Many of us would love to have original pieces of art and unusual prints on our walls but working them into our interior décor can be tricky. An expert gives her advice on just where to begin.
Aileen Mitchell and her husband launched website artgallery.co.uk because they loved the idea of bringing original art to customers in an accessible, affordable and modern way. Then last year, they bought Spencer House, in Tetbury, as a home and a high street venue (The Art Gallery) where they could also showcase a selection of the work of the 2,000 artists who exhibit on the website. They also have exhibition spaces elsewhere.
Q: Do you specialise in any particular area of artwork?
A: Yes, contemporary art and sculpture. We showcase and sell on behalf of the artists via the website and our supporting exhibition sites.
Q: What sorts of pieces of art are typically sold at your gallery?
A: We have such a wide range of art available at different price ranges, there isn’t a typical sale.
Q: What do you personally find the most interesting?
A: I’ve been fascinated by the number of incredibly talented artists who are passionate about their work. I admire the superb wire sculptures of Paul Allen, the still life and lifestyle work of Andrew McNeile Jones and Joanna Beal, the figurative work of Charles Wilmott and the minimalist work of Jean Lagadec. Sorry, I could go on and on….
Q: Do people buy pieces as adornments for their home?
A: Absolutely, many customers are looking for a piece or pieces to enhance their surroundings, whether for the home or workplace. Art in its many and varied forms, can be uplifting, challenging and stimulating, and can completely transform a space.
Q: Where would you advise someone who wanted to begin buying art for their home to begin?
A: It is often a good idea to look around your home for places that would benefit from a piece of art, be it painting or sculpture. Many people do not have the time to spend their weekends travelling around, visiting high street galleries, however pleasurable it might be. So I would say, start by looking on-line. On our website you can click on your favoured piece and select a room setting. This then places the piece on a wall and gives a sense of proportion.
Q: Is it good to mix media or to stick to one area?
A: If you are hanging paintings close together then try choosing work of a similar style, media, colour or even frame to complement each other – but try different media in different rooms by all means.
Q: Is it better to have lots of smaller pieces or to choose one or two larger ones?
A: This very much depends on the size of your wall space and type of room, but I would always recommend going for a big bold piece on a big wall – make a statement with your choice of art! It is very easy to balance larger artworks with smaller ones by playing with the arrangement, which can look equally sophisticated.
Q: Should you ensure you have space to display artwork properly?
A: Yes, I think it is important to place large pieces of furniture into your space first, and then work with the blank spaces. Artwork should enhance a room and define it.
Q: Should you consider your interior design before choosing art or work your interior design around a favoured piece?
A: If you have a special piece of art then why not build the décor around it? Alternatively, you may prefer to create the look of the room first, and then find the art to complement it. Size and colour are the two major criteria for selecting art to fit surroundings.
The bolder the art, the more room it needs to breathe, as you not want it to overwhelm. When selecting a painting to match a room, choose one or two colours from your room and look for art that includes those elements, so that it is not to clash.
Q: Do you personally enjoy having art around you at home?
A: Absolutely, when you surround yourself in beautiful objects they add colour and life to any home.
Q: Do you have any final advice for those who wish to display art at home?
A: Try it! Choose to buy a piece of original art that you love – look at local galleries of course but the internet also provides a fantastic array. People often think of art for just the living room but it can also be wonderful for kitchen, bedroom and dining room settings. And transforming you home with art does not need to be expensive.