Export success for South West art in Hong Kong

Export success for South West art in Hong Kong

Spring despite the vagaries of British weather is a great tonic and lifts the spirits after the gloom of winter

I’m at home in Branscombe. Out of my window birds are on the feeders in their smartest “chat up” outfits, lambs frolic and all is framed by the freshness of leaves and blossom.

With such calm and optimism why worry about the “B” word, chaotic train schedules, Huawei, football relegation or potential victory (except of course for the Exeter Chiefs who I’m watching on June 1 in the final at Twickenham). Hopefully revenge over Saracens is on the cards.

Entering with a spirit of optimism we had the best Affordable Art Fair in Battersea for nine years. Brexit wasn’t mentioned once. Hot on the heels of London was the New York fair. Stephen Edwards, a good gallery friend from Lime Tree in Bristol noted, “so many times people came up to me and said at last a gallery selling real art, so refreshing!”

Now in my experience most Americans seem to know what they like and buy confidently. Discounts are not top of their list; if they love, they buy it – perhaps they haven’t been indoctrinated by cheap to produce TV shows like Flog It and Bargain Hunt. Needless to say, Stephen had a great show. 

What’s the underlying message? 

Maybe people are tiring of trendy art (trends don’t last) and the plethora of low grade pop art often sold at mind popping prices. I’ve noticed this in London, Hong Kong, New York and Singapore, right round the world in fact. There is a renewed thirst for art of skill and quality with innovation and inspiration that possesses real staying power. Do not be deceived, dear reader by the colourful and second rate!

We’ve just come back from a record art fair in Hong Kong. Marine House certainly made the top three galleries out of around 120 from around the globe. This certainly helps the South West export economy as there was a huge response to our artists most notably Charlie O’ Sullivan, David and Jim Farrant, father and son, Nigel Sharman and Michael Sole.  A purchaser quickly hung their Charlie and sent us the appealing image shown (below).

There’s also as nice story attached to a sale of a very large picture by Michael Sole. A local billionaire was pipped at the post when we exhibited him for the first time two years ago. Not to be outdone again he quickly secured the dramatic work illustrated. Took four men to carry it out!

Now back in the galleries getting ready for the upcoming show by Nigel Sharman and Hannah Ludnow, artists with Devon and Cornish roots in Marine House and fascinating reacquired earlier work by noted ceramic sculptor Amanda Popham at Steam Gallery all starting on June 22nd.

There’s no stopping good art at sensible prices. Enjoy!

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Editorial contribution from one of Devonshire magazine's guest writers. There are currently over 40 writers we are in contact with. If you have an interesting story/subject relating to anything Devon that you think our readers would be interested in, please contact Nigel Jones on 01395 513383