought-out charity initiatives that seem genuine, otherwise they will come off as opportunistic.

"This type of program will not work with most brands, but its a good fit for Rolls," Ms. Fix said.

Final Take
Joe McCarthy, staff reporter on Luxury Daily, New York