Christmas means many things to many people. But what we can all agree on is that gifting is always an important part of the holidays.
Sure, we don’t always have to spend a fortune. But what we can always rely on is for that special someone to recognise when we have – and haven’t – spent the time thinking about their Christmas present. It really is the thought that counts, guys.
But what if you’ve had the thought (and it’s a cracking thought, if you do say so yourself), but you don’t know what to do next. Say, for example, you’d like to give a gift like art.
What? Art is actually one of the most personal presents you can buy for someone. It demonstrates that you’ve not only recognised their interest, but can also identify an aesthetic that they relate with. Plus, the artwork you gift is guaranteed to be cherished in your loved one’s home for years to come. You may also inspire a new hobby or even a passion for collecting while you’re at it. It’s certainly a step above your average stocking filler.
The only potential hiccup? If you know nothing about art.
Notice we said ‘hiccup’ and not ‘problem’, though? That’s because we have Newcastle’s superlative fine art gallery – and dedicated art advisory team – Hancock Gallery on speed-dial. And they’re ready to go above and beyond to help you seal that epic Christmas deal this festive season…
HANCOCK GALLERY – WHO ARE THEY?
The first thing you should know is that Hancock Gallery are a little slicker than your average art gallery.
For a start, their mission is to give everyone – and we mean everyone – the inspiration and support to buy art with confidence. And secondly, they really know their stuff.
With more than 15 years’ worth of experience guiding art lovers and advising on private collections from London to Paris (via New York and Hong Kong), the Hancock Gallery team – led by Gallery Manager Chris Morgan – are ready and waiting to divulge their secrets about everything and anything you need to know about art.
But while that all sounds pretty high brow (and hella impressive), Chris isn’t just concerned with the finished product. In his own words, ‘there’s nothing better than the smell of turps in an artist’s studio’, and his dedication to working with artists at every level of their career, across all disciplines and at each stage of the creative process, means that Chris has got the full picture of the current art market. So, in other words, he really is one of the best people to go to for advice about anything art-related.
PERSONAL SHOPPING – FROM THE ART
The reason we introduced you to Chris first is that we wanted to make things personal. Because so do Hancock Gallery.
Walking into this converted Georgian townhouse won’t be like walking into some stuffy art gallery full of old Masters and lacking in personality. At Hancock Gallery, you’ll be greeted at the door and left perfectly alone, if you want to be. Similarly, if you are after a little guidance, Chris and the team are happy to give you their undivided time and attention.
But more than a little VIP treatment, you’ll also enjoy the chance to get up-close to the work of some of the most exciting talents of the art world today, as well as some real 20th century treasures. Imagine a wealth of art that you’d usually only find in London galleries, but with the positioning and personnel to make them relevant to us here in the North East.
‘I’ve always felt that the most important factor to any healthy art economy is variety and access,’ explains Chris. ‘The wider world should have access to our North East talent, and our North East audience should see the best that the international art world has to offer. Hancock Gallery strives to deliver this for everyone.’
We all know the feeling on a dark, cold winter’s night. The wind’s blowing a hooley outside, we can hear the rain rattling off our windows and we’re left with absolutely no incentive at all to leave the house. So, we may as well make our homes as cosy, comfortable and, of course, as attractive as possible.
As a rule, humanity seems to have always enjoyed dressing our homes. But it appears more and more of us are delighting in making our living spaces as beautiful as possible since we found ourselves living in them so much during the lockdowns. And with a work of art, you’re not only adding a little decorative flourish – you’re adding a burst of energy and a real sense of inspiration into the mix, too. Which, let’s face it, we could all do with more in the bleak midwinter.
Besides, just because you’re not going out doesn’t mean people aren’t coming to you; if you’re having friends and family over during the festive period, why not give them a real talking point with your art? (And make them instantly jealous at the same time…). It’s certainly one way to beat the New Year blues!
ESCAPE THE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING MADNESS
The first Christmas shopping experience of a new festive season is always exciting. It’s your first chance to get all wrapped up, see the twinkling lights, smell mulled wine and cinnamon in the air and feel the buzz of the city at Christmastime.
But very quickly, those fond imaginings start to fray a little. You get too hot and flustered inside with all the Christmas crowds, but it’s still too cold to head outside scarf-less; the lights are cute but, in the shops, you soon forget the decorations for the multitude of gift options staring at you; and the sheer number of other shoppers milling about (all at very different speeds) makes getting close enough to see any of your potential presents properly feel like mission impossible.
So, why not give yourself a break from it all this year? Head to Hancock Gallery and enjoy a Christmas shopping experience that – dare we say it? – is calm, comfortable and entirely anti-chaos. Heck, you can even nab a glass of something mulled for yourself, instead of just smelling it from afar.
So, go on – treat yourself. After all, it is Christmas.
OR GET A HOME VISIT
Don’t fancy leaving the house at all this year? Fair enough. It doesn’t mean you can’t get that something special from Hancock Gallery, though. Because they’re so dedicated to giving you that personal shopping experience, they’ll even come to you.
Hancock Gallery’s home consultations are a great way to see the art you think you’ll love first-hand, in the setting in which they may be displayed, along with a couple of surprise pieces. Sometimes we can write off a piece of art, simply because we think the frame might not complement our other furniture, or our chosen room might be too bright/dark for the piece to ‘pop’. But until you know for sure, you could be missing out on a whole world of exciting artwork. A home visit will give you the chance to work with Chris to come up with a sensational shortlist, tailor-made for you.
Not based in the North East? No problem. Hancock Gallery now offer Virtual Consultations, too – simply send them an image of the space you’re working with and they’ll digitally show you a selection of pieces which could work.
ART DOESN’T HAVE TO BREAK THE BANK
We get it, art can be expensive. But no longer does it have to be reserved for the privileged few.
With the right knowledge, support and energy, we can all become real art owners. And you already know that the team at Hancock Gallery have got expertise, a willingness to help and enthusiasm in bucketloads.
But as well as all this, Hancock Gallery have teamed up with the national initiative Own Art to offer us all interest-free buying options, especially for buying original artwork. So, it’s never been easier to make art a tangible, affordable part of our lives. Perfect for balancing out that Christmas budget, too.
WHO’S HANGING AT HANCOCK THIS CHRISTMAS?
When it comes to the artwork you can peruse in this Jesmond gallery (or, indeed, the artwork they can bring to you), the sky really is your limit.
Take one of their latest exhibitors, Noelle Phares, for example. The solo exhibition of this Colorado-based artist is her first outside of North America – and she’s chosen the North East to show it in!
Or hyperrealist SJ Fuerst’s Not A Life Saving Device, which is Hancock Gallery’s biggest exhibition to date. Born in the idyllic suburbs of Connecticut, SJ delights in bringing out the dark, often funny undercurrent in our everyday lives.
Artistic duo Kristina Chan and Itamar Freed are also on our must-see list. Influenced by post-impressionism, traditional Japanese prints and contemporary photography, their work explores how memory can form our understanding of place.
And we haven’t even scratched the surface of the works displayed by Hancock Gallery’s longer-term artists, either – such as tropical, Miami-style impressionist Elizabeth Powers, or (one of our personal faves), vintage pop-art masters The Connor Brothers. We guess you’ll just have to go along and check them out for yourself…
If you’re interested in finding out more about how the Hancock Gallery team can help you find that perfect work of art this Christmas, visit their website for their Christmas Gift Guide.
Hancock Gallery, 2 Jesmond Road West, Newcastle NE2 4PQ