De­sign note­book

Q&A with Sarah Hop­kin­son

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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.

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