What kind of a year has 2012 been for you?
It’s been a challenging year of change, growth and development. We relocated our gallery to London from Liverpool, opening in Covent Garden in June 2012 with a show by Mel Brimfield. It got a four star review in Time Out and also a great review in Art Review and unanimous good feedback, which was a great welcome for us to the city.
What has changed for the better and what, if anything, has changed for the worse?
It’s great that we get a wider audience for the artists’ work now and it’s great to have so many peers, meet so many more artists and get to see so much more work. Rent and rates are definitely the worst thing about being in central London!
What do you wish hadn’t happened this year?
My outgoings quadrupling!
What do wish had happened this year, but didn’t?
My income quadrupling!
What would you characterise as your major achievement this year and why?
Relocating the gallery and still delivering five exhibitions, getting great press and feedback for them, maintaining great contacts and networks in the North (my first sales in London were to North West collectors), maintaining a positive, optimistic outlook despite the recession (!) and supporting our artists to further develop their work to be the best it can be. Most of our artists had shows in institutions this year and got new commissions, residencies and shows for next year too. Bedwyr Williams representing Wales at the Venice Biennale next year is great for him and us, Mel Brimfield’s work commissioned for the Government Art Collection (which tours) is a major new work and development for her practice, and taking on a new artist (Hannah Knox) is a great way to end the year.
Is there anything you’d like to have done but haven’t?
We would like to have been able to do more fairs in 2012, but due to relocating it simply wasn’t possible.
What would make 2013 a better year than 2012?
More sales, more fairs, more international opportunities for the gallery and our artists.
Matthew Houlding: The Oceanic, opens at Ceri Hand Gallery on 11 January 2013 and runs until 9 February. Ceri Hand Gallery, 71 Monmouth Street, Covent Garden, London, www.cerihand.co.uk