What really happens behind the scenes at an artist event: Emma-Leone Palmer

This February, figurative artist Emma-Leone Palmer took over our St Christopher's Place gallery in London for the launch of her stunning new ÉKSTASIS collection. Watch our video below for an exclusive peek at our state-of-the-art space and the beautiful figurative works. We also joined our team behind the scenes to bring you the lowdown on what really happens before and during an artist event.  

Aria

Emma-Leone Palmer

Glissando

Emma-Leone Palmer

A Cappella

Emma-Leone Palmer

Overture

Emma-Leone Palmer

Aria

Emma-Leone Palmer

Arpeggio

Emma-Leone Palmer

Curating the collection

In preparation for the ÉKSTASIS exhibition, our creative team carefully coordinated a display that enabled visitors to interact with the artworks. This included a variety of original paintings, specially-selected lighting, and signage that people could read to find out more. Helen Chitham, brand manager at Castle Fine Art HQ, explains: “Ahead of an exhibition, we visit the gallery to devise a plan. Each of the artworks is curated to reflect the feeling of the collection and the aesthetic of the gallery space. For Emma, it was important to choose works that mirrored the uplifting feel of her collection, which is a celebration of being in the moment. We wanted visitors to connect with the pieces as soon as they walked through the doors.”

Keeping it under wraps

With such amazing artworks in the gallery, it can be hard to keep new releases to ourselves. “It’s a little bit cloak-and-dagger," says Harriet Harvey, an art consultant at our St Christopher's Place gallery, which is just off Oxford Street in central London. "We like to keep things under wraps so our collectors can enjoy the exclusivity of new artworks, but we also can’t resist showing them to the clients we know will love them. That’s why it’s worth subscribing to emails or keeping in touch with an art consultant; you’ll always be the first to know what’s coming up!” 

Beth Evans (HQ), Pete Gilby (area manager)  Glissando , £8,950  Also  Canon

Once the collection has been carefully curated, the fun can start! Our team excitedly unwraps the artworks before hanging them on the gallery walls. 

Unveiling the art

Before an event, the artworks are transported from Castle Fine Art HQ to the gallery, where our team eagerly awaits their arrival. “It’s amazing seeing the art for the first time," says Harriet. "We describe it as ‘Christmas come early’ in the gallery! Each piece is so much more incredible in person, and the more you look at it, the more details you notice, including textures and colour. There’s always so much hype surrounding a collection like this, which makes it even more exciting. It’s one of the best parts of the job.”

It's time to hang 

Once the artworks are delivered, it's time for our team to roll up their sleeves and display them on the gallery walls. Harriet says: “Hanging the artworks is chaos, but so much fun. We unwrap everything and set it out before deciding where it will look best. Much of the design – such as the paintings selected for our window display – has already been planned, but there is also an element of trial and error: we have to consider the lighting and how to display the artworks without it looking cramped or leaving too much white space.”

The hard work isn't over yet! Our team has to apply the collection vinyls to the windows before they can sit down and relax in our state-of-the-art space. 

The expert verdict

When all of the art has been hung, our team can finally stand back and enjoy the view. “Emma’s work is so stunning," says Harriet. "She is incredibly talented; even looking at it objectively, the collection is breathtaking. There is such movement, yet a softness to it; it feels so lyrical and fluid. It’s both energetic and elegant – I liken it to contemporary dance. Plus the impressive size of some of the pieces really gives it extra power and a wow-factor. I honestly don’t know how you can’t be blown away by it. For me, she’s one of the best artists we have.”

Exciting events 

The buzz surrounding an event adds to the excitement of a launch, and we were thrilled to be able to invite collectors back into our galleries. The exhibition was a huge hit with our visitors, including the TV presenter Ben Shephard! Harriet says: "The feedback was fantastic. We heard lots of words like ‘striking’, ‘beautiful’, ‘powerful’ and ‘different’ – it’s all been really positive. Everyone is welcome to attend our exhibitions, and we’re always on hand to grab you a prosecco, tea or coffee from our bespoke bar! We also offer private appointments, if you’d be more comfortable speaking to an art consultant one-on-one.” 

Enjoy our virtual tour of the ÉKSTASIS exhibition, which took over our St Christopher's Place gallery in February 2022. 

Meeting the artist

Alongside the exhibition, Emma appeared at two intimate VIP events. Abby Marchington, creative project manager at Castle Fine Art HQ, says: “The VIP evenings were really well-attended. Everyone loved the new style and vibrancy of the work, and there was so much positive energy. The lights and ambience also added to the vibe; people had the chance to connect with each other and the artworks.

“Emma’s collection has also inspired us to look at the way we run events for our collectors. The energetic, immersive feeling of the collection lent itself to the interactive style of the exhibition – which is something we have also explored for artists like Richard Hambleton. We’ve really been moved to think outside the box and I'm looking forward to more events with our artists soon."  

Harriet adds: “It’s always amazing to meet the artists and learn more about their techniques and the meanings behind the work. A lot of the time it actually enhances your appreciation of the art: I think it’s important to know who you’re buying, as well as what you’re buying.”

The artist's take

Emma told us: "What an event! The energy in the room was almost palpable. There is nothing more invigorating to an artist than seeing the glint and excitement in someone’s eyes when they discover a piece of art that understands them. ÉKSTASIS as an exhibition may be dispersing, but the colour and vibrancy will continue...we have just begun."

Here are just a few of the photographs from our VIP evenings. Subscribe to our emails for invites to free events in your area. 

"Emma is incredibly talented. The collection is breathtaking; it feels so lyrical and fluid. I honestly don't know how you can't be blown away by it."

Harriet Harvey

Art consultant at Castle Fine Art, St Christopher's Place

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