Art auction aims to raise £100,000 for cancer charity

Textile artist and breast cancer survivor Shirley Ross from Dewsbury.'d318c322
Textile artist and breast cancer survivor Shirley Ross from Dewsbury.'d318c322

An artist will sell her life’s work as part of a bid to raise £100,000 for cancer research.

Breast cancer survivor and textile artist Shirley Ross has spent the last two years preparing for a large-scale auction of artwork which will raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

As well as donating around 30 pieces of her own work - one worth £18,000 alone - she has recruited 20 fellow artists from Leeds Fine Artists to donate, and has already secured around 200 pieces

Shirley, of Park Road, Westborough, first had the idea for a charity auction a number of years ago, but felt compelled to get started after her own fight with breast cancer two years ago.

“I thought to myself, ‘oh my goodness, I have to get this going,’” she said. “There will always be people like me who build up quite a collection but are then anxious that it should be cared for and be useful once they are not here.”

Some of the artists are donating 100 per cent of the sale proceeds, but all are donating at least 30 per cent.

Shirley said: “It’s surprised me how easy it was to find people to donate. Either they have had cancer themselves or a family member or close friend has had it. It’s the artists’ enthusiasm which has made me continue.”

After exploring a London auction, she decided to keep the event closer to home and hold an exhibition of the artwork before a live auction, where people will also be able to submit bids online and by telephone.

She gained the support of The North Light gallery in Huddersfield, which agreed to hold the exhibition and auction next May.

The sale is aimed not just at individual collectors, but at businesses and organisations that will be able to display the artwork publicly.

Shirley said: “It’s been proven that displaying artwork in these types of environment can have a stimulating effect.

“For many of the artists, knowing their work will be enjoyed by people on a daily basis is part of why they donated. In a sense everybody is a winner, the artists, who are given the reassurance that there work is going on to do good, the buyer who will give pleasant, thought provoking art to the public whilst donating to charity.”

Shirley is now appealing for corporate sponsors to help her cover costs of the exhibition and auction, which could run up to £10,000.

Anyone wishing to help can contact Shirley through her website