Making Art Affordable - one million pieces of art for sale £1 each
PUBLISHED: 10:47 19 April 2011 | UPDATED: 19:13 20 February 2013
Meet the artists Louise and Peter Gale who are selling one million pieces of art for a recession-busting £1 each...
Making Art Affordable
Meet the artists Louise and Peter Gale who are selling one million pieces of art for a recession-busting 1 each.
In an era dominated by the recession, cutbacks and job losses, Redruth-based artists Louise and Peter Gale wanted to create something just a little bit different. Motivated by the nations new, more frugal attitude to spending, and wanting to separate themselves from the idea that art can sometimes be viewed as elitist, Louise and Peter have set about making one million pieces of individually crafted, handmade artworks, which they decided to sell for just 1 each.
The decision to sell for such a small sum of money was an easy one for the couple. We looked at the original art displayed in galleries, and realised that it all had a fairly large price tag, explains Peter. To create a larger painting takes more time and effort and therefore costs more, so we thought why not produce several smaller paintings and sell them at a price that everyone can afford? So, rather than your one piece of art costing 1 million, you can have one million pieces of art costing just a pound each. It seemed like such a novel idea, and one that really reflected peoples attitudes right now, so we went with it.
Peter and Louise hand-craft each piece of art they produce, using a combination of painting and lino-printing. First the background is painted onto the card and then a design is hand-carved out of the lino. The lino cut-out is then used to stamp each piece, before they are signed by the artists themselves. No two of our pieces are the same, explains Louise, and each is hand-signed, with the name of the design and the issue number written at the bottom. For such a small sum of money you get something thats unique to you not a mass-produced product. Thats so rare nowadays, but we like to think weve made it a luxury that everyone can enjoy.
Personally I think they make great presents. For me its not about how much you spend on someone, but the thought and effort that goes into choosing it. Giving someone their own little piece of art is, in my mind, a wonderful gift.
The whole process is carried out and dispatched from the couples kitchen in Redruth. Part of the joy of what we do is that its all very domestic, explains Peter. We end up with prints drying on the line outside, on the radiator, or all over the settee. They literally cover every flat surface available, and the whole place just becomes a mass of colour.
If we had a more professional set-up we wouldnt be able to do this for the same price, so its important for us to keep costs down. And I think theres something really nice about making them in our kitchen. Its so personal, and such a far cry from the mass-produced prints. It adds a lovely kind of value to our work, Peter enthuses.
The couple are already on the way to reaching their eventual target of selling one million pieces of art. Several people have already bought some art through our online shop, said Louise. We tend to find that people initially order one piece, just to see if they like it, but most people come back and buy more to group on a wall or give away to friends. What people dont get from the pictures on the website is the richness and texture of our work. You just cant see that in a scanned image unfortunately, so I think some people arent 100% sure what theyre getting. Thats why its such a compliment when people come back and buy from us again and again, it shows that they obviously werent disappointed. In the end, what matters is that someone gets enjoyment from what you produce, she adds.
The nicest thing about what we do is that for 50 worth of sales we could have 50 pieces of our art hanging in 50 different homes with over 50 people enjoying them, adds Peter. Its a really satisfying thought.
The couple will be selling their 1 art throughout 2011. I dont know what well do once we reach our target, laughs Louise. Well have to think of something completely different. But that feels like a long way off. For the moment were just focusing on selling our little pieces of art for 1 who knows, eventually we might be millionaires!