An interview with Josie Eastwood
Josie Eastwood has been involved in the art market for more than twenty-five years. Her unique gallery features four annual exhibitions and Josie herself works alongside a number of interior designers and clients, sourcing the perfect pieces for interior projects and private collections. In this interview, Josie discusses the increased role that artwork now plays in interior schemes, her favourite projects she has sourced works for, and her latest upcoming exhibition.
What led you to establish the gallery in 2000?
I decided to set up my own gallery in 1996 having worked at Sotheby’s and run a gallery in South Kensington for a few years. I realised I wanted to exhibit work professionally, in the setting of our own recently built home. The aim was to provide a more relaxing and original environment in which to exhibit work, and show that a wide range of art can live happily alongside each other when placed well. So often galleries can be rather foreboding and clinical, and I wanted to get away from that.
Does the gallery tend to showcase a certain style of work or is it more eclectic?
The gallery shows a range of contemporary oil paintings, ceramics and sculpture, both abstract and figurative. You can’t really pigeon hole the style of art we exhibit; it just has to make my blood run fast when I see it.
The gallery holds four exhibitions a year with the next one this October. Can you tell us some more about this upcoming event?
Our next exhibition, The Autumn Collection 2016, is opening on Saturday October 15th and runs until Friday the 21st. On show will be new work by over thirty artists, some new finds, and others are firm gallery favourites. We are also including paintings by graduates from St. Martin’s, whose work caught our eye whilst visiting the degree shows.
Below: Shirin Tabeshfar, Pink Milk, oil on canvas 70 x 110 cms
One particular project we enjoyed working on came to us through an interior designer and involved sourcing artwork for a beautifully renovated house on the river Test in Hampshire. We were lucky enough to get to know the clients well, and get a real feel for their taste, alongside working in-tune with the designer’s amazing scheme. We managed over a period of 18 months to source artwork for the whole house, and also place some wonderful sculpture in the garden, to provide focal points. They chose work by some very exciting and talented artists and the final look was stunning.
How important a component of a complete interior do you think artwork can play?
I think an interior is incomplete without artwork. It provides the soul of the room and emphasises the clients taste and originality.
Do you think this role that artwork plays, as part of an overall interior project, has evolved over time, and if so in what way?
Over the past twenty years we have found that people’s awareness of fine art has increased, alongside their knowledge. We are all far more likely to visit national galleries, with many important exhibitions attracting thousands; this has had a knock on affect on our interest in what we chose for our homes. As our lifestyles have changed, so have the spaces we now want in our homes. For example, twenty years ago kitchens were not the main hubs of socialising in a home. Today, it is normal to display important pieces in this new living area. Much more emphasis is given to the selection of the right piece, the placing and lighting. A great painting can be lost when hung in the wrong position, or when lit badly.
The Autumn Collection Saturday October 15th to Friday October 21st