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Own Art News

Art Pistol

9 August 2013

Eleanor Carlingford, 'The Invisible People Are Their Own Images In The Water', Oil on Canvas.
Eleanor Carlingford, 'The Invisible People Are Their Own Images In The Water', Oil on Canvas. - Courtesy of the artist and Art Pistol.

Art Pistol is a little different to most galleries. They've been living online for the past 2+ years while holding pop up exhibitions in new locations.

They go looking for UK based artists to exhibit and receive submissions of interest all the time, so their collection of several hundred budding and recognised artists is always growing and evolving, making it quite an exciting place to look for art.

The gallery have recently joined the scheme, so this month we asked Director, Ali Smith, to tell us more about how the gallery works. There's a great offer to take advantage of at the end of the interview too!

Tell us a little bit about yourself...

I set up Art Pistol over 2 years ago now based on an idea dating back to my art school days, many years ago. Let’s be honest, I’ve not exactly recreated the wheel, but I like to think that I’ve built a pretty cool wheel. Moving an art gallery solely onto an online platform is an interesting and entertaining challenge, especially with the little ones in tow.

Do you think that attitudes in relation to buying original works of art online are changing?

Yes, definitely. We’re seeing lots of first time buyers spending more and existing customers are much more comfortable buying from new artists. I think it’s based on a trust established through previous purchases and the overall quality of work on show instils confidence, combined with the general shift towards all things online. It’s also an opportunity to view artists’ work you might not otherwise see, so increasing choice is a big factor too. And worst case, you can simply return the work.

You say you like to take the space on 'holiday' every so often! Tell us more about that...

Since we exist online it’s really important for us to get out and run our pop up shows 3-4 times throughout the year. It’s a break from the norm and always a very exciting time, so sort of like a holiday... It lets us meet our artists and buyers in person. It also helps us to build trust and ease any anxieties around buying online without seeing the art in person. We always want to get more exposure for our artists and taking their work offline and into real spaces is a great way to do that.

What is the most interesting space you've curated a pop-up show in?

They’ve all got their own quirks. We’ve been in empty shops, offices, hotels, car showrooms and at a whisky festival, which got quite spirited as the day unravelled… but I think the most interesting space is always the next one. New artists, new locations and new visitors see to that.

We’re actually holding a show for Creative Scotland this month, which is our first in Edinburgh. We’ve got 6 very cool artists and photographers on show from the 6th - 31st August at Creative Scotland, Waverley Gate, 2-4 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EG. If you’re in town for the Fringe or Festival or just in town then check it out.


To celebrate joining the scheme, Art Pistol are offering readers of the Own Art newsletter 10% off all their art. Just sign-up to Art Pistol and the offer is yours to use before 30th September. It’s their first ever offer and exclusive to Own Art, enjoy! Get 10% off now


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