BRITISH ART for all
“WHAT could be better than having a great painting in your sitting room?” enthuses Nick Fletcher. “You’re
constantly revisiting it and getting something from it every time you look at it.”
It was a desire to share this idea – that artists need an audience and people need art – that prompted former
teacher Nick to found Island Fine Arts back in 1997. It is a gallery which showcases the sort of British artists who
would otherwise could only be exhibited in the large cities: Ken Howard, RA, L.S. Lowry, RA, Christie Bird, Janet
Ledger, Susan Bower, John Lennon, Jo Bemis, George Devlin, RSW, RGI, FRSA, and Gordon Radford to name
a few. It is a gallery with a difference. Rather than merely showing the work of painters – as well as photographers
and sculptors – Nick actively works with the artist to helphone their work. “We listen to what our clients say – to
their likes and dislikes – and we pass this on to the artist.” From the client’s point of view Nick’s simple philosophy,
that everyone ought to own the painting they love, means the gallery goes out of its way to make that happen. “We
sell pictures starting at £250. If someone can’t afford an outright payment we let them spread it over a couple of
months,” he says, adding that they aren’t licensed credit brokers so they do not charge interest.
He is always looking for new and exciting ways to introduce works of art to the public, and three years ago
an exhibition by Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood was staged at the time of the Isle of Wight Pop Festival. Last year’s
festival was accompanied by an exhibition of works by John Lennon, with originals on loan from Yoko Ono’s
private collection. “People were coming in and singing Lennon’s songs as they went round,” recalls Nick. “It was
really special.” His pop exhibitions are just one way of breaking down
those old perceptions that art isn’t for all: watch out for news of Island Fine Art’s latest pop artist. The other way to
ensure art can be for all is the use of the stunning website.
“Clients might have a space to fill with not much idea, initially, of what they want. We take them through our
artists until they’ve formed an idea of what they like.” Conversely, some clients are big fans of certain artists
and use the website to watch developments. One of many success stories is that of artist Jo Bemis, whose stunning
seascapes have so caught the public’s imagination that, through working with the gallery, she has built up a strong
and loyal client base. “What is great is when a client says they’ve found the
perfect spot for a picture they’ve bought, and it seems to have grown roots into the wall. You know if it’s got roots,
they’ll never want to part with it. Job done.”
Island Fine Arts
53 High Street, Bembridge,
Isle of Wight PO35 5SE
Tel: 01983 875133 www.islandfinearts.com
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