Strategies and Advice for Curating

What is curation?

Laura Fishman_Spirit of London.diptych in Context
Laura Fishman, Spirit of London, 120 x 60cm

When it comes to art, it is not just the artist producing the work who needs to be creative. Choosing the right piece of work for the chosen space is tough and something that takes time and careful consideration. Whether you are choosing a piece of art for your independent café, office space or the empty wall in your bedroom, knowing how to curate the space is key.

To curate basically means to select, organise and ‘look after’ art and art objects to ensure they are presented and viewed in the best possible way. A successful act of curation will improve and flatter both the space the work is in and the work itself. For example, complementing the colors and textures within the space and turning your stark, empty office into a more dynamic and stimulating environment. Our collection of artists offers a range of work and styles, colours, concepts, shapes, sizes, textures and subjects – so finding the perfect piece (or collection of pieces) for your space should be super easy!

Strategies and Advice to consider when curating a space

The key to successful curation is to create a dialogue between the art and the space so they complement one another. There are always lots of elements to consider and colour is a good starting point regarding advice and strategies for curating a space.

Considering Colour: in the art and the space

Dark Sea
Sarah Needham, Dark Sea, 100 x 100cm
Light Enchantment
Brian Precious Decay, Light Enchantment, 80 x 120cm

First think about what colours are already in the space that you want to emphasise and that can be echoed in the work. If you have a dark blue carpet or several potted plants dotting about the room, search for a piece with similar colours to the carpet or plants, even if they are simply flecks within a painting. These similarities will help connect the work with the space. Here are some examples from the WNA artist database that incorporate elements of the painting into features within the room:

Another option is to find colours within both the space and the artwork that complement each other, rather than a precise match. This can also create a stimulating connection, linking art to surroundings. For example, a collage of beautiful warm oranges and yellows would create an engaging, vibrant contrast to cool blue walls and carpet. Again, here is an example where colours can complement each other:

Resistance
Sarah Needham, Resistance, 100 x 100cm

Another way of using colour is to inject it into an otherwise colourless space. A plain white office space would accommodate a simple, minimalist design but would also come alive with a bright, busy, colourful piece. Sometimes opposites attract and this can really work depending on how bold you want the work to be in the space. The beauty of WNA is that you can choose from the collection of work, test your curation skills and, if you feel it is not quite right, change it!

On the Road to Skye.
Raina Goran, On The Road to Skye, 84 x 84cm

It is amazing how a piece of work can alter the feel and mood of a space and good curation will make the addition of a piece of art really effective. Look out for future blog posts about other strategies and advice about to consider texture and size when curating a space!

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