Earlier this autumn, I was lucky enough to cross paths with the wonderfully talented Claudia Kennaugh. Claudia runs her business, Art & People, from a shared creative studio just down the road from me in Bristol, and we instantly clicked.
Art & People is an art advisory, offering accessible sourcing, curating, framing and picture hanging designed to make your space sing with art that resonates. Whether you are setting out to find your very first work of art or seeking advice on how to hang your existing collection, Art & People can make it happen.
Taking the intimidation and indecision out of the art buying process, Claudia is passionate about making it an easy and enjoyable experience. Her personal approach and eclectic, ever-growing community of artists and dealers allow her to offer tailor-made recommendations.
"It's not what you know about art but how it makes you feel that matters”, explains Claudia. “This is your space and I want it to come alive with art that inspires, engages and reflects your spirit."
As fellow small, creative business owners with a passion for interiors, vintage and salvaging, Claudia and I share a desire to bring exceptional design to the many. We believe that art should be accessible, and we’re determined to debunk the myth that it’s only for those with wads of cash to spare.
I absolutely love the idea behind Art & People – so much so that once we move house next year, I will be hiring Claudia to help me source and hang art in our new home. I also hope to be able to bring Claudia’s services to my interior design clients, so watch this space!
It was a treat to catch up with Claudia to talk about her journey in art consultancy, her inspirations and her aspirations for the future of her business. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did.
How did you get into art consultancy?
My parents are both art dealers so I was practically raised in a gallery. It’s definitely in the blood! Mum and I worked together at the gallery for years and I kept getting asked to come to people’s homes to suggest artworks. I love the more personal, one-to-one relationship so that’s what really inspired me to become an advisor.
What do you hope to achieve through Art & People?
To make the world of art more fun and accessible. That goes for collectors looking for art they love and artists keen to find their audience. I like to be a bridge as opposed to the gatekeeper.
Could you explain how the process works?
I find art to suit the person, not just their space. So, number one is to understand what a collector likes – and dislikes! I start with an online questionnaire and then follow up with a home visit. We take a look at any existing art – I love working with what people already have – and then explore their taste further in a visual consultation. From here, I dive into my community of artists and choose artworks I think they will love.
Who's your favourite artist and why?
Picasso. The drawing and energy in his work is sublime.
Can you give us an example of a client you've assisted this year?
One of my favourite experiences this year was finding a dear friend her very first work of art. It was so cool to see her confidence grow as we got closer to the chosen one. Then seeing her face light up when I brought it over to her house for the first time – very special.
What's the wildest request you've had?
To re-hang a lifetime collection of over 100 paintings! I loved this project. It was so exciting to see the flow and feel of the house shift as the artwork moved. The collectors said it was like falling in love with the art all over again. Give it a go!
Last but certainly not least, what are your future plans for Art & People?
I tend to go on instinct and let things evolve naturally. That said, I do have a wider vision to bring in more curators and coaches so that the community can continue to grow, and help more people find their way with art.