Looking through a different lens


EXG FEB 14 ART PAGE - Credit: Archant

Whisper it quietly, but art lovers across the globe are being drawn to a farm near Chelmsford; the home of probably the county’s only international art gallery.

Turner Barnes Gallery is based at Old Mix Barn on Boyton Hall Farm at Boyton Cross, and is representing a growing portfolio of more than 50 emerging and established, local and international artists, photographers and designers. Director, Soo Turner, takes samples of urban art, pop art, photography, sculpture, installations, realism, illustration and abstract art from her eclectic collection to art fairs in the UK, across Europe and even to North America and Asia. Celebrities like Richard Branson, Liam Gallagher and Jamie Oliver are among the art connoisseurs snapping up the pieces and the gallery has supplied artwork for the television programme Made In Chelsea.

Soo and her father, Richard Turner, were working with Natasha Barnes, South Africa’s most published artist, and named the gallery after their joint ventures two-and-a-half years ago. They had started to exhibit at international art fairs and decided to separate their original gallery from the bespoke picture framers, Interior Angle, which the Turners established nearly 20 years ago. The Turner Barnes Gallery now also has a consultancy offering advice on art and picture hanging and works with Chaplins designer furniture store in London.

‘Our Chelmsford shop was so small and we found we had so many artists, photographers and designers on our books. At the same time, the art buying world was changing, so we moved here,’ says Soo. ‘People now go onto websites and look at the artists and then go to the galleries showing their work.’

This year, Turner Barnes Gallery exhibited the work of Simon Kirk, Sarah Scotchman and Ben Allen at the Affordable Art fair in Battersea. Simon, a Leigh on Sea-based artist, has had great success with his mixed media collage work at the New York shows and has been accepted into the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition for the last two years, both times selling his art on the opening night. ‘He really is one to watch as this is an accreditation to both him and his work becoming a collectable artist,’ adds Soo, who currently has more clients in New York than Essex.

More recently, Soo has been working closely with Sarah, developing her portfolio work for the international market. It is obviously working as Sarah sold half of her breathtaking silkscreen edition, hand-finished prints at Battersea and her collection sold out in November at the Singapore Art Fair. This Chelmsford-based artist participated in the Chelmsford Arts Trail and Soo will be exhibiting some of Sarah’s work in Hong Kong in March.

This month, in the gallery’s Through a Different Lens exhibition, Soo has curated a collection of photographers’ work and launches the Linda Blacker Fine Art Photography collection.

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‘Her work is amazing,’ said Soo. ‘I’ve never seen anything like it.’ Linda studied at Seevic College in Benfleet and works as a commercial photographer, but Soo spotted her obvious talent for fine art when Linda invited her to view her portfolio. The world is their oyster for this artist and others like her, thanks to the Turner Barnes Gallery.

Find out more

At the time of going to press the exact dates of the ‘Through a Different Lens’ exhibition were yet to be finalised. Contact Turner Barnes Gallery on 01245 248662 or visit www.interiorangle.co.uk/ for more information. The gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm.