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What a year! Wyecliffe's Wonderful 2017

If Wyecliffe Galleries were to pick three words to describe the past 12 months, fast, frenetic, and fun would immediately spring to mind.  A year of remarkable expansion involving a team which started the year at four full time members and has dramatically swelled to nine individuals, over a dozen artists signings, a plethora of studio visits and not to mention the many hundreds of clients Wyecliffe has had the pleasure of helping. We dive back into 2017 to bring you an over view of what our ambitious plans to deliver market leading service, international quality artworks and a line-up of industry experts are.

A team of experts and art enthusiasts

Already comprising four full time colleagues in Ben, Josie, Katia and Anthony, Wyecliffe Galleries has swelled to double in size with nine team members now contributing to our mission of outstanding client experience. Studio Coordinator Keyleigh Bond, whose journey with Wyecliffe started with work experience during her time at art college, quickly expanded her role to a full-time position – charged with the care of 2,500 paintings and overseeing our impressive studio space, her knowledge of art handling and professional storage is essential.  

Responsible for the smooth running of client communication, Sales Coordinator Becky Smith joined our team in April. The port of call for customers for organising the convenient collection or delivery of works purchased, Becky works closely with our domestic and international couriers to ensure parcels reach clients as scheduled.  Trained as a painter, Becky brings an incredible enthusiasm for art to every conversation and has a genuine care for the service our clients receive.

Contributing to a personalised experience when selecting art, Gallery Coordinator Molly-Mae McCambridge joined the team in June to oversee the cataloguing of all incoming works. Her role is vast and also encompasses taking charge of the bespoke framing and mirror service offered by Wyecliffe Galleries. Offered on both works purchased here, or client’s own special pieces Molly’s expertise in helping select the best method of presentation is exceptional, having previously worked with a prominent London gallery.

Summer saw Lucy Warburton added to the team; with a sunny attitude Lucy has been engaged to develop the photography of our paintings.  To showcase the incredibly varied materials used across the genres of fine art offered for acquisition, investment in cutting edge lens technology has been crucial to help our clients better placed to make an informed choice of painting. With previous experience in covering the annual exhibitions at Wyecliffe, Lucy was the natural choice for the role, where she has already felt like part of the team for years already.

Our most recent colleague to join as Studio Coordinator is Adam Clark whose background in distribution and logistics made him the ideal complement to complete the Wyecliffe team. Tasked with improving the quality of packaging of the sum 60-70 artworks dispatched every week, Adam has bought a cool attitude to what can be a highly pressurised role. Meeting dispatch deadlines daily to ensure clients receive their works on our complimentary premium next day pre-12noon service, our collectors are already benefiting from his attention to detail and neat boxing.

With 2018 beckoning, all 9 members are here to make acquiring art, easy, convenient, and enjoyable for art lovers in the UK and the expanding global collector base served by the dedicated international website.

The home of the leading contemporary and interior design artists in the UK

Already proudly situated as the flagship gallery for the respected works of Kerry Darlington, Lhouette, David Renshaw, Rozanne Bell and Robin Eckardt to name but a few, Wyecliffe has strived to expand its portfolio to offer collectors innovative new artists for fresh inspiration. 

Joining the fold in January were the evocative, sultry works of Mila Alexander. Exploring modern themes of female sensuality and beauty her first works were a fusion of soft focus and wispy smoke revealing a bunny mask wearing muse; unaware and relaxed these works pay homage to a woman content and in control.  The model is familiar; Chloe Jasmin of X-factor fame who embodies a vintage soul wrapped in a contemporary agenda. 2018 promises Alexanders’ collectors new opportunity to acquire original works with Wyecliffe Galleries.

Conveying pure joy in blooms, the canvas-works of Spanish born Beatriz Elorza enchant and delight in equal measure. Signed by Wyecliffe Galleries for her incredible soft brushstrokes which create harmony in tone, Elorza possesses an outstanding knowledge of colour.  Mint greens sway in a gentle breeze, lifted with a jolt of delicious orange in surprising combinations; inspired by New York and London the artists is clearly affected by the pace of life in both cities with each location promoting a new direction for the artist.

Exhibited at the Royal Academy as part of it’s annual show this Summer...

...Elorza’s work has also been commissioned for elegant interior designs throughout the year.

Fusing tonal blue pigment from midnight skies to crystal waters and overlaid with liquid gold leaf, Beth Nicholas has elegantly captured a design zeitgeist founded on the fusing of matte and metallic to affect a heady layered contrast.  Explorations have flourished in burnt orange bronze laced with chrome silver and deep grey, adding a warmer offering to her palette. Working on thick abundant paper either left raw and authentic, or mounted onto contemporary diabond the scale of piece ranges from compact to vast 10 feet long masterpieces. Debuted with Wyecliffe at Decorex International in September, Nicholas is one to watch over the next 12 months where her development promises to be nothing less than stratospheric. 

Having been selected numerous times for presentation at London’s illustrious Mall Galleries, the painterly yet contemporary panoramas of Harry Brioche were a natural choice for Wyecliffe Galleries to expand it’s offering within the genre. A growing trend within interiors, Brioche’s deft use of a brush and oils to ‘light up the landscape’ captivates by creating depth that the eye is happy to wander through. Be it a warm spring day in early May or the squally turn of autumn to winter, the artist is a master of interpreting seasonality ideal to bring the outside into your home.

Rounding off the year and joining Wyecliffe’s portfolio just this December are the meticulously crafted wall sculptures of Michael Olsen. Featuring butterflies hand made from feathers and painted to allude to the flight of this beautiful creatures, hundreds are painstakingly arranged and suspended within minimal perspex boxes. Allowing the coloured wall or wallpaper to be visible below the display case, the blend between home design and fine art can be achieved beautifully by selecting Olsen’s fabulous pieces.  Currently working on tall free-standing works with tumbling butterflies inside the artist is set for an outstanding 2018.

Studio Visits and Special Collections

Of fundamental importance is the relationship Wyecliffe Galleries shares with it’s artists. 2017 has been no different in the exceptional collaboration between gallery and creator.  In twofold harmony, to maintain a level of continued expertise Ben and Anthony constantly travel to the studios to capture the creative process on film to share with collectors, whilst Katia and Josie stay in touch with the artists daily to support and discuss evolving concepts.  The approach of nurturing ideas and commissioning innovative collections for both individual and gallery display reinforces the imagination of the artist as well as encourages the pushing of boundaries.

Visiting Bodelwyddan Castle in the heart of Wales in June, Creative Brand Manager Anthony worked in partnership with the UK’s best-selling artist Kerry Darlington to storyboard a short film.  This focused on the artist sketching in the open air before realising an accomplished full colour painting, revealing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; a unique limited edition, highly anticipated by collectors since 2011’s The Journey to Emerald City. Pugs barking at her feet, Darlington is shown as she is – kind and normal (in her own extraordinary way). Watch the video here:

Followed up by several studio visits to the Bedfordshire farm Lhouette now considers his artistic home, Anthony filmed as he approached the end of an eight-month social media blackout. Entrusted with the immense task of bringing The Dorchester approved creative back into the public eye and presenting the involved nature of the production of boutique edition Emergency Credit, the film was of as critical creative importance as the work itself. Providing the viewer with a birds eye view, the video utilised a full complement of tech from drones to rail tracks to showcase the incredible effort which goes into just one boutique edition. Watch the video here:

Wyecliffe’s Head of Sales and genuine art lover Katia speaks weekly with many of our stable of artists including David Renshaw, whose gift for capturing beauty in oils ranges from contemporary landscape to heartfelt naïve scenes entitled the Northern Romance collection.  2017 has seen the alliance between gallerist and artist devise fresh interpretations including the highly sought-after series of pencil sketches featuring Doris and Ted, exclusive to Wyecliffe Galleries.  With a wait list of many dozens, the captivating yet intimate workings rarely come onto the open market.  April saw the launch of exclusive edition Lights and Dreams in honour of Wyecliffe’s participation at Grand Designs Live, combining the beloved VW Camper Van travelled to the fringes of Svalbard, warm and cosy against the cold winds of the North.  More recently in conversation with Katia to produce a dedicated article on David’s festive tradition’s, the shared memories of childhood ice skating inspired sell out collection of original works featuring the star-crossed lovers in a variety of evocative winter wonderlands.

To register to be on the wait list for pencil sketches and for first visibility of new original oil paintings from David Renshaw please e-mail katia@wyecliffe.com.

To read  our Christmas with David Renshaw article, please click here.

An Outstanding Year in Art and Interiors

It's been an incredible year of breath taking interior design enhanced by outstanding original art.  Our artists have excelled themselves creating truly innovative works to be enjoyed by collectors and prospective purchasers alike. Of significance was the opportunity of the exceptional neoclassical architecture presented by Silverwood House. Vast halls and palatial spaces required original paintings which would not be daunted by their scale but would instead impress and invite.  Requiring works of a timeless and stylish nature, Wyecliffe appointed Faye Nasser-Jolie, Robin Eckardt, Zena Holloway, Kerry Darlington and Talantbek Chekirov to commission works millimetre perfect to wall and brief.  In tonal colours, each work is designed to reflect its situation evoking themes of relaxation and luxury.

Art for Swimming Pools 

Reflecting the shimmering water below, commissioned for the pool area were a horizontal triptych of epic proportions. Reaching over 6ft x 3ft per work, Kerry Darlington found an elegant union reaching between starlit galaxies to the depth of rippling oceans in rich greys and silvers accented in teal and burgundy. Especially made on marine wood ply to preserve the works from the chlorine filled air, Wyecliffe Galleries used its expert knowledge in producing works safe for the private swimming pool.

Art for Curved Walls

With each zone at Silverwood House requiring specialist input, the elegant atrium of the Entrance Hall was perhaps the most challenging. Visible from every level and the occupying the very heart of the property, a great half-moon curved wall was to be the blank canvas for world class equestrian painter Faye Nasser-Joley. Specially constructed at Wyecliffe Studios over a period of weeks, a colossal bespoke canvas was hand produced to fit the precise curved edge of the architecture. In residence the artist conjured two wild horses, ghostly galloping stallions from the white treated frame.  

Taking three professional installers to manoeuvre the finished masterpiece into place, it one of Wyecliffe’s greatest triumphs of 2017.

Bespoke Mirrors

This year has also seen the expansion of our collection of bespoke fabric wrapped mirrors, perfectly made and positioned to reflect design lines, enhance lighting features and add texture. With several hundred metal edging options in polished and brushed aluminium’s, alongside classical solid oak rims the way designer or home owner finalise the harmony of their space is tailor made. Three outstanding bevelled mirrors completed the drawing room at Silverwood House. Curve wrapped in cream faux pony skin leather, a subtle luxurious texture, they stand proud in pillar alcoves framing the fireplace. The third hangs above a console table, width dimension perfect creating a key line of sight anchoring floor and ceiling.  In each reflection the mesmerising works inspired by Japanese cherry blossom ‘The Hanami Triptych’ by Robin Eckardt, can be seen in new angles. 

The event of the year – Kerry Darlington

A landmark for collectors internationally, Kerry Darlington returned for her seminal annual solo exhibition in November.  Highly anticipated, this year saw the artist work tirelessly to fulfil both personal ambition to surpass previous achievements, as well as develop to deliver new and refreshed themes to excite guests.

Filling the huge triple space gallery and vast studio space at the Weybridge premises, every corner was decorated with new original works, freshly themed collections and rare unique editions; a true retrospective, the paintings also hinted at what is to come in 2018.  Three minimal and delicate portraits quietly dominated the show from a humble single panel in the atmospherically lit studio. ‘Eternal Echoes’, ‘Gentle Stillness’, and ‘Not in the World’ portrayed three beautiful women whose characters embody strength, peace and wonder. Touching on seasonality, somewhere between spring and autumn, the works showed Darlington stripped back – nimbly painted on plywood, the material is left raw, resin is muted in a matte finish replacing the previous gloss. 

Incredible determination lead to a series of one-off abstracts, re-imagined in new forms. In circular format, colourful works were backlit alluding to an intimate encounter with a solar eclipse. In true love, heart shaped abstracts in passionate red were breath taking.  Rubiks, a one of a kind original formed a single work formed of 20 single small panels; configured at the show as 5 x 4, they can be hung in any combination in the family home. Works from Darlington’s personal collection also featured; sketches torn from notebooks and works in progress on block wood offered an insight into her creative mind.  Unveiled for the first time ever were the three-dimensional original working studies for ‘A Mad Tea Party’ from the Alice in Wonderland Collection. A series of just 10 original works depicting a charming English picnic – salmon sandwiches and sticky buns rise under the resin, real enough to eat.

With over 200 guests in attendances on the evening and staged with over 200 works there was a painting for everyone. Queues formed not only to speak with Kerry Darlington herself, but to engage the Wyecliffe team at large – the scramble to secure and acquire works before they had been purchased by others was tangible.  The pinnacle of the show was the unveiling of the newest unique edition ‘Princess and the Pea’ whose presentation in silver, white gloss and gold black frames could first be seen at the event.  In homage by the short story written by Hans Christian Anderson, both original painting and working sketch were also on show; topping off a true experience from inspiration to realised dream, Wyecliffe staged the vast studio as the painting embodied. With a personal retrospective featuring on the walls of the Princess’ bedroom, iconic works from Darlington’s past could be seen on both edition and in life – ‘Snow White Rose Red’, ‘Wendy’ and ‘Gastropod’ to name but a few shone against a patchwork wall filled with Darlington’s personal emblems. 

With every member of both the team at Wyecliffe Galleries as well at the team at Darlington Studios, the event epitomised what can be achieved by working toward the vison of an artist with the resolve of individuals whose philosophy and ethos is founded on a passion for art. 2018 promises to be more challenging and more exciting than any year in Wyecliffe’s history. Supported by the foundation of The Wyecliffe Advantage, that clients should expect nothing less than the finest choice of contemporary artworks delivered by service that cares, we can’t wait to share the next 12 months with you.

From Ben, Josie, Katia, Anthony, Molly, Becky, Keyleigh, Adam and Lucy, thank you for an incredible 2017.