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meet the curator - part two

October 2022

How to create the right backdrop for a piece of art

In the second of our ‘Meet the Curator’ series, Katherine explains how to display artworks in your home to best effect by using paint colours which complement rather than detract from your showpiece

“When I made up my mind to open an art gallery, I naturally considered how I would like curate the art. I planned to show it off in the most interesting way possible and in doing so, inspire both collectors and viewers, giving them ideas as to how they could display art in their own homes.

I knew I didn’t want a ‘white cube’ gallery. All art ends up in someone’s home and usually the walls are not white!

The way in which we apply colour underpins everything I do in my interior design work and the curation of my gallery is no different. I love colour – I love how it changes the way we respond to our surroundings

Understanding colour, knowing how it will change the feel of a space and, in turn, inevitably change our mood, fascinates me

I see this every day in my work. Now I see it whenever someone visits my gallery

I am repeatedly hearing comments such as, “What a wonderful space this is” or “Why do I feel so comfortable when I’m in here?” or “It’s amazing how easy it is to spend time in here” and so on

My simple response to all these observations is: “It’s because of the colours that surround you”

How colour affects our mood – and our response to art

It’s extraordinary to me, that so many people are completely unaware of the effects colour is having on their mood, sense of wellbeing, productivity and energy levels, despite the fact that we are surrounded by it in every single direction


Every single place in our world is filled with colour and is triggering hundreds of responses in us each day, emotionally and otherwise from the moment we wake until we sleep

So, when I choose artworks to exhibit in my art gallery, I spend time thinking about what colour to paint the walls. I want the art to pop and the wall colour to simply support it, not detract from it.

The wall colour does the backstage work and the painting enjoys the glory!

Here are some examples of how I have used paint colours to support and accentuate artworks in the gallery

From Collection Four [View collection four ]

Here we have Patrick Morales-Lees’ work. Stunning portraiture, commanding you to observe and willing you to understand. I wanted the artwork to look completely

comfortable on the colour I gave the wall. I chose to pick up the character of the painting, without taking anything from the work itself or drawing the viewers’ attention away. The two-tone wall just wants to join in…

Chloe McCarrick uses gold leaf to accent her work and so do I when I make my sculptural table lamps. Chloe opted for circular white frames, giving her work a unique endlessness feel.

In my mind, hanging this work on a gold wall made it feel treasured. Her work is like treasure.

The subject matter (View here) is important and visually, although the gold wall is bold and dramatic, it still sits quietly behind the artworks, supporting them and yet urging you to look at them closely

These pastels by Oli Mumby are gentle, peaceful works. They draw you in and it’s easy to imagine yourself walking along that lane or standing in that puddle. I love the way in which he observes so closely what most of us rush past in our cars

I painted this wall a dark teal tone because I didn’t want the viewer’s eye to go anywhere but directly to the pictures. Despite the colour being deep, strong and dramatic, the pictures are still the stars of the show. Their white mounts and frames keep the wall back and you simply admire the display in its entirety.

So, gentle artworks with strong wall colours still result in gentle artworks! I robbed nothing from Olis’ work

Do you have an artwork that deserves a beautiful backdrop?

If you would like help creating the right backdrop to show off a new artwork from Katherine’s gallery, she offers a complimentary At Home consultation to customers within 30 miles of Brighton & Hove. Please enquire for more details

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