Exciting times ahead for WING Art Gallery

Exciting times lie ahead for WING Gallery, Wadhurst as Dani Humberstone VP SWA joins the team from across the road at the ART SHOP. Dani will be painting in the gallery from the 2nd May, so why not pop in and see her and take a look at her latest work on the easel as it comes to life. The Gallery will also be open late night until 8pm on one Thursday every month; a perfect opportunity to meet friends and browse whilst sipping on a chilled glass of bubbly! See website for details and date announcements on facebook and twitter.

Dani has been chair of the annual September Art Exhibition since 2011 and owner of the ART SHOP for some 16 years. However, having recently taken up a council position and role of Vice President with the Society of Women Artist, based at the Mall Galleries in London, it is now time for her to make some changes and hand over the rains of these endeavours to new stewardship. Dani says of these changes “” I am really looking forward to being ‘Artist in residence’ at WING and bringing my experience of curating and managing exhibitions to the gallery – continuing to help WING remain a destination gallery for both makers and lovers of art”

The first feature exhibition of the 2017 season opened at WING on the 22nd April and runs until 13th May. Titled “The Sculpture Show”, it showcases the artwork of 10 talented sculptors including Peter Clarke, Jenna Gearing, Jonathan Hateley, Gavin Roweth, Genie Cutts, Camilla Le May, Mia Zervudachi, Ptolemy Elrington and Tom Nicholson Smith.

The gallery is available for private hire for events. They also host a range of workshops and classes throughout the year. If you are interested in hearing more or require further information, please email wingart_gallery@btconnect.com to join the mailing list or request a private hire events pack. You can also keep up to date with all gallery happenings on twitter, facebook and Instagram

The WING gallery team look forward to welcoming you to the gallery very soon.

WING GALLERY, High Street, Wadhurst TN5 6AA

Open Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm


Published in Aspect County Magazine May Edition

DAVID HOCKNEY – If you haven’t visited already, hurry!

The superb David Hockney Exhibition at Tate Britain closes on 29 May. Late night openings, until midnight, are happening on Friday 26, Saturday 27, and Sunday 28 May 2017 and on the final day, Monday 29 May 2017, the exhibition will be open until 9pm. Last ticket sales and entry to the exhibition will be one hour before the stated closing times.

As he approaches his 80th birthday, this exhibition, organised collaboratively by Tate Britain, the Centre Pompidou, Paris and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, gathers together an extensive selection of Hockney’s most famous works celebrating his achievements in painting, drawing, print, photography and video across six decades. Throughout his working lifetime, Hockney has continuously changed his style and ways of working, embracing new technologies such as the Brushes app on ipad, as he goes along. From his portraits and images of Los Angeles swimming pools, through to his drawings, photography, Yorkshire landscapes and most recent paintings – some of which have never been seen before in public – this exhibition shows how the roots of each new direction lay in the work that came before.

Born in July 1937 in Yorkshire, David Hockney, OM, CH, RA is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century. Educated at the Royal College of Art in London, alongside the likes of Peter Blake and Derek Boshier, he featured in the famous Young Contemporaries exhibition of 1961 that announced the arrival of British POP Art.

Hockney has lived much of his life away from the UK, mainly in California. In the 1990’s and early 2000’s however, he was a frequent return visitor to Bridlington and the West Riding’s, Yorkshire, visiting his now late mother and his friend Jonathan Silver. It was these visits that led to the monumental landscape works exhibited at the Royal Academy in 2012 as part of the David Hockney:A Bigger Picture exhibition. An exhibition that also included his first iPad drawings together with a series of films produced using 18 cameras, displayed on multiple screens to mesmerizing effect.

Following the landscape exhibition Hockney turned away from painting for a while and from his Yorkshire home, returning to Los Angeles. Slowly however he has begun returning to the quiet contemplation of portraiture, an initial collection of which were displayed at the Royal Academy in 2016 in an exhibition titled 82 portraits and 1 still-life. These works offer an intimate snapshot of the LA art world and the people who cross Hockney’s path. Each artwork is the same size, showing the sitter in the same chair, against the same vivid blue background and all painted in the same three-day time frame.

If you can’t make it to Tate Britain before 29 May don’t panic! Works by Hockney also feature in the Queer British Art 1861–1967 exhibition, which is open until 1 October 2017, also at Tate Britain. Featuring works from 1861–1967 relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) identities, the show marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England. Queer Bitish Art explores how artists expressed themselves in a time when established assumptions about gender and sexuality were being questioned and transformed.

Deeply personal and intimate works are presented alongside pieces aimed at a wider public, which helped to forge a sense of community when modern terminology of ‘lesbian’, ‘gay’, ‘bisexual’ and ‘trans’ were unrecognised. Together, they reveal a remarkable range of identities and stories, from the playful to the political and from the erotic to the domestic.

With paintings, drawings, personal photographs and film from artists such as John Singer Sargent, Dora Carrington, Duncan Grant and David Hockney, the diversity of queer British art is celebrated as never before.

Go to www.pureartsgroup.co.uk to download the full PURE Artists Directory

Published in Aspect County Magazine May Edition

Alternative Investments – Cautionary Tales and Tips

With Interest rates at record lows, many are now seeking to secure their financial future and pension fund by investing in alternative commodities such as wine, precious metals, gem stones and classic cars. Bearing in mind all investments can go down as well as up, we take a look at what is currently on trend with London investors, together with top tips for new investors and a few cautionary tales of past booms and their inevitable busts!


Fine Wine is a relative new comer to the mainstream investment offering, however, it has reputedly been one of the highest performing asset classes of the past 20 years. According to the FT, this trend began in the mid-1980s, when prices for fine wine began to rise in earnest. One factor behind this was the success of wine critics such as Robert Parker at predicting which of the top châteaux in Bordeaux would produce the best wine in a vintage. More collectors sought out the limited number of wines most highly regarded by these critics, boosting their value. A bull market in stocks and bonds in the decade or so that followed also helped spur interest in alternative assets.

If you have a taste for investing in wine, you must first understand how France’s premium wine market operates. The annual highlight of the wine merchant’s calendar is the en primeur market in Bordeaux, the closest thing the wine world has to a futures market. Every spring, the best of the region’s winemakers provide merchants with a chance to acquire their product early, before it even enters the bottle. The châteaux offer limited en primeur allocations to the market only through authorised French distributors known as négociants, who in turn offer the wine to other merchants around the world. Usually after about two years the wine is delivered.

A cautionary tale: 2011

Bordeaux en primeur had proved itself a reliable way to invest in wine until 2011, when demand fell away sharply at the front end of several average vintages. The Brexit vote of 2015 further compounded the problem, with a weak sterling making wine more expensive for UK buyers. On a positive note however, Bordeaux 2016 en primeur tastings have seen record attendance, with some producers saying it is the best vintage of their career…. Only time will tell if the markets agree and respond accordingly.



Cautionary tips for those considering buying wine for profit rather than pleasure.

Buyer Beware

  1. Ensure those you choose to invest through have specific criteria, against which wines are bought and sold and the associated costs are clear and transparent.
  1. Avoid unsolicited invitations to invest and make sure any company or individual you choose to invest through have a real office or place of business you can visit and independently verify.
  1. Make sure the wine you buy is held in a government-approved “bonded” warehouse and is fully insured against loss or damage.
  1. Always keep it real: it is riskier to invest in wines produced outside the top châteaux of Bordeaux, but of course these investments also offer the potential for high returns!

Bullion and Rare Diamonds

Buying bullion and rare diamonds for investment – what could possibly go wrong!

Bullion is gold bars, silver bars, and other bars or ingots of precious metal. The word bullion originates from the French Minister of Finance under Louis XIII, Claude de Bullion. The value of bullion is typically determined by the value of its precious metals content, which is defined by its purity and mass. You can buy gold bullion both as a physical asset from a dealer and via gold exchange-traded funds (ETF). Gold is considered a fairly safe investment, however, its trading value can be volatile. For example, in 2011 gold was trading at around $1,780 /oz., where as today it is nearer $1,250/oz.

The most important characteristics to consider when buying diamonds are the four C’s; cut, colour, clarity and carat. Diamond expert Antony Vanderpump gives his insight into the rare diamond market:

“A tin of beans and a penknife! That’s probably all you would wish for if you were washed up on a deserted island, but for those of us who live in the civilised world there are other priorities. In these days of low interest rates and zero returns, the smart money is looking at alternative investment opportunities. One opportunity stands head and shoulders above all the others, the rare diamond market. Sure, you need to have good advice and a trustworthy source, but the return on investment can be eye watering. Take for example the sale in 2015 of the worlds most expensive blue diamond. The now named “Blue moon of Josephine” is a whopping 12.03ct fancy vivid flawless diamond that achieved £33million when sold to a Hong Kong property magnet as a gift for his daughter!

Clearly, not everybody can run to this sort of cash, but knowledge of the diamond trade, which can be secretive at best, can offer amazing returns. There are a few (unregulated) diamond investment businesses that have sprung up recently, some of which have made the headlines for the wrong reasons. The main issue with investing in rare coloured diamonds is the “exit strategy”; you need to be totally confident that the stone you choose to sink you hard earned cash into is saleable and profitable. There is no crystal ball that we as diamond traders can consult, but years of watching trends has given us an insight into what is good and what is not. The first rule to procuring an investment stone is the certificate, and there is only one certificate the trade recommend, GIA (Gemmological Institute of America). All other certificates are second-class and, in most cases, no use when selling the diamond. The second rule is trust your diamond expert; he will be responsible for selling your stone and his knowledge will be based on this key issue. I would never recommend buying a diamond on the Internet, as diamonds must be visually inspected.

Coloured diamonds can start from just a few hundred pounds, but the biggest returns will always be on the larger more expensive stones. It is important to set a budget and ask your expert to find a stone within it. Rarity of colour (red, blue, green etc.) will affect the value of the stone, the secondary details of size and clarity will then adjust the price, but, always have in mind that if the stone is too obscure in shape and colour, you will limit the pool of customers when you come to sell your investment”.

Antony Vanderpump

E: antony@sterlingcreations.biz

Classic Cars






Many investment analysts are talking up the potential of classic cars currently. This market is primarily being driven (pardon the pun!) by our obsession with celebrity culture, so cars driven by our idols and heroes or featured in iconic movies are top of the investor wish list.

According to website thisisthemoney.co.uk, buying the best model you can find – even if you pay over the odds – is usually the best advice. But there are people who have bought with their heart, or even on a whim, who have made money.

There are lucky people who bought cars such as Dinos, built by Ferrari, for 40 or 50 grand and spent £100,000 having them brought up to top condition, and they are still sitting on a profit.

Like the Art market, the classic car market is often affected by appearance, image, scarcity, history and condition as much as the mechanical aspects of the car and sometimes whether it is any good to drive. Prices can go down, so the best advice is to buy a car you really want and regard any rise in value as a bonus. An added advantage of a car you will drive is that it will be exempt from capital gains tax, which currently only applies to vehicles deemed purchased solely for investment.

 A cautionary tale: the 1980’s boom 

The classic and exotic car market boomed famously in 1988, only to fall to Earth in the early 1990s with some prices collapsing by as much as 40 per cent. Cars like the Ferrari F40, which cost £193,000 new in 1988, saw their values reach nearly £1million – but 27 years later even the best are fetching only about £800,000. This time, so the theory goes, it is different. This time the price rises are not a bubble financed by borrowing because people are spending ‘real’ money; and with growing interest from emerging markets such as India there are potentially more buyers after the same number of cars…. As with the 2016 Bordeaux en primeur, only time will tell how accurate this speculation is.


Related Articles:

  • http://www.pureluxurylifestyle.co.uk/art/articulate-november-2016/
  • http://www.pureluxurylifestyle.co.uk/art/art-raises-a-lot-of-questions-thats-what-it-does/

Published in Aspect County Magazine May 2017