1 How did you get your start?
I used to work at the General Trading Company where I worked as the wedding list lady and I did various secretarial jobs. Then I went off and did a history of art course with Robert Bevan.
As so many do, I started my art world journey in the salerooms. When I left, I had a time with Rupert Maas who inspired me and I thought, this is it for me. My focus now is on what I like and what I think is good. My background is in Victorian art but I don’t restrict myself.
2 What is one change you would like to see in the market?
I would like more collectors who know what they like, are knowledgeable and have the courage to buy what they like rather than just following trends or the labels. There is this blind obsession with Contemporary art, much of which is not very good, and this love of the hype around big prices. People come up to me and ask me what’s a good investment. That’s not what it’s about.
My clients are normally independent in the way they think, and they know what they’re doing, using their eyes and their knowledge.
3 Who do you admire in the trade?
Rupert Maas, who has been a mentor to me and given me huge encouragement. Also the late Rachel Moss, who started out dealing in Victorian pictures in Northumberland before coming down to London. I would help her out at various fairs. They both inspired me. But the trade is so wonderful. There are so many who will share their knowledge.
4 What’s one object you couldn’t do without?
My vegetable steamer. And a pot of Marmite.
5 Real ale or espresso martini?
I do love a real martini – take the espresso out – with a twist of lemon zest. Keep the bottle in the fridge. No ice.
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