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  • Writer's picturejulie leach

Gallery Representation - Brownsword Hepworth, London

The sun shone and the weather was mild so I threw open the windows and doors of my studio and welcomed Megan in. Megan Thompson-Green is the manager of the Brownsword Hepworth Gallery in London. It had been a long three hour drive but Megan’s energy was not in the slightest dimmed as she pored over the work on the walls, in my plan chest and portfolio. It was a first meeting but we had been in contact off and on for a year so had already built a rapport. It was lovely to finally get together and for me to see that Megan’s enthusiasm for my work was confirmed by first-hand viewing. We spent a long time talking. For me it was a wonderful affirmation to discuss my work with someone who has such astute art appreciation. Megan not only loved the aesthetic but was also keen to understand the physical rigours involved in its creation and the personal journey I had been on to arrive at my practice.

“I think your work is so interesting – I love the intricate complexities that you can see when you are ‘zoomed in’ and I also really love the elemental aspect of the techniques you use.”

It was equally fascinating for me to find out more about the gallery and how it operates. I soon discovered what a huge privilege it is to be represented by a London gallery that has such breadth and depth of art knowledge and experience. The gallery, which launched in 2017, is the coming together of two great forces of the art world. Andrew Brownsword is director of the Arts Foundation that bears his name, a registered charity which aims to buy works of art and lend them to mainly UK based museums. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2014 for services to the arts, heritage and health and has a gallery named after him at The Edge Arts Centre at Bath University. Anthony Hepworth is a long-established dealer opening his first gallery in 1989 and during the last thirty years has had premises in Bath, Somerset and Kensington, London. He is a specialist in the work of Modern British artists and has curated two major exhibitions for the Victoria Art Gallery, Bath as well as co-authoring an acclaimed book on artist Keith Vaughan. Megan Thompson-Green worked at Christie’s Auction House before coming to Brownsword Hepworth and her colleague at the gallery, Edward Christie, is currently doing a PhD focused on the relationship between the environment and art. They are an amazing team able to offer their clients an acute understanding of the art market, artists and their work.

The gallery is on Walton Street within central London’s Chelsea district, bordering Knightsbridge. The street is a hidden gem, known for its boutiques, restaurants, style and charisma. Spencer Thorpe describes it brilliantly in his Insider City Guide:

“Here, you can discover a side of Knightsbridge unencumbered with the rhetoric of tourism, on the contrary, it’s brimming with an authentically West London character, marked by the area’s flirtatiously bohemian and aristocratic pasts. The boutiques and galleries of Walton Street, whilst carrying this energy, are all undeniably unique. If you like your looks vintage and eclectic and your choice of interiors distinctive — then there’s some great finds to be had here.”

The gallery began at No. 15 but in 2018 it expanded to include No. 17, knocking through to create two interconnected spaces, enabling one part to focus on solo or joint shows whilst the other maintains group shows of gallery artists’ work. The gallery specialises in Modern British and Contemporary art and sculpture. Work by both well-known names and emerging gallery artists are always on display in changing exhibitions. I am somewhat incredulous to find my name listed alongside such renowned masters, past and present, as Antony Gormley, Vanessa Bell, Stewart Geddes and Peter Seal.

The gallery is always evolving and has recently expanded their selection of contemporary and living artists whilst keeping true to the gallery ‘style’ which is rooted in abstract and Modern British works. The first four works of mine that Megan took away with her at the end of her studio visit are now hung in the gallery’s Winter Show alongside those of other gallery artists and look beautiful in their setting. A visit to see the gallery is high on my agenda as soon as Covid regulations allow. I’m now busy sorting a group of small works for their Christmas ‘Cabinet of Curiosities Show’ whilst building towards a solo show in spring 2021.

I am immensely grateful to Megan and the whole Brownsword Hepworth team for this opportunity to show my work regularly in London and to be represented by such a high calibre gallery and team of art specialists. I look forward to our developing relationship.

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