Sunday, April 14, 2019

Commission an artist: 'Home is where the Art Is' (Episodes 1-5)

If you're interested in the artwork produced by artists pitching for a commission in the BBC's new afternoon show "Home Is Where the Art Is" you can find out below:
  • What their names are 
  • Links to their website and social media
  • Who they are and what they do
  • How to contact them
Patricia Lee (right) with the work commissioned by her client (left)
I wrote about the BBC's new show in Home Is Where the Art Is - needs a makeover! in which I highlighted some concerns. One of these was the absence of any name credit in text in the programme

For all those saying that the names are said in the programme so why do they need the credits?

Well a number of reasons:
  • to respect the work of professionals - just as the credits at the end of the programme respect the work of the people behind the scenes who make the programme
  • two of the three are unpaid - and providing a named credit is fair exchange for the many hours given for free to make content for the BBC. Otherwise it's the equivalent of working for free for the exposure - but without the exposure in terms of a name to enable people to find you!
  • the names might be said - but nobody spells them out. In the first week there are THREE artists where I had to keep replaying the segment to listen to the names again and again - and even then finally identified them using information from elsewhere in the programme (eg "Gallery Windermere paintings cattle" got one of them).
  • the BBC is hypocritical and ignores its own rules when it suits it - such as making sure it gets great guests on the Graham Norton show - because they are only there to promote their latest whatever - and always do!
I feel a letter to the Radio Times coming on.... ;)

PS I feel like making a plea for rather less chainsaw wood sculpting!

Commission an Artist 

Links to websites and key social media are provided.
  • If the website has a commissions page this is included. 
  • contact links are embedded in the name
It's really interesting to see the different way people approach providing information about commissions - and which are obviously more experienced at working to commission.

I'm going to be updating this listing each Sunday with all the artists from the episodes in the previous week.


Episode 1: 

Location: Burnley, Lancashire
Commission: a gift his wife - reflecting their love for their cottage and its social history
Budget: £200
Media: none specified
Media represented: Ceramics; wood sculpture, painting in mixed media
Outcome: bought the ceramic jug with flowers produced by Sally Toms

The Artists in Episode 1 were:
Even the artist who didn't get picked for the commission has had a good time

Episode 2

Location: Northamptonshire
Commission: to celebrate family life in a new house
Budget: up to £1,000
Media: none specified
Media represented: bronze/brass sculpture; illustration; abstract painting
Outcome: Bought both works produced by Theresa Wells and Roger Davies

The artists in Episode 2 are:
  • Theresa Wells (Winner) - a well established and multi award winning figurative sculptor in bronze and mixed media whose work is displayed in several galleries. She works on commission as well as producing pieces of her own choosing.
  • Roger Davies (Winner) - a painter/illustrator (and musician) based in Brighouse, Yorkshire who sells via a gallery
  • Swarez - a self-taught professional abstract artist based in Stroud in Gloucestershire with paintings sold to 42 countries. He hand delivers in the UK.
    • website
    • He has a section on his website in which he explains how commissions work
    • He demonstrated the size of the painting he could produce for the commission budget - and also indicated the size he thought would work better. (A strategy also used in Episode 5 - with a better result). Given the fact he has a VAT registered art business, I'm not surprised he wasn't prepared to budge on price.
    • Facebook
    • It's worth taking a look at the website for an artist who needs to register for VAT!

Episode 3

Location: Birmingham
Commission: To reflect a family bond after donating half of her liver to her mum
Budget: up to £1,000
Media: none specified
Media represented: painting on glass and metal,
Outcome: (see picture at the top) bought the glass art produced by Patricia Lee

Glass art - on commission - by Patricia Lee (see whole piece in top picture)

The artists in Episode 3 are:
I really enjoyed being involved in the programme. (and) I don’t feel ‘used’ by BBC. But I was really disappointed when I spotted that the artists weren’t credited.

Episode 4

Location: Lancashire
Commission: to celebrate the love of their dogs
Budget: up to £500
Media: none specified
Media represented: Textile art (in wool), animal painter, chainsaw wood sculptor
Outcome: purchased a textile artwork incorporating their dogs' hair

The artists in Episode 4 were all based in Cumbria.
  • Charlotte Ashley (Winner) - a textile artist and needle felter who works using the wool she grows, scours, cards, blends, spins and dyes on her own farm in the Edeny valley in Cumbria.
Blessed are the weird people, the poets and misfits, the artists & writers , the music makers, dreamers and outsiders for they force us to see the world differently.
  • Thuline de Cock - Belgian painter who married a Brit and now has a a Studio/Gallery/workshop space in Windermere. Has taught art since 1997.
  • Andy Levy - a chainsaw wood sculptor based in the Lake District
    • website: none that I could find
    • Facebook includes telephone number and business email address

Episode 5

Location: Morecambe Bay
Commission: to celebrate the character of her horse Dragon who has helped her owner through difficult times
Budget: up to £1,000 (eventually spent £2,500 to get a bigger sculpture)
Media: none specified
Media represented: steel sculptor; pet portraiture; chainsaw wood sculptor;
Outcome: budget increased and a bigger and better steel sculpture was bought (see below)

The winning commission - in steel - by Clare Bigger

The artists in Episode 5 are:
I was very impressed by Kate O-Brien who tackled the issue of Commission Fees head on with this image at the top of her Twitter Feed and Facebook Page