I heard a story today, it was about an artist, who had potential buyers who then just disappeared without a reason. She was curious and wanted to know why, so she asked them the question; "What is your greatest challenge when buying art?"
The most common answer was that they couldn't match their house to the art, because they didn't feel it was good enough.
When we visit a gallery we see the art in a space with white walls and no furniture. Here, the art takes precedent and it is easy to view it at its best. But, few of us live in a gallery.
What's the problem, you choose art because you like it and not because it goes well with your decor. Don't you? Of course, you must, first and foremost love the art. However, a painting or sculpture or piece of ceramic has to live somewhere and most of us don't own or live in a gallery. I love the fact that I can go about my daily life and continually see this or that painting, it makes me feel something, just as art should.
I forget who it was said that our homes are a manifestation of ourselves, or words to that effect.
Certainly, when my surroundings are as I would wish, it feels me with joy.
When I designed my kitchen, I specifically chose an off white wall, and a cool pale grey unit. I even went with a white stone worktop, not overly practical, but as there was a huge island, it was important. To balance the room, I installed a dark weathered wooden floor, which matched the exposed beams in the vaulted ceiling.
At first, I felt I had made a huge mistake, it felt a little soulless. Then I started to add the art. I took my time, made a couple of mistakes, but now, I look around and I love it. I have two very old mono prints that I did when I was at Central Saint Martins interspersed with a wonderfully brilliant Niki Hare. A fabulous James Kerr, entitled the superbly apt 'Chaos in the kitchen', takes pride of place above the range oven. This work was the starting point and I remember the 'yeh' moment when I saw it at the superb Little Buckland gallery, just outside Broadway. The owner of the gallery, Arabella, has an amazing eye and is an expert at putting work together, for either a home or an exhibition. Her style is enviable and is a perfect example of how you don't need a white space to display art. I would love to be able to do what she does, most certainly she would be able to solve the dilemma of matching art to a home, or to the owner for that matter.