My ART | Gallerist: Sarah Hopkinson

Gallerist: Sarah Hopkinson

Gallerist: Sarah Hopkinson

Tell us about Coastal Signs?

Coastal Signs is a new gallery in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.  The gallery opened in April 2021, in an old building on Anzac Ave, with a solo show by Ammon Ngakuru.

What is different about the Coastal Signs model?

The gallery is structured as an informal cooperative – so decisions about the programme and profits are shared by the contributing artists in any given year. It’s still taking shape and how that manifests to the public remains to be seen, but the focus is on exhibition making, and building a context for the artists and work I think is important.

If you could own any work of art, what would it be?

I don’t believe works like this should be privately owned, but if I am magical thinking: Artemesia Gentileschi’s Judith Beheading Holofernes

Identify a common misconception about collecting, and help us set the record straight?

I often hear people say ‘buy from the heart’, that it’s a matter of taste, or purely subjective. I find that misleading. Those things should and do play a part, but contemporary art is a serious profession and all artworks operate within active discursive fields and within multiple value systems. They are political objects, and should be treated as such.

What was the last work of art you bought?

A work by Rea Burton from her show called The Farm at Neo Gracie. It’s a painting of a goat being castrated, rear view. The hand holding the cutting tool is El Greco gothic, and the goat’s head is turned to meet the viewer gaze in pure confusion and terror. It reflected my mood at the time, and I still love it.

Why collect?

I like weird things, and I want artists to keep making them.

What is art for?

It helps me to think critically about the world.

What are you reading?

I just finished Insurrecto by Gina Apostol, and I’m about to start another Fitzcarraldo book; Minor Detail by Adania Shibli.

Sarah Hopkinson does a lot of different things in the expanded field of contemporary art. She works with artists to make exhibitions, writes, and publishes. She has been involved in several gallery projects in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, including Gambia Castle (2007-2010) and Hopkinson Cundy/Hopkinson Mossman (2010-2019).

June 2021

Image: Veronica Crockford-Pound and Joseph Griffen