Having worked in different art galleries and auction houses, Georgia Spray founded Partnership Editions in 2016. Bored of the elitism of the art world she wanted to create an approachable platform for emerging artists and collectors, and the result is an online space offering a curated selection of interesting, affordable art. But more than that, Partnership Editions takes art beyond the traditional gallery setting; think supper clubs, pop-ups, talks and workshops. Here the art collector and Stoke Newington resident shares her Insider London:
What’s your neighbourhood like?
I live just by the Hackney Downs and I love that our neighbourhood is full of entrepreneurs and, especially full of artists and their studios. Many of the artists that I work with have studios near me which makes life much easier and increasingly I am finding that a I have quite a few Partnership Editions collectors in my area, which is always so rewarding as I can strike up a face to face relationship and feel as though we are part of a community.
How do you discover new artists to work with?
I find a lot of artists via Instagram, but also through degree shows at the leading art schools in London, through word of mouth from other artists and I’m now getting a lot of artist submissions. I want the focus of Partnership Editions to be on curation and quality rather than volume, so my aim is to keep adding more and more artists, however any artist that I work with I have to be totally personally invested in, and to love their work myself.
Fee Greening, Hand 3, £200 partnershipeditions.comhttp://www.partnershipeditions.com
Do you have a favourite painting?
I end up buying a painting by pretty much every artist that I work with so my house is a pretty much a Partnership Editions gallery! Outside of PE, I am very interested in Contemporary Art from Africa, an area that I specialised in before launching Partnership Editions (hence the fact that there are a few African artists on the site). I’m totally in love with the artists Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Lynette Yiadom Boakye.
Lady Skollie, Khoisan Kween Mother, £380, partnershipeditions.com
What’s your favourite London art gallery or exhibition space?
I love Victoria Miro Gallery on Wharf Road for its artists and as a space. I also really like what Roaming Projects are doing – I went to a really cool pop up exhibition a few months ago in an underground arch in Hackney of work by female ceramicists.
What tips do you have for building an art collection?
I think it’s really important to buy what you love, rather than buying to fit into an interiors scheme or particular format. The more daring you are, the more it pays off as you’ll find a way to make the picture hang in dialogue with other elements of your home and you won’t ever get bored of it. I think that collecting art by emerging artists is so exciting today because you can watch them grow and support their careers. With Instagram you can usually follow the artist you own a work by and go to their exhibitions and events – it means that owning their artwork becomes so much more than just something to hang on your wall.
Alexa Coe, Big Blue Nude (left), £600 partnershipeditions.com
What are you listening to at the moment?
I love podcasts and at the moment I’m loving In Good Company with Otegha Uwagba (founder of Women Who) on NTS radio. Otegha interviews female founders in the creative industries – being a sole founder, I find it immensely encouraging to hear that other people have faced similar challenges. I also love Saturday Review on BBC Radio 4 for an overview of a week in the arts, from books to film to theatre to exhibitions. I am also really obsessed with listening to my Discover Weekly on Spotify as it throws up so many good new artists that I would never have found myself.
Where are you going on summer holiday this year?
I can’t wait to go to Naples in July for a few days as they have a really exciting emerging art scene. I’m looking forward to checking out the Glenn Ligon show at Thomas Dane Gallery there and eating in some funny traditional trattorias. I’m also going to Sicily to an island called Salina (above) which is just dreamy – I’ll also stop by Palermo which is such a beautiful city, it feels like Cuba with its crumbling buildings but lively bar scenes in the squares at night. I have actually just launched a new series on Partnership Editions called “Dinner in Palermo” by Rose Electra Harris, we decided on the name together as we both love the city so much and feel that her use of colour and patterns reflect its vibrancy.
Rose Electra Harris, Dinner in Palermo II, £300 partnershipeditions.com
Which 3 things will you be packing in your suitcase?
I’m in a book club so I’ll be packing whichever book has been selected for the summer. I’ve been wanting to read Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi for ages too so I’ll probably bring that. I’ll always have my laptop even on holiday. I try and allocate time early in the morning to go through a few e-mails and still give myself time to switch off from business. I really want to start a sketchbook – working with artists has inspired me to try and make time to be a bit more creative myself (not that I would ever show anyone!)