Chris Morgan of Hancock Gallery, Newcastle, shares some secrets about how to buy art for your home
We visit Newcastle’s most dynamic fine art gallery
By Becky Hardy
Always wanted to add a show-stopping piece of art to your home, but not sure where to turn? We know just the gallery to help you…
A stunning centerpiece can bring your walls to life, giving your living space a real identity.
It’s true when they say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder; what our eyes are immediately drawn to won’t be the same as what someone else is looking at. It’s also true that the things that we find beautiful are the things that define us.
From landscapes, figurative to abstract styles, the options for luxurious art are endless.. which can be daunting, but worry no more!
Newsflash, guys – buying art is no longer for the uber-rich. And yes, we’re talking real art.
With national initiatives like Own Art teaming up with a network of established galleries across the UK to offer us interest-free buying options, especially for buying original artwork, it has never been easier to make art part of your lifestyle.
This is exactly why we caught up with Hancock Gallery, our experts for all things art. Gallery Manager, Chris Morgan, has given us the lowdown on just what we should consider when adding that special piece of artwork to our homes.
Let’s start with your classic landscapes. When someone says the word ‘art’, if our minds don’t immediately go to the Mona Lisa then they’re likely to conjure impressionistic images of Paris’, poppy fields, beautiful hamlets and waterlily ponds à la Monet. And therein lies the genius of the landscape painting – that element of transporting your senses to another place and time. Or, in other words, the gift of ultimate escapism.
‘If you’re looking for artwork that can transport you or give you that sense of escapism, a contemporary landscape painting is perfect,’ says Chris. ‘And whether you’re looking for peace and tranquillity or drama and atmosphere, there’s guaranteed to be a landscape out there to match the mood you’re going for.
‘Landscape painting can act like the window out into the world that you’ve always wanted to reach’
Where you should hang it: To drift off with dreams of far-off lands, or to keep your dreams alive when you wake up, hang a landscape in your master bedroom or living room.
‘The term “Figurative Art” tends to focus on artwork drawn from the human figure,’ explains Chris. ‘But it can also include any artwork based in “realism”. It’s one of the widest genres in art and usually includes many sub-genres.’
So, the main pro tip with selecting a figurative piece of art for your home? Variety.
Whether you’re more drawn to the cubism of Picasso or the realism of Michelangelo, there’s guaranteed to be a figurative work of art out there with your name on it.
Figurative work is also one of the easiest artistic medium to develop an emotional connection with, as all the scenes and characters depicted clearly have their origins in the real world. And as emotion is (or should be) your main driver behind bringing a certain work of art into your home, forging a foray into the world of the figurative could be a good shout.
Where you should hang it: Figurative pieces tend to be real thought-provokers, so could work well in the connecting hallways of your home.
Now onto the complete opposite of figurative… abstract! With abstract art, the main attraction is that it blurs the lines of what is recognisable – everything you see is, purely and simply, the artist’s representation of a sight, scene, moment or mood. And so it becomes less of what the art is depicting and more a case of how it is depicted.
‘Usually involving really expressive brushstrokes, abstract artwork can add that splash of accent colour, pattern and texture to a neutral décor,’ Chris says. ‘The genre is so wide ranging, abstract work can also give you a real sense of energy as well as calmness.’
The medium of abstract work can also vary. You can opt for your more traditional, fully painted piece or nod to more modern methods of production by hanging a collage, especially one which includes painted digital images.
Where you should hang it: ‘Abstract artwork can sit on any wall in any home,’ says Chris. ‘It can add contrast in a period property or highlight the clean lines of a more modern home.’
POP OR STREET ART
At their core, pop art and street art are centered around ideas of youthfulness, wit, glamour and rebellion. So if all that sounds like a bit of you, then there’s really no better type of art to hang in your home!
Pop art began as a revolt against the traditional approaches to art and culture. Young artists felt that what they were taught at art school didn’t have anything to do with their everyday lives, and instead turned to Hollywood movies, advertising, pop music and comic books for inspiration.
‘A lot of the time, pop art or street art will feature recognisable, well-known or iconic imagery – think Mickey Mouse, Marylin Monroe or Superman,’ Chris explains. ‘Just like a good film poster, album cover or piece of graffiti, this genre of art is geared toward grabbing your attention and holding onto it! There’s no doubt that if you hang a piece of artwork like this on one of the walls of your home, people are going to look at it.’
The real beauty of pop art and street art lies in their character. Injecting a blast of colour into any interior, this kind of subject matter will often be tongue in cheek, meaning you can keep things fun while still getting heads turning and people talking.
Where you should hang it: Wherever you like to have fun! Your main lounge area would work brilliantly, although pop art can also bring that humor hit in (or on your way to) the bathroom or bedroom.
ABOUT HANCOCK GALLERY
Nestled on the borders of where Jesmond meets Newcastle’s city centre – within a gorgeously atmospheric, three-storey Georgian townhouse – Hancock Gallery brings together world renowned artists within its walls.
As well as showcasing art, Hancock Gallery are also home to a dedicated art advisory team, who work with both emerging and established artists to provide us with expert advice on 20th-century masters and art investment. So, for the answer to all your art-related questions, they’re the perfect pitstop.
Or pop along to the gallery and pick Chris’ brains yourself: Hancock Gallery, 2 Jesmond Road West, Newcastle NE2 4PQ