Grenfell Tower Benefit Auction

Grenfell Tower: Benefit Auction

Today opens Art Advisor Lucy Meakin’s online auction in aid of the Grenfell Tower fire disaster in West London last month. The collection will feature some of the UK’s top contemporary artists including Cornelia Parker, Adam Fuss, The Clapham Brothers and Tracey Emin, to name a few.

After hearing of the disaster, Lucy – a former Notting Hill local, along with 25 of her artist friends came together to donate their works to the worthy cause. Running for 2 weeks the auction starts at 6 pm on 18th July 2017 until 6 pm on 1st August exclusively on

Featured amongst the collection are photographs, hand-coloured etchings, prints, multiples as well as original artworks from the collective of artists. Each artist has donated a piece of work for the auction. Darren Almond has donated a photograph from his ‘full moon’ series. ‘Full Moon @ Valley Floor’ (2013). English sculptor and installation artist Cornelia Parker has donated two photogravure works: ‘Black Tulip’ and ‘Deception Glass’ (2017).

All funds raised will go directly to the London Community Foundation. Bidding will be open exclusively on


Ian Davenport – Colour Splat Cloud (white), 2017

An open laptop on an unmade bed with google mail displaying on screen

Cyber Criminals Target the Art World and Property Markets

A worrying financial transaction scam has recently come to our attention. It involves the illegal accessing of email accounts and the intercepting financial correspondence.

The large sums involved in electronic transfers is the main attraction to hackers. By changing the bank details of the payee on an invoice, they are able to redirect the money into their accounts.

Due to the sophistication of this con, the invoice appears to come from the business itself and no one is the wiser.

Once transferred, the money disappears, dispersed between numerous bank accounts. The original invoice remaining unpaid.

Follow the steps below to avoid becoming a victim of this or a similar electronic fraud.

• Change your password on a regular basis.

• Always encrypt invoices or other sensitive information.

• Call and verify the bank details with the sender.

• When making large monetary transfers, consider paying a small amount first. Check funds have cleared with the recipient before paying the balance.

• Use a secure mobile payment system which requires extra verification.

Fabiano Parisi, Il Mondo Che Non Vedo, 2016 featured at the young masters exhibition

Young Masters Art Prize Launch

On 2nd October, The Cynthia Corbett Gallery launched the fourth edition of the Young Masters Art Prize which Brownhill Insurance Group were proud sponsors of.

The exhibition, held at Royal Opera Arcade Gallery in Pall Mall, showed works from previous Young Masters artists together with guest artists.  In various ways these talented artists’ reflect on the history of art through a variety of media. These include ceramics, painting, photography, multi-media and video.

Commanding great skill, each artist takes an aspect of art history, such as genre, technique, subject matter, reinventing it in a contemporary way.  The standard of work seems to be of such high quality at each event. It is always a delight to be involved with Young Masters. We would like to congratulate the artists for the fantastic works displayed and also to Cynthia and the team for such an enjoyable evening.

(above picture: Fabiano Parisi, Il Mondo Che Non Vedo, 2016)


Clumsy Customers Create Costly Claims

Claims can happen in any art establishment, from a high street gallery to a world renowned museum. We’ve found three accidental damage claims that have come out in the public domain in recent years.

When a Pablo Picasso painting was being exhibited at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2010, a lady taking part in an art class accidentally fell into the painting.

The L’acteur, painted in 1904, is considered to be one of Picasso’s most famous works, and was valued at around £90 million. The woman created a 6 inch tear in the painting and it took three months to restore. The painting is now kept behind plexiglass.

A Taiwanese boy became an internet sensation last year for all the wrong reasons after he accidentally tore a hole in a painting worth £1 million. The 12-year-old lost his footing next to a 17th century Paolo Porpora oil painting called Flowers, valued at £950,000, It was at a Leonardo da Vinci show in Taipei. The boy lost his balance, stumbled over the safety rope and pressed a can of soft drink into the painting to steady himself! This was all seen in the security footage released by the organisers of the exhibition.

Nick Flynn was banned from ever visiting the Fitzwilliam museum in Cambridge again after a loose shoelace, a lack of handrails and a bit of bad luck brought about the destruction of three Ming dynasty vases, thought to be worth around £100,000 in total.

Accidental damage emanating from a customer on your premises or whilst at an art exhibition or art fair can create all sorts of problems. No matter how many precautions you put in place a clumsy client can strike at any time!

Silent Quarter - Tim Lane

Tim Lane Hits Kickstarter for Round 2

Following a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014 with nearly 150 backers pledging over £17,000, Tim Lane is back with his second Kickstarter campaign.

Silent Quarter is a short story and drawing bookwork told through a combination of writing and drawing.

Silent Quarter is a darkly beautiful, illustrated short-story. It is an emotional and philosophically reflective journey through the mind of an old man – who is both a mask-maker and a barber – as he comes to the end of his long life of love, service, ceremony and creativity.

With 7 days left (as of 2nd June) of his second Kickstarter project, Antlers Gallery and Tim Lane are looking to emulate the success of the Anima Mundi project of 2014.

Anima Mundi – The limited edition five metre long concertina book, which folds in to an A5 book and slipcase was successfully funded on 10th May 2014.

The book’s physical form provides a portable and tactile way to enjoy the whole virtual experience.

The title – Anima Mundi comes from the Latin for ‘Soul of the World’ and is according to several thought systems, an intrinsic connection between all living things on the planet.

To back Tim Lane’s Silent Quarter – visit the Kickstarter Campaign page – The project closes on 9th June at 3:00PM (BST).

For more information on Anima Mundi – please visit –

Burghley House

Restoration of Burghley House Fountain

As a way of introduction to our most recent Art Partner, Anthemion Crowther, I was looking for the right way to introduce both the company and the work that they do. Very rarely do I get the chance to write about my home county, but Anthemion Crowther’s work at Burghley House presented the perfect opportunity to write about both at the same time.

Burghley House is situated in Lincolnshire, in the south of the county, and is a magnificent example of 16th century architecture. Constructed, and largely designed, by William Cecil who was Lord Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I, sixteen generations have called this beautiful residence their home. The House is currently lived in by the cousin of the current (and eighth) Marquess of Exeter, who also holds the titles of 17th Earl of Exeter and 18th Baron Burghley.

Burghley House

Although an essay many time as long as this blog post could be written about the architectural importance of Burghley House, it is the gardens which provide the backdrop to my introduction of Anthemion Crowther.

The formal South Gardens were conceived and planted in the late 1800s as a contrast to the rolling landscape created by Capability Brown in a century earlier. It was in the 19th century then that James Marriot Blashfield was commissioned to produce four urns to adorn the newly formalised gardens. In 1960s, under the direction of the 6th Marchioness of Exeter, these urns became the centre piece to four fountains. In subsequent years the fountains were removed and replaced by flower beds, however in 2014 it was the decision of the Burghley House Preservation Trust that the necessary restoration of the vases should be undertaken, and the fountains be re-commissioned.

Burghley House - Image 2

Anthemion Crowther are a specialist company of architectural restorers who also specialise in restoration and installation of panelling and the brokerage of antique items. It is because of Anthemion Crowther’s specialism and experience that the Burghley Trust commissioned them to undertake the restoration of these urns using materials and techniques that would be sympathetic to how these historically important pieces were first created and that the original character as created by James Marriot Blashfield would not be lost.

Burghley House is just one example of the amazing work that Anthemion Crowther execute, for those interested, a visit to their website is recommended, to gain a full insight to the extent of their skills.

I look forward to hearing about what project they begin next.

The Forth Plinth – Gift Horse

The Forth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, London, has become one of the most talked about public art commissions in the UK, if not the world, and continues to draw admiration by the public and discussion in the press.

The latest commission to grace the previously (and ominously) empty plinth in Trafalgar Square is by the esteemed German artist Hans Haacke and is called Gift Horse. The twice life-size skeletal bronze sculpture of a horse is derived from an etching by George Stubbs, the English painter famous for his depictions of horses, and features an electronic ribbon displaying live the ticker of the London Stock Exchange.

Gracefully perched above the square, Haacke’s Gift Horse plays on the relationship between power, money and history and compliments the other sculpture in Trafalgar Square. However, quite aside from the more traditional sculpture that graces the vicinity of the National Gallery (complete with its famous Stubbs paintings) and the surrounding area of Westminster, Gift Horse has far greater and more relevant political undertones.

Grayson Perry CBE, artist, Royal Academician and member of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group, recognised the significance of the artwork’s political undertones tweeting “I am very pleased that Hans Haacke’s Gift Horse will be on the Fourth Plinth in the run up to the election. Unveiling on the Thursday morning.”


Whatever you want to read into Gift Horse, the electronic ribbon that displays in real time the London Stock Exchange performance is brazen, visually captivating and forces the viewer to ponder the relationship between art and money, between power and art and a combination of all three.

With the art market continuing to defy any talk of previous recessions or stable but steady growth, there could be a view that art (and therefore Gift Horse) is above the stock market and that the art economy on its own should be considered very powerful. Visually, Gift Horse draws viewers around the sculpture which can be viewed at different levels around the base of the plinth and from various points across Trafalgar Square and is transformed at night when the ticker is visible and eye-catching before the sculpture itself can often be seen in the dark.

Previous commissions enjoying stints on the Fourth Plinth include Powerless Structures (header image) by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset and most recently Hahn/Cock by Katharina Fritsch which was the bright blue cockerel gracing Trafalgar Square until February this year. The Fourth Plinth Programme is funded by the Mayor of London and supported by Arts Council England.

If you have not had a chance to visit Gift Horse by Hans Haacke yet, the sculpture is set to be in place for 18 months and is free to visit. Maybe you’ll draw your own conclusions as to what Haacke’s sculpture represents, or what his comment might be on the relationship between politics and the economy in the UK…

Thanks to for the information.

Villa by Gina Soden

Review: Emergence at Eye Like Gallery

Very few galleries get the chance to have such an amazing artist as Gina Soden hold a solo show so early on in the artist’s career, let alone so early on in the gallery’s life. However last night Gina Soden and the newly established Eye Like Gallery (run by gallerist Saro Brindley) proved that they made the perfect team to present Emergence to the world.

I cannot adequately convey what standing in front of a work by Gina Soden is like. Her photography captures far more than the shell of the buildings she photographs, she seems to have perfected photographing their personalities and their characteristics… and what is more, she absolutely loves doing it. Hearing her speak at the opening of her show at Eye Like Gallery in Beaconsfield last night, I was struck by how much she genuinely cared about the spaces she had photographed for this series, and how closely she felt she had to guard their secrets in order to protect the hidden architecture she had discovered.

Emergence is a celebration of Gina’s work and her distinctive style of photographing abandoned architecture throughout Europe. Although Emergence quite rightly describes Gina as an artist at the very beginning of her career, she has already won the acclaimed National Open Art – Emerging Artist of the Year Award and it was announced last night that she has been awarded a prize again this year – the full details are to be announced later in September! The collaboration with Saro at Eye Like Gallery seems to be the perfect match of personalities and approaches to the artworks that are displayed as part of Emergence. Saro, and her gallery manager Mollie, have done a superb job of cleverly hanging over 20 works and manage to create relationships between pieces by contrasting colour, shape and perspective to fantastic effect. Never have I been so impressed by a collection of architectural photographs – the effect of a whole gallery hung, very well, with Gina’s work was mesmerising. The derelict spaces somehow manage to seem both serene and evocative of the action required to save them from total decay.

'Krankenhaus' by Gina Soden

‘Krankenhaus’ by Gina Soden

The highlight of the show, and the one piece above all I was so eager to see, was ‘Krankenhaus’. Part of Gina Soden’s Emergence series, ‘Krankenhaus’ is a photograph taken at a “sprawling sanatorium” (the tantalising description of this German building whose location Gina wouldn’t reveal) which, as a clue, can claim that Adolph Hitler was treated there. The monumental photograph is complemented by the equally monumental production of the piece that is an impressive 1.5m by 1.5m. ‘Krankenhaus’ is the direct result of the collaboration between artist and gallery to create a centrepiece for the show. As an edition of only 3 (with two artists proofs) I have no doubt that the collaboration will be successful in more than one way.

Eye Like Gallery have combined works from Gina’s Emergence series with some pieces from her series ‘Decadenza‘ and ‘Retrogression‘. The three series compliment each other so well it is difficult to spot in the hang which pieces are from the earlier two series. Each piece has in common Gina’s love of the spaces she photographs, her sympathy for the architecture and her overall defining feature – (and her self professed obsession) a sense of symmetry. The symmetry found in her work is not just a symmetry based around a vertical axis, or through mirrored spaces, but through careful composition and balance. Take ‘Krankenhaus’ for example, perfectly balanced and symmetrically composed, yet one need not look very long or hard to see that the photograph is asymmetrical in its architectural composition.

The highlight of the evening and of the opening of ‘Emergence’ was being able to hear Gina speak so frankly and honestly about her work and about a passion that has (so far) consumed 4 years of her artistic career, and being able to speak to the gallery that had made the show possible, and to the incredible team at Eye Like Gallery.

Visit Emergence at Eye Like Gallery in Beaconsfield while you have the chance to see a solo exhibition with Gina Soden, an artist I know is just going to get bigger and bigger, and I can’t wait to see what she produces next!

Click here for details of the exhibition.

2014 – A Good Year for Art (So Far!)

As far as years go, 2014 has so far been a particularly good one for the art market – especially for works by British artists. This year has so far seen several record-breaking sales including the most made at a single auction sale and the most expensive painting ever sold at a European auction.

Francis Bacon is the artist of the moment, having broken the world record for the most expensive painting ever sold at auction in 2013 when his triptych ‘Three Studies of Lucian Freud’ sold for $142.4million (nearly £90million) at Christie’s in New York.  Bacon was again the focus of a Christie’s sale in London in February this year with ‘Portrait of George Dyer Talking’ selling for £42.2million.

Art market aside, London has been the centre of several major exhibitions so far this year with highlights including The Sunflowers at the National Gallery, the reunion of two of Vincent van Gogh’s iconic paintings, The Cut-Outs at the Tate Modern, exploring the unusual and often misunderstood technique of the great Henri Matisse and William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain, the V&A’s interpretation of the work of the well-known Architect, landscaper and furniture designer. With a huge range of exhibitions – just mentioning a few block-busters at some of the major institutions – London is proving itself a more than worthy contender for the centre of the art world so far this year!

Among the exhibitions opening in the second half of 2014, I am most excited about the rival exhibitions that the V&A and Tate Britain are staging from September 2014 – January 2015. Rival exhibitions in terms of their star artists, Constable and Turner go head to head to attract visitors to the respective museums, a competitive nature that was very much present during the artists’ lifetimes. Constable: The Making of a Master at the V&A is set to reassess John Constable’s influences and lasting legacy on art – while exploring why he has, in the words of the V&A, become “Britain’s best-loved artist”.  Late Turner – Painting Set Free at the Tate Britain is set to be the first exhibition dedicated to the later work of J.M.W. Turner (1835-1851). Tate Britain rather than claim he is the best-loved British artist, claim he is the best, using art historian John Ruskin’s famous quote that Turner was ‘the greatest of the age’.

Also about to provide an injection of art buyers and enthusiasts to the UK (as well as provide interest for UK-based art lovers) will be the upcoming art fairs. British Art Fair, LAPADA, Olympia Art and Antiques Fair and Affordable Art Fair Battersea, just to name a few are all fast approaching and all have their individual draws and attractions. As part of our offering to our clients, we welcome arts enthusiasts to sign up to our VIP Art Club – which gives members the chance to request tickets to art fairs and exhibitions as well as talks and events taking place in London, and further afield, throughout the year. If this is something that would be of interest to you, please click here to find out more.

2014 has also had the landmark announcement that the National Gallery has lifted its ban on photography and has split the public into camps of those who fear that is will spread the rise of the “selfie” at the National Gallery and those who think that sharing art will widen the audience of this important national collection.

With 2014 having started well for the art market; I hope it continues, but look forward to what the rest of the year will bring!

Elephant Parade - Spark and Razzle Dazzle

Elephant Parade – The National Tour

If you have seen a herd of brightly decorated Asian Elephants this year around the UK, it is more than likely to have been part of the Elephant Parade – The National Tour. The Elephant Parade was founded by father and son team, Marc and Mike Spits after Marc had met baby elephant Mosha. Mosha had lost her leg after stepping on a landmine and Marc and Mike decided that rather than just donating money to the Asian Elephant Foundation, they would organise an event to raise money, and awareness, of the highly endangered Asian Elephant and Elephant Parade was born.

We went along to the last venue of the Elephant Parade in Bromley and were lucky enough to be able to interview Lydia Tombs who has been working with the event since the beginning of the year.

An Elephant’s Tale by Katie Sollohub (foreground) Stop the Traffic by Christine Wilcox-Baker (background)

An Elephant’s Tale by Katie Sollohub (foreground) Stop the Traffic by Christine Wilcox-Baker (background)

Q: Lydia, can you could tell us a little about the Elephant Parade – The National Tour?

A: The event is run by the Elephant Parade, founded by father and son, Michael and Marc Spits and has returned to the UK for a national tour that started on 16th July 2013 and finishes here in Bromley at the end of July 2014. The Elephant Parade travels all over the world with a new set of beautiful elephants created by artists and celebrities and each event supports the work of the Asian Elephant Foundation which is working hard to protect the remaining 50,000 Asian Elephants left in the world.

Q: Could you tell us about your involvement with the event – do you have a favourite elephant from the Elephant Parade?

A: I came on board in January 2014 when the tour came to visit Nottingham for five weeks and I am now here in Bromley working on the last venue of the UK tour. My favourite elephant changes daily – I would say today’s favourite is either Fruit Baby (from the Antwerp 2008 tour) available in the shop – or from The National Tour larger elephants it has to be Razzle Dazzle, which hasn’t been replicated into a smaller elephant as many of the other designs have. I love the design of the elephant, it’s retro and that appeals to my taste – I also like the story behind this one. Razzle Dazzle was created by costume designer Sheara Abrahams – who created costumes for the recent Les Miserables film – using rich colours, bold geometric shapes and lavish ornamentation to reflect the elephants timeless grandeur.

Spirit by Alex Jones & Mercy Delta

Spirit by Alex Jones & Mercy Delta

Q: Do you feel that the Bromley has been a successful part of The National Tour?

A: I would say that the UK tour has been a huge success generally but especially so here in Bromley.  It is here that I think the Elephant Parade has had its busiest days ever probably worldwide, including the sale in Bromley of the largest size of elephants available in the shop (excluding the large elephants being auctioned) which is an almost life-size baby Asian elephant.

Q: What has been the public reaction in Bromley?

A: Very inquisitive – lots of questions. Sparkey has caused lots of interest (the elephant Sparkey is designed by Rylan Clark with Cath Adam and is covered with hundreds of self-adhesive crystals) with people asking if they can take him home, how much he costs… and even if he is waterproof to keep in their garden!

People have come and introduced themselves to me from as far and wide as Copenhagen and Singapore – and some people had been to the last UK tour – and had come back again to see this year’s elephant designs!

Q: What is next for the Elephant Parade?

A: Well after The National Tour has finished at the end of July 2014 and the elephant auction has concluded, the Elephant Parade is off to Hong Kong next, but hopefully it will be back to visit the UK again in the next two years as it’s been such as success! I’ve had people approach me here in Bromley asking if we can bring the parade to Australia and  Dubai, it’s really great to hear such enthusiasm for this project.

The on-line auction of the large elephant commissioned for The National Tour of the Elephant Parade closes at midnight on Saturday 26th July 2014 and there are still some amazing pieces to be bought – not only to own one of these beautiful creations but to raise money for the Asian Elephant Foundation. Alternatively, if you don’t have room for a baby elephant in your house (or garden!) the Elephant Parade shop – either on-line or in Bromley’s intu shopping centre – sells a variety of smaller sized elephants.

Elephant Parade - Pop Art by Nattapol Buaum

Elephant Parade – Pop Art by Nattapol Buaum