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Art auction raises more than £100,000 for Dorset charity

Posted on: 05/10/2021

Pictures for The Beehive, a contemporary art exhibition hosted at the home of the Earl and Countess of Shaftesbury, has raised more than £100,000 for Diverse Abilities Splash Appeal, which will go towards the building of a hydrotherapy pool for people with profound disabilities.

The two-day exhibition and subsequent auction of works took place in the autumn sunshine at St. Giles House, Wimborne St. Giles. The exhibition culminated in an elegant party, at the end of which the 29 donated works were auctioned by Guy Schwinge of Duke’s.

Including artists such as Antony Gormley, Maggi Hambling, Paula Rego, and Catherine Goodman, the exhibited works spanning a range of media, raised over £84,000 at auction. Other proceeds collected through the sale of tickets, a raffle, donations and souvenir postcards took the total to well over £100,000.

Henrietta Young, curator and artist, commented: “We were delighted with the interest shown in this wide ranging and exciting show, delighted with the fantastic sum we raised at the auction – thank to the enthusiasm, expertly kindled by Mr. Schwinge, of the bidders – but really delighted that so many more people now know, and care, about The Beehive, the excellent work done there, and the acute need for this pool. This is only the start!

Helen Mortimer, development manager at Diverse Abilities, continued: “All of us at Diverse Abilities have been overwhelmed with the support of artists, volunteers and those who have bid. The hard work and generosity of all these people made this possible and has taken us a huge leap closer to building a therapy pool.

This event restarts the fundraising process for The Splash Appeal, following a brief hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic. The £1million appeal seeks to raise funds to build a hydrotherapy pool for adults with disabilities in Dorset.

Artist Amy Shuckburgh added: “I was delighted to be asked to donate a picture to this charity and for such a worthwhile cause. The work I donated is part of a series exploring my experience of caring for children and seemed an appropriate piece to offer for the auction. One of my children has learning difficulties and this series on motherhood began as a way of processing and celebrating the particular challenge of caring for a child with special needs. The term special needs has a bitter-sweet ring to it, and in any context, however ‘special’ the needs, caring can be the hardest job and also the most rewarding.”

The exhibition also featured portraits and drawings of those who attend The Beehive, and it is the charity’s hope that this work can tour in a bid to raise awareness and increase the visibility of those with disabilities. This touring exhibition will be sponsored by Charles Stanley Wealth Managers.

When asked about the drawings that she and some of the other artists have done at The Beehive, Henrietta said: “The process of quiet attention, whether in drawing and being drawn, just talking, or simply in being there, has proved to be an extraordinary and enriching experience for everyone involved.”

Visit thesplashappeal.org.uk for more details about the appeal.




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