A miniature Rolls-Royce Ghost with a patchwork patter paint job. A piece made in collaboration between Rolls-Royce, Breast Cancer Care UK and some of the biggest names in contemporary art A miniature Rolls-Royce Ghost with a patchwork patter paint job. A piece made in collaboration between Rolls-Royce, Breast Cancer Care UK and some of the biggest names in contemporary art A miniature Rolls-Royce Ghost with a patchwork patter paint job. A piece made in collaboration between Rolls-Royce, Breast Cancer Care UK and some of the biggest names in contemporary art A miniature Rolls-Royce Ghost with a patchwork patter paint job. A piece made in collaboration between Rolls-Royce, Breast Cancer Care UK and some of the biggest names in contemporary art

Masterpieces in Miniature

What started out as an exciting collaboration between Rolls-Royce, Breast Cancer Care UK and some of the biggest names in contemporary art has blossomed into an extraordinary collection of one-off art pieces. Created to raise funds at the Breast Cancer Care UK auction, 12 artists transformed a model of Ghost into their own miniature masterpiece.

An artistic rendering of a Rolls-Royce motor car by Angela Palmer.

Salgado created a glorious muck of paint

Inspiring, thought-provoking – and sometimes off the wall – the Breast Cancer Care UK auction pieces showcase the inner workings of some of the most revered contemporary artists. With a 1:18 scale replica of the iconic Rolls-Royce Ghost as their blank canvas, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Gavin Turk and Mark Wallinger are among the artists who created a collection of truly unique expressions.

As a project with no real restrictions, some artists consciously projected their own distinct style on to the model motor car. British-Nigerian Turner Prize nominee Yinka Shonibare covered his in a mosaic of Dutch wax batik fabrics: “The mosaic is an extension of the customary way I work with African textiles. It’s formed the identity of my practice for a number of years.”

London-based Natasha Law, best known for works that straddle both art and fashion, created a continuation of a piece she’s working on outside of this project. Law punctuated her pure white Ghost with a few mysterious shapes that are in fact clothes removed by an absent, ghost-like figure.

Canadian painter Andrew Salgado incorporated his model into his daily practice: “I used mine as the locus of possibility where I mixed, scraped, wiped, abandoned and scooped paint. Over time, it became a continuation of me and my work.” The result? A glorious muck of paint that unintentionally gives Ghost a textured armour of colour.

Two painted miniature Rolls-Royce ghosts. Art pieces part of the Masterpieces in Miniature collaboration.

Hambling Reworked the Spirit of Ecstacy

An approach common to three of the artists was to use the miniature Ghosts to celebrate Rolls-Royce as a brand. JJ Adams’ Outta Time 2015 reinterprets the time-travelling motor car in Back to the Future II: “to celebrate Rolls-Royce’s past, present and futuristic design”. In the film, Marty and Doc travel to the year 2015 where motor cars can hover and fly. Adams reinterprets the fictitious vehicle to add a cult-film element to his Ghost.

Maggi Hambling takes the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy and revives her as a symbol of hope: “The prestigious Rolls-Royce leading lady may well be interpreted as a powerful angel of endurance and perfection. But in my sculpture, she’s a conquering force, emerging triumphantly out of the depths.”

Also paying tribute to unrivalled Rolls-Royce automotive designs, Angela Palmer worked with detailed cross-sections of Ghost supplied by the Design team. Palmer created a three-dimensional ‘drawing’ of the motor car by engraving multiple sheets of glass and encasing them in a transparent chamber.

Mark Wallinger draws parallels between the literal definition of ‘ghost’ and what it means to Rolls-Royce. By placing his model – the latest Ghost – in a frosted glass vitrine, Wallinger creates a misty outline of a motor car that harks back to the original ground-breaking Ghost.

One artist chose to feature their Ghost as part of a scene. British sculptor Gavin Turk inserted his miniature Rolls-Royce into a setting where nature has reclaimed control over civilisation. The model finds itself cloaked in moss and playing host to a colony of toadstools.

Stuart Semple observes a miniature Rolls-Royce Motor Car - the model is a Ghost.

Raising Money for Breast Cancer Care UK

Richard Wentworth, whose work is all to do with language, muses on the mystery behind the word ‘vehicle’. Unlike ‘car’ – derived from ‘chariot’ – the linguistic roots of vehicle are more ambivalent. Entitled Phantasmagoria, Wentworth’s piece sees the model Ghost engulfed in a wire cage and bound to a stack of open dictionaries.

Stuart Semple’s Little Ghost offers a contemporary take on the classic ghost-in-a-sheet cartoon character. Using modelling resin, Semple creates the effect of the model being dipped in white paint and frozen in time. The drawn-on animated eyes add an element of fun, while the dripping paint represents something deeper: the subtle veil between the imagined and real.

The one remaining artist, Charming Baker, creates a poignant piece that refers to the statistics of breast cancer: “I read that one in eight women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. So I set the model Ghost in the middle of a clear block of resin. I then drilled into the block 16 times. Fourteen of the holes pass through the clear set resin, while only two pass through the resin and the model car.”

After a hugely successful private auction at the Royal Automobile Club in London, all 12 art cars were sold to raise funds for Breast Cancer Care UK.

Two art pieces from the Masterpieces in Miniature collaboration. On the right, Charming Baker's "One in Eight", and on the left, Richard Wentworth's "Phantasmagoria"

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The inspiration is yours. The skills to create are ours. Let our collective of artisans and master craftsmen take the sparks of your original ideas and make them real.

Inspiration

The inspiration is yours. The skills to create are ours. Let our collective of artisans and master craftsmen take the sparks of your original ideas and make them real.