Press Release

19 November 2021

Refuge to hold a 50th Anniversary Art Auction at Bonhams.

Refuge: Recognising 50 years of supporting women and children against domestic abuse
  • Refuge are to hold a 50th Anniversary Art Auction at Bonhams.

Fifty years on from the world’s first refuge being set up in Chiswick, West London in 1971, Refuge reflects on the last fifty years of a growing raft of life-saving services, whilst working hard to empower women and children who experience domestic abuse.

As Refuge marks this milestone 50th Anniversary, demand for its services is higher than ever before, and fundraising remains a pivotal aspect of the charity’s work, which is essential to keeping its vital services running.

Refuge will be holding its first ever art auction at Bonhams which will comprise 11-lots of high-value artworks kindly donated to the charity. 100% of the proceeds will go to the charity.

The auction also aims to raise awareness of all forms of domestic abuse and reflect on the past 50 years, whilst also pausing to think about how Refuge will be tackling new challenges that may emerge throughout the next 50 years.

Whilst social changes and legislation have progressed since the 1970’s, including the passing of the landmark and much-needed Domestic Abuse Act earlier this year, new threats to women’s safety such as the rise of accessible technology which is misused by perpetrators of abuse are growing concerns for the charity.

The auction will take place Wednesday 1st December and can be accessed online via Bonhams website.

A private view for invited guests will take place on Monday 29th November at Bonhams, 101 New Bond St, London, W1S 1SR.

Ruth Davison, Refuge Chief Executive Officer, said:

“Refuge is so proud to partner with Bonhams for our 50th anniversary. Through this collaboration we are another step closer to a world where domestic abuse is not tolerated and where women and children can live in safety. 50 years ago, we opened the world’s first refuge and sadly 50 years on, our work is as essential and more in demand than ever. Domestic abuse is getting smarter, with the rise of complex cases such as tech abuse, and thus, our job is getting harder and bigger. We are so grateful to Bonhams, the artists and our supporters for this opportunity to raise essential funds, without which we cannot run our vital services.”

Highlights of the artworks that have kindly been donated and will be available to bid on during this auction include:

  • Chantal Joffe (B. 1969), Bella in a Yellow Cardigan, 2013. Estimate: £3,500 – £5,500.
  • Maggi Hambling (B. 1945), Moon and Sea, 2020. Estimate: £2,000 – £3,000.
  • SWOON (B. 1977), Girl from Ranoon Province (Bangkok), 2021. Estimate: £2,000 – £3,000.
  • The Connor Brothers & Noel Gallagher, These Are Crazy Days, 2021. Estimate: £2,000 -£3,000.
  • David Hockney (B. 1937), Bowl of Fruit, 1986. Estimate: £4,000 – £6,000.

Images are available here. View the catalogue at Bonhams here

Cassi Young, Bonhams Head of Sale, commented:

“We are very pleased to be partnering with Refuge for this exclusive sale. Refuge is such an important charity, which supports women and children facing domestic abuse across the country. We are delighted with the response we have had from the artists, who have kindly donated their artworks, and we expect a lot of interest in all of these wonderful pieces.”


For more information or to arrange an interview contact the press office on email

About Refuge:

Refuge supports thousands of women and children on any given day, and runs the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which is the gateway to accessing specialist support across the country. More than one in four women in England and Wales experiences domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime, and two women a week are killed by a current or former partner.

Please signpost to Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247, available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for free, confidential specialist support. Or visit to fill in a webform and request a safe time to be contacted or to access live chat (live chat available 3pm-10pm, Monday to Friday). For support with tech abuse visit