No gavels or noisy auctioneers at silent art auction

Words and photos by Dave Barry 

Banging gavels, speed-talking auctioneers and name-yelling bidders were conspicuous by their absence at a silent art auction at Woodend in Scarborough.

No-one knew what anyone else had bid, so people simply offered what they would be willing to pay for a lot, either in person or online.

Over 50 bids were received online, including some from the USA, and over 200 were made at the event.

“All items were sold, which is fantastic as the whole aim of the event was to promote the concept that all art is equal and of value”, exclaimed Helen Beevers, chief executive of Advocacy Alliance, the auction beneficiary.

“We haven’t got a final tally on money raised as we are now chasing people for payment and to get them to collect their art”, Helen said.

“We want to thank everyone who donated art, everyone who attended and in particular to Shirley Vauvelle, our patron, for her work ensuring that the art was exhibited beautifully”.

The lots included two pieces donated by Salford-born urban/street artist Davlo, whose work has been mistaken for Banksy’s.

Davlo’s ethos rings true with Advocacy Alliance’s aims and values, aiming for a society that respects individual choice and treats everyone equally.

Advocacy Alliance, based at the Street, has been providing free, independent and confidential advocacy support to the local community for almost 30 years. “Yet still the most common comment on client feedback is ‘We wish we had known about you earlier’,” says Helen.

The charity was established in 1990 to provide free, independent and confidential advocacy to empower individuals and enable them to have their voice heard. A small team of paid staff, volunteers and trustees manage and develop advocacy throughout the area. The county council funds its statutory services. Other funding comes from donations, the lottery and the Police Crime Commission.

It is based in Scarborough and covers a wide area of North Yorkshire including Filey, Whitby and Ryedale. It is open from 9am-5pm Tuesday to Friday.

For further information, visit or ring 363910.