Earl of Shaftesbury’s Hosts Contemporary Art Exhibition


21st – 23rd September 2021


Cloud 9 Festival

Earl and Countess of Shaftesbury host contemporary art exhibition at St. Giles

The Earl and Countess of Shaftesbury’s home, St. Giles House, in Dorset, will hold an exhibition of work by leading British artists this September, Pictures for The Beehive. Two days of viewing will be followed by an exclusive Private View of the work, which will then be sold at auction to raise funds for Diverse Abilities’ Splash Appeal.

Featured artists include co-founder of The Royal Drawing School Catherine Goodman, Charles Avery, Geoffrey Dashwood, Antony Gormley, and Maggi Hambling, amongst many other contemporary artists.

St. Giles House is a family home with a long and rich history. In recent years an award-winning restoration has brought it back to life in style. The exhibition will take place in the Great Dining Room, where bare brick joins the elaborate plasterwork of its 17th Century ceiling. This exhibition will be open on Tuesday September 21 and Wednesday September 22, from 11am until 3pm, with a private view and auction on the evening of Thursday 23rd September.

The Earl and Countess of Shaftesbury are hosting the exhibition, and the subsequent auction of work,  in aid of The Splash Appeal.  The Appeal, whose Royal Patron is HRH The Duke of Kent, is raising £1million to build a hydrotherapy pool in Dorset, in the grounds of Diverse Abilities, a charity supporting children and adults with profound physical and learning disabilities. Having himself suffered severe injury in an accident in the past, this is a project that resonates with the Earl.

Henrietta Young, artist and curator of the exhibition, whose many drawings of the adults supported by the charity will also be exhibited, commented: “This exhibition should have happened last September. We all know why it didn’t, but the need for it, and the money it will raise, is more urgent than ever. The aim of the show and subsequent auction is twofold.

“Firstly, and very importantly, it is to help raise the £1million needed to build a hydrotherapy pool for adults with physical and learning disabilities.

“Secondly, we hope the exhibition will help highlight that we need to do more to include people with disabilities, people who live in villages and towns across the county.”

The Earl and Countess of Shaftesbury add:

“We are delighted to be hosting Pictures for The Beehive to help raise money for the Diverse Abilities Splash Appeal. As a Dorset based disability charity, Diverse Abilities has been helping to transform the lives of huge number of local people with specialist care for over 65 years. The provision of a therapy pool will help continue their mission and provide a vital resource that is desperately needed and will help to improve the lives of many people. We are very proud to be supporting them.”

As St. Giles House has inspired generations of people who have had influence on the world around them, and in line with the Shaftesburys’ aspiration that the house shapes the way people think and live, it is hoped that this exhibition will highlight the role art can play in reducing the societal barriers experienced by many people with disabilities.

A total of 28 artists have donated works to the show, which includes a range of media with prices estimated between £300 to £6000.  All the donated pieces will be available to buy at auction following an exclusive Private View hosted by the Earl & Countess on Thursday, September 23, from 6.30pm. The work will be auctioned by Guy Schwinge of Duke’s Auctioneers.

Visit for further details about the exhibition, and for details of how to purchase tickets to the private view and auction. Online bids may be made via this site two weeks prior to the event.