A Talking Point: Partnership Editions’ new roster of painters, sculptors and printmakers
The affordable-art platform’s founder, Georgia Spray, shines a light on the up-and-coming artists from this year’s Open Call
- Georgia Spray
- Chris Horwood
Unearthing exciting new artistic talent is the true highlight of my job. I love to visit graduate shows and I spend time trawling Instagram for incredible artists every day, but there’s something so special about opening up this process much more widely.
Each year, our Open Call programme sees us inviting artists from all around the world – whatever their background or training – to apply to be represented on our platform. The aim is not only to shine a light on all the incredible talent out there, but also to democratise access to it.
The art world can be such an alienating and elitist space. A big part of what I wanted to achieve when I started Partnership Editions in 2017 was making the art-buying experience far more inviting. People are often worried about saying the wrong thing or feeling like they ‘don’t know enough’ to start a conversation, but I firmly believe that everyone should be able to start an art collection, with any budget. That’s why Partnership Editions also offers free consultations and commissioning services – all with the hope of giving people the confidence to figure out what they like (or don’t) and to ask for advice, especially when it comes to prices.
But Partnership Editions is also, at its core, a partnership with artists. We want to ensure we’re not only giving them a platform to sell their work but are supporting them with mentorship and all the tools they need to establish a long-term career with a stable income.
This year, we received more than 500 applications to our Open Call. And with the help of our selection committee of tastemakers (Eleanor Cording-Booth, writer and editor; Leo Bruno Todd, artist and co-owner of Little Mill Abergavenny; Otegha Uwagba, writer, broadcaster and consultant; and Grace McCloud, Inigo’s senior editor), we’ve whittled the entries down to a shortlist of 13 brilliant artists, all of whom have just launched their new collections with us, with prices starting at £150.
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to art buying, these are my top tips for starting your own collection. Firstly, buy what you love. Don’t purchase art purely because it matches your sofa or feels on trend – those things may change; buy something you adore and you’ll hold on to it forever. Secondly, don’t be too worried about being matchy-matchy. Instead, be ready to embrace the unexpected. A mix of mediums, textures and colours all together can really make each artwork shine. And finally, collect from emerging artists. It’s an amazing way to find affordable pieces while supporting the work of younger practitioners or those earlier in their careers.
THE PARTNERSHIP EDITIONS OPEN CALL WINNERS
Alice Carr recently graduated from the Royal Drawing School’s online drawing development year. I love how dynamic and mysterious her pieces are. They’re colourful yet dark and powerful, which means their small scale works really well.
Aline Gaiad (shown)
Aline was raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in a family of artists and collectors – something that comes through in her beautiful still lifes. I love the boldness of her work. The scenes she paints become dramatic sets, adding interest to any space.
Based in Cape Town, South Africa, Chelsea has recently returned from travels through Kenya and India, taking part in rural artist in residence programmes in both countries. I was immediately drawn to Chelsea’s colour palette and mark-making; you can almost make up the shapes of landscapes of an autumnal afternoon walk in her pieces.
Daniel Dzonu Clarke (shown)
I love how Daniel’s work is beautifully controlled but free at the same time. With their bold and playful colour palettes, standing in contrast to his sharp architectural shapes, these works are perfect for design lovers.
Harry’s work feels so elevated. The shapes blend with each other in beautiful abstract structures to create ever-changing compositions. I can see his pieces hanging at the centre of a minimalist home.
We discovered Ivan at this year’s degree show at the Slade, where he studied. His work is like a breath of fresh air – punchy and bright, theatrical in scale and impactful – and has the power to bring a big empty space to life.
Jonathan Hooper (shown)
Jonathan, based in Leeds, studied at Falmouth School of Art and Design and the University of Leeds. He has the technical skills of an old master. His controlled brushstrokes and familiar subjects are beautifully subverted by his striking and almost fauvist colours. The result is a collection of striking compositions that make you want to learn more about the narratives behind the scenes.
Kara, also known as Tuftluck Studio, is an English mixed-media artist. I love how playful and nostalgic Kara’s work is. The fun 1970s pop culture inspiration and references would work really well with some fun framing.
Based in Cape Town, Lené has a background in graphic design and illustration. These works remind me of frescos or murals in old Indian palaces. The detailing and use of colour is exquisite. These would be a great find for more maximalist homes, or could stand as more statement pieces.
Lucy Whitford (shown)
Lucy is a London-based artist who gained her masters in fine art from Chelsea College of Art and Design. Her delicate ceramics are so dynamic. The foliage-like details and earthy tones remind you of the fragile nature of the natural world. I’d place her beautiful pieces in more minimalist homes.
Mary West (shown)
Mary’s expressive mark-making is so beautiful and has so much energy and movement to it. It’s easy to get lost in her paintings, which somehow manage to be both peaceful and turbulent, reflecting whatever mood you’re in. She lives in west London and studied at the Slade School of Fine Art.
Nathan Isaac (shown)
These collages by Nathan, an artist and designer based in Newport, Rhode Island, are reminiscent of modernist interiors and the works of past artists, but, with his exploratory approach to medium, they are so much more too.
Peter is a multidisciplinary artist from London, currently living and working in Rio de Janeiro. His bold abstract works make an instant impact. Alongside his brilliant use of colour, he also has a wonderful way with texture. I think his pieces would look amazing in a statement spot.
Partnership Editions on Instagram
Shown, from top:
Peter Evans, Freedom Abstract #20; works by Alice Carr; Aline Gaiad, The Upper Room’s Wallpaper; Daniel Dzonu Clarke, Kokro Window Plate 1; Jonathan Hooper, Allotment Fence; Lucy Whitford; Held; works by Mary West; Nathan Isaac; Danse I
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