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August 2021 / Homes & Interiors / by Ali Howard

Interiors: Where the Art is

When it comes to collecting post-pandemic, some are tearing up the rule book.

For art-lovers, a house isn’t a home until the walls are adorned with original works, but if you’re new to collecting, it’s difficult to know where to start: the art world can seem inaccessible and hard to navigate. Thankfully, a number of new initiatives are popping up that aim to break down the barriers of art’s exclusivity, allowing homemakers to purchase an original print with the same confidence they would a stylish new furniture piece.

Founded by Claudia Kennaugh in 2019, Art & People was set up to bridge the gap between artists and collectors, providing professional coaching and curating advice respectively. Since then, and with new pandemic rules in place, the service has exploded internationally and found its natural home online, with a much wider virtual audience keen to connect through art. With clients as far-flung as Colorado, Claudia has spent the past year providing one-to-one sessions, six-week courses and group-based workshops online. And while there’s nothing quite like the buzz of a bustling real life art fair, there’s certainly something to be said for discovering our favourite new artists in the comfort of our own home.

From this September, Art & People is offering streamable online tutorials with invaluable advice for artists covering a range of topics such as writing and talking about your work; pricing your artwork; exhibiting your work; and gallery submissions. Whether they’re fresh out of art school or seasoned exhibitors keen to progress, Claudia will be sharing her expertise with artists, guiding them towards compatible galleries, platforms and projects. For those of us wishing to expand our collection at home, the curating course – in three digestible half-hour tutorials – covers advice on how to buy, frame and hang artworks. Encouraging us all to be bold with framing, whether that’s for a stand-out statement piece or an abundant gallery wall, Claudia will demonstrate how we can bring character and contrast to a collection – wherever we are in our curatorial journey. “It’s not what you know about art but how it makes you feel that matters,” she says. “This is your space and I want it to come alive with art that inspires, engages and reflects your spirit.”

Visit artandpeople.co for further information

Just as Covid has moved Claudia’s venture into the virtual world, leading art consultant and curator Kath Wood takes a look inward by bringing the conventional art exhibition into the domestic sphere. Kath & Company is a brand-new visual arts agency, whose initiative Art at Home presents seasonal collections of affordable and original art by living artists, and, just like Art & People, its raison d’être is to connect artists with new audiences.

Excitingly, Kath & Company has invited 12 artists over the course of 12 weekends to host a series of two-day selling exhibitions, developed specifically for the newly refurbished project space in Kath’s west London home. In doing so, the agency is side-stepping the often clinical gallery space and instead, offering collectors a chance to view the works and engage with artists in a relaxing, homely environment – which makes perfect sense when you consider an artwork’s ultimate destination, our own four walls. In taking the works away from the conventional gallery and into a real-life home setting, Kath is also highlighting the impact of visual art on interior design. “In our post-lockdown world, I want to attract and capture a new market and demographic of buyers for original, contemporary art by providing a new relaxed meeting point in a real physical space,” she says.

Visitors can expect a wide-ranging variety of media, from paintings and sculpture to ceramics and textiles, with featured artists imagining original art for every room. Refreshingly, the initiative is designed to demystify the act of art buying whilst encouraging a broader view of the role of visual art in our everyday lives – at home. Pop the kettle on and get collecting.

Until 17 October, Lion House, 13 Sion Road, TW1 3DR (kathandcompany.co.uk; newartathome.co.uk)