West Yorkshire artist’s cancer battle inspires grand sale for charity

Shirley Ross with her artwork Skating on Thin Ice
Shirley Ross with her artwork Skating on Thin Ice
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A TEXTILE artist who has overcome cancer has organised a grand charity auction featuring her life’s work.

Shirley Ross is hoping that the sale next month – which also includes the work of 35 other artists, mainly inspired by Yorkshire landscapes – will raise £100,000 for the Cancer Research UK centre at St James’s Hospital in Leeds.

The 79-year-old has set up Art For Life to show her gratitude after she was treated for breast cancer.

She said: “I feel so lucky to have received all the care and support from the NHS for free. This is a chance for me, and lots of other people like me, to give something back.”

Shirley, from Dewsbury, was diagnosed with breast cancer just before Christmas 2010. She underwent surgery and radiotherapy in early 2011, and in May that year was discharged.

“As soon as I felt strong again, I wanted to do something to say thank you for the wonderful care I’d received,” she said.

Many of Shirley’s textile wall hangings are on show in buildings or homes but the professional artist said she had many others in store.

“I’m always creating work, whether I have a commission or not.” she said.

“When I reached 70 I began to wonder what would happen to these after my death. I know many other artists, especially of my generation, who have the same worries, so I began to wonder if we could do something together.”

After enlisting other artists, over 250 pieces are to be auctioned on May 17 at Huddersfield’s North Light Gallery.

Online bids can also be made before the auction via www.artforlifeuk.com.

Jess Carmichael.

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