Advocate Gallery was featured in this months issue of So Surrey Magazine. The article titled ‘A Question of Art’ features art gallery owner Edward Burns talking through the often daunting prospect of buying a piece of original art. See the article in the digital magazine on the So Surrey website or read on to see what it said.
A Question of Art
After 20 years in the business Ed Burns, owner of Advocate Gallery in Ashtead tells us about the most common concerns and questions people have when buying art.
“Buying a piece of art is not as simple as people think, for most purchasing a painting is not a regular occurrence like the weekly shopping and this throws up all sorts of questions and queries. From those that are looking for an investment or wanting to commission a piece of work to those that are simply too nervous to come in for a browse, we’ve dealt with all sorts of clients. At Advocate Gallery we offer advice, guidance and reassurance and never forget that art is a very personal choice.
Never feel nervous
One of the most common misperceptions is that we expect people to be experts in art.
Many people feel too nervous to walk into a gallery, even though they’d love to just pop in and browse and perhaps even buy a painting. You should never feel nervous, at Advocate we’ve worked hard to create an art gallery that you don’t feel intimidated to walk into or pressurised once inside; where you don’t need to know anything about the “art-world” but simply know what you like. It’s important that when clients walk into the gallery they are not ‘hit’ by a sales person, that they can browse an exhibition and look for that perfect genuine piece of art, that they connect with, at their own pace.
Investing successfully in art does not need to be expensive
Many people would like to invest in art but only have a small budget and don’t know where to start especially in today’s financial climate, where many clients are looking to invest shrewdly. Unlike most luxury purchases that date and de-value as trends pass, if you choose wisely, art can work in exactly the opposite way. It’s thrilling to see an artist’s career blossom, the more popular the artist becomes the more a clients’ investment can grow.
It’s a good idea to do some research first, visit galleries, fairs and auctions to broaden your knowledge. Even on a modest budget it’s possible to buy a one-off artwork. At Advocate Gallery we sell original pieces from £275 and many of our artists have become favourites with collectors. By not importing work, dealing in reproductions or trading with mass market suppliers, we can offer something unique to our clients. We’re happy to offer our investment expertise and advice. But my biggest tip is always to like the piece you choose as, with any investment, there are no guarantees the value will increase, but if you’ve chosen a piece you love, you’ll get enjoyment from it every day.
Is it possible to commission your own piece of art?
Definitely, commissioning art is a growing area as owning a piece of original art that has been created for you is simply magical. Commissions can be arranged with several of our artists. For example, Candice Tait captures the wild energy and beauty of landscapes, so when a client visited the gallery with a photograph from their honeymoon in the French Alps, she was the perfect artist to translate this onto canvas for them. One of our other artists Alec Macdonald specialises in beautiful costal and park scenes. If you supply a family photo he will interpret this into a picnic or beach scene. There’s something very special about commissioning your own painting and creating a personal work of art that will be treasured forever.
Where to hang you painting once you’ve bought it
Buying a new painting is always enjoyable but placement of artwork can be tricky, try to choose somewhere were the painting does not take up all of the available space, if possible. It is good to have a certain amount of space around a painting when hung.
If you have a large wall, don’t be afraid to leave some of it blank. When you do this it showcases the artwork, at Advocate Gallery we have clean white walls and don’t overcrowd them with paintings, as the art then stands out and makes a statement.
The most common mistake people make is hanging their pictures way too high, the majority of work is designed to be viewed at eye level. Think about the furniture the painting is near and how this may detract from the kind of visual impact you’re looking for.
How do galleries choose what pieces to exhibit?
At Advocate Gallery we are always on the lookout for new and captivating artists, but we also constantly think about what will appeal to our clients. An exhibition can focus on a particular artist or theme, depending on trends, event and the time of year. Our current exhibition ‘It’s a British Thing’ is extremely popular, with the huge focus on the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics. There is definitely an instant connection between this type of art work and the viewer, which provokes memories and conversation, which is priceless. Many of these British landmarks, emblems and designs will, or already have an important place in history, making these pieces not only highly collectable, but a worthwhile investment.”