Author: The Auction Collective
Published: 17 Oct 2022
North Coast Asylum (NCA), based on the North Coast of Cornwall, was born from an artist-photographer duo and a desire for an artistic sanctuary aimed at promoting contemporary artists and photographers.
With over a decades worth of experience working in the art world at Christie's Auction house, NCA was established as an approachable platform for young artists and buyers to connect.
Ahead of their fundraising auction for Parkinsons UK we caught up with the founders Jo Painter and Ben Wigglesworth to hear more about their artist-led gallery.
How would you describe NCA in one sentence?
We are a contemporary art gallery that has a deep passion for exhibiting the most compelling and brightest artists in a space that does their work justice.
What inspired you to create the gallery?
Jo has a deep understanding of the art market both through her career at Christies (our link with TAC founder Tom) but also through her experiences as an artist herself. We were so excited to create a unique worthy space outside of London to showcase the artists we love and help them grow.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
Renovations of our physical space. It’s a wonderful grade 2 listed old gothic church hall just a stones through from the ocean. The space has very high ceilings and is filled with natural light. Natural light and high ceilings were a must! After an extensive renovations program we finally opened the space after 3 years of hard work.
What continually motivates and influences you?
The gallery was established with two core principles in mind which continues to influence the decisions we make. Firstly is the space in which we show art. We always were more set on finding an iconic space that would do the artwork and the artists we represent justice rather than being on a main London street. The second, is to always provide the lion's share of any sale back to our artists. Nothing gives us more joy that watching those we represent grow and have success.
Who are your top artists of today?
Outside of our stable of artists we are forever in love with the works of Liorah Tchiprout & Antonia Showering. Two incredibly exciting artists, capturing emotion and the figure so very brilliantly. We are lucky enough to be able to have a work by Liorah in our house and it is spellbinding.
What are your top picks from the upcoming auction?
Every single artist has been so generous with their contributions and which sees all the reserves being set very low. We’re genuinely in love with every single piece and would take them all for our personal collection if we could!
The Gift (Lot 16) by Caroline Robinson is a simply stunning work that Caroline has be working on for over 2 years. Caroline’s pieces are finished with varnish to replicate a link to her love for renaissance classical painting. As a result the way that the light plays with this piece can give it a very different energy depending on the time of day.
In addition lots 3 & 4 by Michael McGregor. We’re so lucky to have Michael take part in this auction and these hotel paper drawings allow us insight into the fleeting moments of delight that he sees and experiences in his everyday life.
Finally lot 25 by Laxmi Hussain titled ‘Heart To Heart’. A 40 x 60 inch deep edge canvas that is powerful & strong yet evokes intense feelings of tenderness.
What is next for the gallery and how can our readers follow what you are up to?
Next we have a wonderful group show featuring Martha Holmes, David Hardy & Olive Guest. We’re so excited to be launching this new collection of works from three of our favourite artists. The show opens on the 4th November. For the pre-sale catalogue click here.
The best way to follow us and gain early access to all our shows is to subscribe to our newsletter here.
We also look to share more imagery of works and behind the scenes elements of gallery life on Instagram here.
Jo and Ben, thank you so much for all your time and this wonderful insight. This has been an absolute delight.
NCA for Parkinson’s UK, auction ends 20 October 2022 at 9:00 PM. View all the artwork here.