October 2016

In the London art fair season, does 'affordable art' have to be a dirty word?

'Affordable art' has long had negative connotations in the art world, conjuring up visions of work that is formulaic, middlebrow and unambitious, typically inhabited by cutesy animals or ingeniously fashioned paper cutouts in bulky boxframes.

But does it have to be like that? We at CANAL don't think so. And to that end we're launching The Store, as part of our offer at the gallery, with every work on the Start Your Collection wall priced between £100 and £500.

A committed interest in art is a journey of education. Art galleries can and should move into the arena of 'affordable' art, thereby severing it from its irrelevant evil twin, that mediocre soup of amateurish over-production which serves no one!

Good art challenges, nourishes, and it needs a level of depth and complexity. Clearly, it's not the case that a high price tag guarantees quality. And not all good art has investment value. Rather, the thrill of the investment is in the artist, in the culture of supporting genuinely artistic activity, and in building a sense of intellectual and emotional identity in the collector.

CANAL's role as a gallery is to act as a seedbed for new artists, and to offer an introduction to these artists at an early (and affordable) stage in their careers.

We want to persuade new collectors to use our knowledge and track record. Yes, the vast supermarket fairs are a godsend for the time-poor novice art collector. But not all 'affordable' art is equal, and we can offer art that is simply better quality.

We also want to persuade the artists themselves to be proud to offer work that can be bought on an average salary, and to see that it's part of their role to take their audience on a journey towards higher quality art collecting, choosing work that is sophisticated and intriguing over work that is bland and obvious.

The Store launches as part of a redesign of the gallery by Narrate Studio, and reconfigures the gallery into three areas - a Main Gallery, a Project Space and the more informal Store, with affordable original works, limited edition prints, sculptures and applied arts.

Every Seat series | Andrew Cross | gicle print on matt ultra paper edition of 1 | 30 x 42cm | �500