When did you open your gallery?
I have had Melanie Roger Gallery since 2010. We turned ten last year but it was in the middle of the first Covid lockdown and seemed strangely inappropriate to be celebrating. We will do a twenty year party instead!
Share a favourite memory of working with an artist?
I think it’s every time I walk into an artist’s studio and see a new body of work unfolding. This can be a really nerve racking experience for the artist – as is having an exhibition. It’s putting yourself on the line and letting yourself be vulnerable. That can be scary. It’s a real privilage to be part of the journey.
Identify a common misconception about collecting, and help us set the record straight?
The most common misconception is that you have to be wealthy to collect art. Many people start with small works by emerging artists. Or limited edition works. A lot of people pay works off and most galleries are really open to discussing options that work for collectors. Just ask! The other misconception is the gallerists are all arrogant and that you need to know a lot about art to visit or collect. You don’t. Just start. Visit. Look. Most of us love talking with visitors.
What was the last work of art you bought?
Two small works by Puse Urale from Moana Fresh. She is an 82 year old Samoan artist and I think her work is great! I have had them framed and have just hung them over lockdown along with a lot of other work as we only recently moved house.
What should change?
I’d like to see more collectors understanding the difference between primary and secondary market and making the choice to support artists and the galleries that support them. I say this particularly in regard to recent art where often works are going for crazy prices in the auction houses. Similar work is often at the galleries – with more of a selection to choose from, better pricing and – by choosing to buy these works – directly supporting the artist to make work.
What should stay the same?
Making art. Viewing art. Showing art. Discussing art.
Why collect? What is art for?
Living with art is a joy. Art is a creative conversation between the artist and the viewer.
Share a recipe / secret from your lockdown kitchen?
Taste, taste, taste… I have a huge collection of amazing cookbooks, which I look at and NEVER USE. We are a vegan bubble with mostly wholefoods, so our pantry is pandemic prepared at all times. I also managed to plant out some lettuces, spinach and herbs so hopefully they will keep us going if this lasts a long time. I am not sure that I have one recipe to share as I tend to make it up as I go along. I enjoy cooking and actually quite like the challenge of working out what to make with what we have each day and to avoid the supermarkets as much as possible.