The Aardvark Blog
Why Buy Art?
Why Buy Art?
With less than two weeks to go before the start of this year's Herefordshire Art Week show 'Weft and Warp', I have been thinking about why it is that showing and selling art has become such an important part of what we do at Aardvark. My answer is two-fold: Firstly because we wish to support our local artistic community, and secondly because we enjoy helping to introduce our customers to objects of beauty and/or curiosity.
It is not a given that any part of the world can support an artistic community. However great the talent, without a network of galleries, opinion formers and ideally public cultural spaces, artists will struggle, be forced to look further afield for sales or commissions, and ultimately are liable to lose heart and perhaps the will to carry through their work.
Art like music is not made or received in a vacuum. Would any musician choose to have their work listened to in total silence? Applause - appreciation - reaction - all help to bring forth new and better performances. So for visual artists, exhibitions and sales not only provide the material means to live, but also the encouragement to make more and hopefully better work.
And so to the other branch of my argument - allowing customers to see and buy works of art, often purchasable for modest sums, that will bring joy, beauty and sometimes wonder into their lives.
Four months ago at the end of our 'Fire & Earth' exhibition we purchased a grey, white and black ceramic by the renowned stoneware potter Phil Rogers whose pottery is located outside of Rhayader. The piece is influenced by ancient Korean ceramics and is covered in stylized ideograms. The pot has a deep and luscious sheen, its decorative elements being painted on a canvas of black almost basalt clay. After having tried other locations around our cottage, it has now come to rest on the windowsill of our snug where we read and watch television. This means that it benefits from direct natural light, and we get to see it - sometimes only out of the corner of the eye - at different times of day.
So far it has moved from the hopeful light of mid-spring to the glare of high summer, and now into the first intimations of autumn. How much am I looking forward to seeing its austere classical form against autumnal mists, or the reflected light that comes with snow.
It reminds me of Arthur C Clarke's imposing sentinel on the dark side of the moon, of the extraordinary post war paintings of Andre Masson with their secret automatic writing, and even of the rocky hills of Wales - captured with such brilliance by Phil's friend the peerless Welsh artist Kyffin Williams.
Great works of art are both resistant to our impatient understanding, and irresistible to that part of us which longs to connect and to come home. There are such little epiphanies available at each and every exhibition. Come and grab your own slice of wonder.
Our Aardvark show for Herefordshire Art Week this year is" Weft and Warp": textiles, linocut prints, paintings, and Terry Browne's country stick chairs, 9th - 24th September.
Opening, Saturday 9th September, 11am - all welcome!
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