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art /ärt/

1. The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as a painting or a sculpture.
2. Works produced by such skill and imagination

I was once given some advice on art; which was invaluable and really resonated with me. It has stuck with me ever since, and when choosing any art either for myself; or for a friend or client I always go by this mantra. If you are deciding whether or not to invest in a piece of art, no matter how financially valuable the investment; you need to imagine yourself waking up and looking at that same piece, day in day out. If during this daydream you see yourself loving it every day, even better – it moves you in some way – then you must buy it.

Artworks by Tomo. and GORF

Artworks by TOMO. and GORF

We all spend so much time deliberating with art. Many people ask my advice about what will work and what won’t but I think it’s very much a matter of opinion. Each piece of art is a very unique experience for every person.

I awoke early this morning, (as I often do these days at thirty seven weeks pregnant) and out of nowhere a memory popped into my head of a small piece of art – that I didn’t buy; the one that got away. In Sydney’s Inner West, there is a huge auction house where I used to source props and furniture items for clients and whilst on a foraging spree one sweltering day I noticed a small painting of an African woman. She was beautiful and captivating, her eyes bore into mine as I stared at her. She was not, however; on my to – do list for that day, nor did she fit into my budget. I stood there for what seemed like ages on that scorching summer’s day – deliberating about whether or not it was worth spending $100 of my hard earned freelance cash on her. I decided not. Be sensible. Save your money, Emily.

When I got home I couldn’t get her out of my head. So I decided to go back the next day, clean myself out completely of ready cash and bring her home. Upon my return, I discovered she was gone. I was devastated. She didn’t leave my thoughts for ages. I wonder where she is now. Hopefully on someone’s wall, making them feel moved by her intensity every day; not stuffed in a box somewhere.

The very first piece of art actually did invest in was by Jamie Hewlett. Again, I was in Australia. And it wasn’t a huge investment, but at the time spending $350 on a framed, signed print seemed a lot, and so I paid it off in $50 increments until tank girl was all mine. She has been with me for years and I love her.

We are very lucky to be surrounded by talented artists within our immediate and extended family, and our close friends. So we not only get to invest in our future when we buy, but we get to invest in theirs. How deliciously rewarding.

Artwork by Inkie

Photograph by Emily Gilbert. Artwork by Inkie

Photograph by Tara Striano, artworks by Mairi Duggan, Audrey Kawasaki. Wallpaper, Tres Tintas

Photograph by Tara Striano, artworks by Mairi Duggan, Audrey Kawasaki. Wallpaper, Tres Tintas

Right now I’m having a small obsession with an Australian artist, Leah Anketell.. whom I discovered through some dear and wonderful friends of mine in Byron Bay. They supply a small corner of the world with the most delicious breakfast cereals and cheer up many a day with their quirky ceramics … The Unexpected Guest. I’m a HUGE fan of both of these beachside beauties.

All I need to do now is convince my husband two weeks before the birth of our first child is the perfect time to invest in some more art. For the baby, no?

So next time you need to fill a space or finish off a room, don’t just buy something because ‘it will do for now’ or the ‘colour works’ or ‘it’s on offer at Ikea’… take your time, wait and find something that really moves you, makes you fall in love with it so much so that you can’t wait to spring out of bed and look at it every morning.

If you are stuck for inspiration, please do get in touch. Not only do I have a small team of amazing artistic friends I can hook you up with; I also am blessed with a friend who spends her days matching art to their new owners… how fabulous is that? I’m off to meet her right now and take in a little Basquiat at the Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea.

Many thanks to Emily Gilbert Photography and Tara Striano Photography.

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9 Comments Post a comment
  1. No truer statement has been made apple ketchup….. I am often asked by my clients should I buy this work or the more common one will it be a good investment? And to those questions my reply is as always the same, buy art because it makes you feel something inside, that you can look at it every day and still love it like the first time you saw it and on that note of inspiration you must all check out the Basquiat exhibition if you can at the Gagosian….

    March 29, 2013
  2. Ninette #

    All so true and well said! Fantastic words of advice. By the way I love Leah’s ‘the cow’ just took a look! It would suit your place very well I’m sure, even though I haven’t actually seen your house!

    March 29, 2013
  3. Your home looks gorgeous Em! And why not some new art for the baby? Never too young to appreciate beauty!

    March 29, 2013
  4. Oh Yes!! I knew we should buy the cow! #LeahAnketell hold tight!

    March 29, 2013
    • Ninette #

      Yes! Buy the cow….if you don’t someone else will now because we’re all looking at it! LOVE it but unfortunately can’t afford it at the moment…….

      March 29, 2013
  5. Richard #

    Good to hear from you again. For us art is about emotion,communication and memories. At present there can be no greater emotion than looking forward to ones first grandchild. The human form is art personified which is perhaps why we have so many pictures of the ones we love all over our house. PS listen to your mother………….BUY the cow!

    March 30, 2013
  6. hannah osborne-thorne #

    Love it! Big love honey!!!! Xxx sending blessings across the sea xx

    Sent from my iPhone

    April 1, 2013
  7. Kind words NBFF, thinking of you always x

    April 4, 2013

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