September 2, 2021
15 Minutes with Birdie on
Oliver Hilton & Sonia Barton
Q Tell us a bit about the artist collective
BF We have a very carefully chosen set of artists that make up our collective. The idea with our art is that it sits in total harmony with our homeware collection to give the most authentic feel possible to our photoshoots and Norfolk showroom.
Q Oliver is fairly new to your collective, what drew you to his work?
BF Oliver has the most beautiful Instagram! His profile displays his work so well and in a very clean, crisp way. As soon as I saw his soft colours and gently abstracted landscapes I knew that they would be a great fit. The combination of pastel tones and the simplicity of the compositions also filled a gap in the type of work we had in the collection at the time.
Q Favourite painting by Oliver?
BF Such a difficult choice! We’ve just hung Quiet Walk II in the showroom and it is lovely.
Q Sonia has been one of your artists for a while, what originally drew you to her work?
BF We were thrilled to be able to work with Sonia as we had admired her work for a long time. She has such a unique style and her final pieces are so calm and restful. The naive compositions and flattened perspectives give the work a joyful feel and they are easy to hang almost anywhere.
Q Favourite painting by Sonia?
Another tough question! Cornish Clay caught my eye as soon as it came in - the colours are perfect for summer.
BF Absolutely - there is definitely a commonality between their work yet their styles are more than distinct enough to allow the paintings to hold their own. Several of the works share very similar colour palettes which would make them easy to group together.
Q Do you have any insider tips for hanging paintings in an existing scheme?
BF In this instance you’ll probably have a gap to fill which means being very careful about what’s already hanging in the space. Try and take a view on the room as a whole in order to determine the colour palette and the scale of work that might fit in the space. It’s really important to think about framing too - putting something into a room with a bright white frame when everything else is in gilt frames might not be the best plan!
Q And what about buying for a completely blank space?
BF This is both easier and more difficult at the same time! Sometimes when I’m working on an interior design projects we’ll base a scheme around a client’s painting or a small collection of works. This can be a great way to start as you get a head start on the colour palette and the ‘feel’ of the space.
If customers can get to our Norfolk showroom we always recommend bringing swatches along to view our collection to give a better idea of how everything might sit together.
Q Lastly, what would be your number one tip for someone starting their art collection from scratch?
Find something you love and feel completely drawn to. Art can be incredibly powerful and a painting you adore should bring you joy every time you walk past it. Once you’ve found your first piece you’ll find it much easier to find more things you like! Some people say that you shouldn’t set a budget for art but I’m not sure that that kind of reckless abandon is always advisable…