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The Bentley Art Project

Tue, 10 Nov 2009

Designers at Bentley have collaborated to create one-off works of art to benefit the Christie, a specialist cancer center in Manchester, UK. The collection, which features a vast array of sculptures, paintings, digital art and photography created in many different media, will be auctioned off at an exclusive event at Bonhams in London on December 1.

The unique pieces, created by created by Bentley's head of design, Dirk van Braeckel; head of interior design Robin Page; chief designer Raul Pires and 20 other designers, digital designers and clay modelers, draw on the skills and techniques utilized in their roles and their enthusiasm for art. The collection ranges from the traditional to the contemporary; sculptures set in bronze, wood, metal, and leather through to stunning palette knife and brush paintings on canvas, digital art and photography. All of the pieces showcase the incredible imagination and artistic ability of the men and women who design Bentley cars.

Dirk van Braeckel, Bentley's head of design, 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 strong in this team". His own framed digital print entitled ‘Bloodline of Bentley' showcases the British luxury brand's rich heritage, depicting the evocative cars of Bentley's past and present.

"The team worked up some early ideas on sketches and pen and paper but everything else is all done on a computer," said van Braeckel. "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 bespoke works of art will be auctioned off at Bonhams in London, to raise money for the Christie, an international leader in cancer research and that treats 40,000 patients a year. 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 for the project originated with Bentley designer Richard Gilmartin, who has been raising funds to support the charity since 2001. Working with his colleagues, Gilmartin aims to surpass his previous fundraising achievements by auctioning this unique collection at the Bonhams premises on Bond St, London, which will hold the auction for 300 invited guests.

The auction, conducted by James Knight, international managing director of Collectors Cars at Bonhams, will originate online, with bidding available exclusively on the Bentley website. We've got photos of the works and their creators in our photo gallery above.

All 40 pieces are now open for online bidding until midday on December 1, the day of the Bentley auction at Bonhams. 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. To view the collection and artist profiles visit: Bentley Charity Art Auction

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By Eric Gallina