On March 15, the famous Whitechapel Gallery in London’s East End, a reference point for contemporary art worldwide, was turned into an opulent Art Deco ballroom bedecked with a SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS crystal curtain and grand Trillane chandeliers last seen in the film Black Swan.
It was a dazzling night!
‘Art Plus Opera’ was the reason for the dramatic transformation – a fundraiser for the gallery’s education program that benefits thousands of children each year. The turnout from business leaders and luminaries was heartwarming, among them artists Tracey Emin, Rachel Whiteread, Pam Hogg and Dinos Chapman; musician Beth Orton; and Nadja Swarovski representing Swarovski, who sponsored the event.
The superb Royal Opera Chorus started the party with an adaptation of ‘The Auction Scene’ from Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress with tenor Luke Price as the auctioneer. This proved an excellent curtain-raiser for the evening’s real auction led by Sotheby’s Oliver Barker, where works by Jake and Dinos Chapman, Martin Creed, Mona Hatoum, Gabriel Orozco and Simon Starling, alongside a ‘Blossom’ chandelier designed by Tord Boontje, donated by Swarovski, helped raise an impressive £335,000. With swing dancing from the Roaring Twenties, sensational food by Angela Hartnett, top DJs Dan Lywood and Mourad Mazouz, it was the talk of the town.
Pictures: Copyright Dafydd Jones.