Christina Jansen
Christina Jansen, the managing director at The Scottish Gallery.

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1 How were you introduced to art?

Through objects, which have really taught me a history of the world. I love discovering the social history of an object and all its human connections. For me there is no difference between an object or a picture. I try to keep the definitions fluid as I like to blend different mediums and periods.

2 One great discovery you have made?

A 1978 self-portrait of William Johnstone (1897-1981), a fascinating, enigmatic artist. I was putting an exhibition together and wanted to bring new information about the artist to light. A dealer I knew had been looking for it for 30 years to no avail, but I came across it quite by accident online.


The 1978 self-portrait of William Johnstone.

At first it seemed too good to be true, but it turned out to be a genuine find: a late, elusive, mostly blue self-portrait with an echo of his beloved Border Hills, from a documented series of five. It was eventually acquired by The Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation.

3 What is exciting about the art market this year?

It is going to be challenging with Brexit really biting the UK market, but I think this year is really about setting aside despondency and getting on with making the market exciting. Artists’ works are always exciting and can be pure escapism, so we go on.

4 What is the best exhibition you have visited recently?

Christian Dior at the V&A. It was like stepping into a daydream. I was utterly mesmerised.

5 One object you couldn’t do without?

A patinated bronze box by a Japanese contemporary artist called Koji Hatakeyama. It has a gold interior which lights up the person who lifts open the lid. It may be small, but it has huge presence.

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