Q&A with Sarah Hopkinson
What was the space like before you moved in and what did you have to do?
Before we took on the premises, it was studios and a band practice room – it had a rich patina! Our very patient landlord gutted it, replaced the windows, and left us with an empty shell that I have slowly adapted over time. Because we don’t own the building, I try to invest in things I can take with me, with the exception of a few walls.
Do you ever feel like you never leave work?
The apartment is a work space – we use it to show works to clients, and we regularly host functions here. I am wary of anything that makes the apartment feel too domestic, or precious – I want it to feel like what it is – a light-industrial space, adaptable, a bit ad-hoc. So, yes, in a sense, I never leave work, but you will hear no complaints from me! It’s a privilege to live and work in a stimulating, constantly changing environment... and I don’t have to fully participate in the Auckland property market.
Are there any pieces you won’t part with or is it all up for grabs?
We are a primary-market gallery, that is, we almost exclusively sell work on behalf of the artist (as opposed to selling on behalf of a vendor) – this is how artists are supported to make work. We do work very closely with several collectors to evolve their collections – some might sell a couple of pieces a year and re-invest the profits in a new generation of artists, which is another way to support the ecosystem. I would say most of the works in my personal collection are with me for life – either because they are gifts from artists or friends, or because for me to purchase something, with my very modest budget, I have to feel very connected to it.