Whitewall galleries are a chain that is Britain’s leading high street galleries featuring many contemporary artworks featuring a portfolio of fine artists. Owned by Helen Swaby Whitewall galleries has won an award for best customer service and nominated for best relator in 2016, the gallery itself is more of a shop to display artworks. The Whitewall Galleries website offers home and virtual appointments and talks with a Fine Art consultant allowing their customers to pick the right artwork for their homes. Although the gallery is small it showed a range of different styles that had an aura of sophistication that mirrored the elitist side of the art world.
Inside the gallery there were lots of different pieces on sale by a number of different smaller artists that ranged from paintings, photography and sculpture. The artwork was displayed against a white wall and beside the artwork would have the name of the piece, the artists name and the price of the piece. Seeing the price next to the artwork felt very strange as this is something I had never seen before. It almost stopped me from connecting with the artwork because I felt it hard to feel the artists emotion behind the piece as it felt more commercialized.
The CEO Helen Swaby owns over 50 galleries including two other galleries alongside Whitewall Galleries. Originally Swaby knew nothing about art and was simply shopping for artwork for her own cottage. I found it very interesting that Swaby struggled against elitism as I found the atmosphere within the gallery highly pretentious.
“I went to a gallery in London but found it pretentious and elitist,”Helen Swaby
In comparison to other galleries I had been to I struggled to connect to any pieces within Whitewall Galleries and I prefer galleries that are not focused on selling artwork like The Tate.