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In the Picture with Carrie Scott

In the Picture with Carrie Scott

Which painting would you save in a fire?

It’s actually an edition that hardly has any value but is the piece I’d save in a fire, and the first “real” artwork I ever bought. It’s by Rodney Graham. He’s an artist who left an indelible mark on me the second I encountered his work in 2005 at the Vancouver Art Gallery, which was also when I bought this edition.

I was in grad school at the University of Washington. I don’t think I’d landed on my master thesis topic but I then went on to write an entire chapter of my masters on him and his work. If i am honest, I kind of built my paper around him. I had the opportunity to meet him twice. Both times I could hardly speak. For me, this man was a giant. He changed everything I thought I knew and assumed about art. For me, this edition - which is a seemingly simple black and white photograph of a tree that hangs upside down - is a reminder of the power, the joy and the purpose of art - to make us see differently, outside of our own perspectives.  


Can you share any tips for how to start collecting art and what to look out for?

First things first, let's all agree on one thing: Art collecting isn't just reserved for folks with a trust fund. The next work I bought after the Graham, I bought when I was being paid all of $20k a year, and had student loans up the wazoo. One of the artists at the gallery I worked at had a piece I was completely taken with, so Jim (of James Harris Gallery) set me up on a payment plan and over the course of something like 12 months I bought a work of art. So many clients I know make purchases this way, and so many galleries are absolutely fine with setting people up on payment plans. After all, the gallerists want you to have the work, even if it takes a minute to pay for. You just have to ask. In the UK, there is also a great company called ownart, which many galleries use for interest-free payments. In other words, there are ways to pay options.  And you should explore them. 

It’s also a good idea to remember that starting small is ok. You don't need to break the bank with your first purchase. Explore affordable options like prints, drawings, or works on paper. As you become more confident and knowledgeable, you can gradually expand your collection. I always talk about photography as a gateway drug for collectors. It’s still more affordable than most other art forms (that’s a longer story), and therefore you can get a lot more bang for your buck, so it’s a great place to start.

The next thing we all have to do is try to understand what speaks to us and figure out what sparks our interest or turns us on, so to speak. For me, there’s something about photography and work about figures that really speaks to me. So try not to worry about trends. Your collection should reflect you. Our collection - in fact -  is almost a timeline of my career and moments in my life, and I love it all the more for that. The works have become markers in time - totems of my life - that go beyond their own messages. 

My other key bit of advice would be to try to get INTO the art world. Hit openings, visit museums, and engage with artists. Check out auction catalogues - they are amazing places to see a huge cross-section of artworks and start to understand pricing. I also think Instagram can be a good place to discover emerging talent. Follow artists, galleries, and collectors whose work resonates with you. Engage in conversations, ask questions, and learn from others' experiences. The art world can seem closed, but I promise you it’s not …entirely. You just have to nudge the door open.


Why is it so important to buy from female artists?

There are two major reasons to look at female artists, especially if you are just starting a collection. First of all, buying women is a huge opportunity. Perhaps mega dealer Iwan Wirth put it best in the FT in 2020, when he said “ Female artists are the bargains of our time.” They are. They still cost less than their male counterparts, both in the primary market and at auction. So get in there. Grab yourself a remarkable work by a female artist, and it’ll likely be a “whopping 42% less than work by male artist.” Don’t believe me, check out this Forbes article about it.

Second, it’s important to morally address the way women have been sidelined from the narrative for so long. Buying their work helps give voice to untold narratives. And that makes it really interesting and urgent and impactful and and and!


Which female artists are you excited about at the moment? 

Yikes. How long of a list am I allowed to give you? Simonette Quamina, Megan Baker, Jennifer Pattison, Kate Groobey are all top of my list. But there are so many honestly.  I stumbled across Simonette at Frieze this year and almost couldn’t breath. There is something so layered and deep about her work. Megan Baker was introduced to me by a client, and again, I think it’s the layers that jump out at me; the art history, the body politics.

Christabel Blackburn

I’ve followed and enjoyed Christabel’s work for some time. I love the way she creates space, and narrative; there is suspense in the calm nothingness, elegance in her colours. She’s an artist I’d love to have in my own collection.

ARTCH blog - Christabel Blackburn 

Pia Pack

I’ve never seen Pia’s work in person but absolutely love the balance act she creates between geometric form, and more natural, organic shapes. The works that grab my attention the most are the pieces with tablecloth-like gingham patterns that build on top of each other, giving way to small hints at explosions of life.

ARTCH Blog - Pia Pack

 Huge thanks to Carrie for taking the time to chat with us! You can follow Carrie on Instagram here.


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