Hidden Door

The Edinburgh Art Festival does not bill itself as an art fair but it does create opportunities for collectors, particularly with new artists who have work on show alongside the big festival names.   More on that later but for now a couple of buyers’ tips in the Hidden Door auctions at Lyon and Turnbull tomorrow (Aug 4th).

[UPDATE: (06/08/15)  I understand the auction raised about £15,000 but I’m awaiting confirmation on figures; told this is nearly, but not quite, enough to pay off Hidden Door’s deficit from this summer’s festival.  UPDATE 15/09/15 Contributing artists were told that roughly £7-8000 was generated by the auction, against a deficit of about £20,000, no confirmation of these figures has been offered. ]

Works by the Romanian artist Oana Stanclu include artist’s proofs of a new edition of her stylish gravity-bending photographs.     Stanclu has been getting a lot of attention, I’m told, with a black-and-white look that is quite distinctive.

At the other end of the scale, the work of Jean B Martin RSW usually sells for several thousand pounds; so keep an canny eye, if interested,  on how bidding goes for her piece Waiting for the Ferry.   (In the online auction, the colours of her Church Interior look magnificent.)

Oana Sanchlu Hidden Door Festival

by Oana Stanclu

The works in the auction carry guide prices but the tundisclosed minimum reserve prices may be much lower: so there’s a good chance of picking off bargains.    The auction is intended to keep the Hidden Door afloat –  showing newer artists in abandoned or hidden places in Edinburgh – so it’s for a good cause.

There’s fun to be had casting a quick eye down the works.  From the website I personally singled out a variety of pieces like Velodrome by Alan Bond, Untitled by Rhona Taylor, or Untitled # 1 (Cube) by Charlotte Kiernan.

There are two Hidden Door auctions at Lyon and Turnbull on Broughton Place, as the link above makes clear:  an online auction, ending in a silent auction, and the live auction that follows.    Most artists have pieces in the online auction but the larger works are in the live event.

The sales aim to raise money to cover a shortfall from the last festival at the old street lighting depot on Kings Stables Road.

“Because it’s a fund-raising event we are keeping our reserve prices quite low, things will sell for quite a small amount in some cases,” said organiser, artist David Martin.

“We were entirely self-funded for that festival, we received no grants or funding for it, but we didn’t make quite enough money to cover all the production costs.  So we are raising money to tidy up the last of that, and move forward to start planning our event for next year with a clean slate.”

Martin has a piece of his own in the auction, To the Ends of the Earth.   “I’ve got a big paintng for someone who would like a big painting,” he said cheerfully.     “If it was in a gallery it would go for about £4,000 and will probably sell for a fraction of that. ”