Homes are where the art is
ARCHWAY’S Amy Dunnigan set up the Holloway Art Lending Library in October 2014 and has seen the initiative flourish.
Artists donate their pieces to the collection and local residents can borrow a different piece of art up to four times a year. Each borrower signs up as they would with a library – photo ID and proof of address – and then has three months to enjoy a piece in their own home.
“I think going into galleries is quite daunting – it’s nice to have art in a different type of space,” said Amy. “People can then take the art away and spend much time with it than if you just went in and out of a gallery.
“Members tell me they like the variety. They may be people who wouldn’t be able to afford to buy art or wouldn’t know where to buy art.”
The collection is now kept on permanent display at Resource for London in Holloway Road, after it grew out of the original space in Central Library. The project as a whole could be read as a social sculpture that feeds on the enthusiasm of local art lovers and makers.
“It’s a democratic process in which the lending artists are a real mix of professionals who show in galleries and art fairs, and people who create for their own enjoyment.
“There’s a bit of controversy about the value of art,” said Amy. “So it’s nice to not have to worry about that consideration. We don’t have any funding and we take no commission on any sales.”
Amy has been sent photos of the same pieces hanging within different homes.
“A gallery can be so stark, so it’s great for the artists to actually see their work being enjoyed within a home.”
And the members seem to agree, as the library has doubled since last year, almost entirely by word of mouth.
The collection has been updated this week with new pieces for the latest “lending session” that takes place from 10am-4pm, June 3-5.