Art Installers in Bristol

The Picture Hanger is seeking an experienced client facing art installer/picture hanger to help expand our team in Bristol and the South West. You will be helping to service our clients in private homes and commercial premises across the region.

We are looking for a charming, down-to-earth professional with expert art handling skills who can walk into a client’s home, immediately engage with them, understand their requirements and provide an expert service.

For the most part our clients will look to you for advice on placement. You should be comfortable coming up with arrangements and suggesting ideal positioning in a room, considering the relationship between the existing artwork in the room as well as the décor and lighting. At times you will be required to create inspired picture or photo walls, often from quite disparate and eclectic mixes. Sometimes you’ll be positioning and hanging one artwork or mirror. Other times you will be required to arrange and hang a whole house or flat over a day or more.

You should be a problem solver, comfortable hanging a wide range of items on all types of walls, using a two point fixing method where possible. You will mostly undertake jobs on your own, though at times you will work with other members of The Picture Hanger team.

We will provide you with a full hanging and fixing kit. We would expect you to supply your own hand tools, screw gun and hammer drill etc.

We will pay you for your travel time and time on site, as well as mileage should you be driving your own vehicle. 

Initially the hours will be ad hoc and casual. You can set the hours and days you would like to work but we would prefer you are available roughly 3 full weekdays per week (and weekends if you’d like to).

You need to be able to use a digital calendar (Google Calendar or iCal for example) to recieve job bookings as well as WhatsApp for communicating with the admin team. So that we can service our clients effectively you need to be able to reply promptly to messages from the admin team, within reason.

We are a growing business and are looking for solid team member who can help us expand our offering in Bristol, Bath and the South West.

Please get in touch to apply.

We’re Hiring!

The Picture Hanger is seeking an experienced client facing art installer/picture hanger to help cover a staff shortage for the whole of March 2019, to help service our clients in private homes across London. For the right applicant this could lead to ongoing casual weekly work beyond the initial one month engagement.

One of our London installers is away during March. To see clients they travel across London via public transport with his gear in a backpack and tool case on wheels. Therefore you don’t need to have your own vehicle but we would consider an applicant who does. If you don’t have your own vehicle you won’t be required to carry ladders.

We are looking for a charming, down-to-earth professional with expert art handling skills who can walk into a client’s home, immediately engage with them, understand their requirements and provide an expert service.

For the most part our clients will look to you for advice on placement. You should be comfortable coming up with arrangements and suggesting ideal positioning in a room, considering the relationship between the existing artwork in the room as well as the décor and lighting. At times you will be required to create inspired picture or photo walls, often from quite disparate and eclectic mixes. Sometimes you’ll be positioning and hanging one artwork or mirror. Other times you will be required to arrange and hang a whole house or flat over a day or more.

You should be a problem solver, comfortable hanging a wide range of items on all types of walls, using a two point fixing method where possible. You will mostly undertake jobs on your own, though at times you will work with other members of The Picture Hanger team.

We will be provide you with a full hanging and fixing kit. We would expect you to supply your own hand tools, screw gun and hammer drill.

We will pay you for your travel time and time on site, as well as mileage should you be driving your own vehicle.

While the hours are ad hoc and casual we would expect to be able to provide you with a minimum of 60 hours of travel and installing time over March. Your weekly hours will be flexible, you can set the hours and days you would like to work but we would prefer you are available at least 3 full weekdays per week (and weekends if you’d like to).

You need to be able to use a digital calendar (Google Calendar or iCal for example) to recieve job bookings as well as WhatsApp for communicating with the admin team. So that we can service our clients effectively you need to be able to reply promptly to messages from the admin team, within reason.

We are a growing business and for the right applicant this could lead to ongoing casual weekly work beyond the initial one month engagement.

Get in touch to enquire or apply.

Picture Hanging in East Farleigh, Kent, near Maidstone

The Maidstone area is such a beautiful and unexplored part of the south east (for me). I drove up from Brighton via the High Weald, driving through Goudhurst and Wadhurst. If you ignore the satnav routes and just aim for the small country lanes you find yourself driving down deep, dark green holloways and past verdant pastures. It’s refreshing for an urban dweller to realise how much there is to explore on parts of the map where there are no A roads and large towns. There are also beautiful little villages and bridges over the River Medway (I seemed to be west of Maidstone, before the river widens out) that really deserve a second and third visit when I’m not working and can take my time.

Anyway, I digress somewhat.

One of the many things I love about my job and running this business is the unexpected places it takes me and the homes I find myself in. This client’s house in East Farleigh (a few miles south-west of Maidstone) was not a mansion or a stately home. It’s only occasionally that we find ourselves hanging pictures in these types of homes. More often than not it’s a regular home, with a huge eclectic mix of pictures to hang. We’re often presented with a jumble of frames, pictures, photography, family photos, artworks, canvases and mirrors, all leaning together in a stack in spare room, waiting for us to come in with an objective eye to make sense of it all. There’s usually a story attached to each item, a history and often an emotional or familial attachment that transcends aesthetics. And then there is the overarching narrative of a life that can pieced together from the whole jumbled stack.

Take for example my East Farleigh client. She had moved to Kent 5 years ago, from 30 years of living in Belsize Park, and before that east coast U.S.A. Here is a rough and incomplete list of the items we hung that made up her collection (I don’t feel totally comfortable with with the term collection as it makes most people think of someone with a huge disposable income that has their finger on the pulse of the art world. This is rarely any of our clients. They all have “collections”, as we all do in some form or another, even if they wouldn’t describe it like that).

  • Two watercolours bought many years ago in the Picadilly Art Market, St James’s Church, London, for £1 each. The artists’ mother was running the stall for him and by the sounds of  it she was sorely under-pricing him!
  • Three paintings by a friend, spanning 20 years of that friend learning to paint and slowly becoming an accomplished exhibiting artist. I hung these in different parts of the house, not all together, as despite their relationship they just didn’t work together aesthetically.
  • Paintings by the client’s mother.
  • A series of of unrelated nature photography, hung in the dining room. See below.
  • A range of works by the American painter Andrew Stevovich. I’d never encountered his work before. His subject matter is seemingly mundane and yet intriguing. The way he applies paint to canvas is similarly intriguing so I’ve included some detail photos of the work we hung . 

Picture Wall Ideas: Arranging and Hanging Multiples or Groups

 

Picture wall ideas. A picture wall of twenty Andy Warhol prints, hung in a grid.

A picture wall of twenty Andy Warhol prints, hung in a grid formation.

Here are some picture wall ideas. If you’ve ever made a collage in art class at school then you can use the same principles to arrange and hang multiples or groups of frames or pictures. Each picture or frame acts as one formal element that needs to be pulled together as part of a cohesive whole, while still allowing the individual pieces to breathe and not be dominated by the other elements.

You will find this much easier when you are arranging multiples that have been intended to hang together, as in a botanical series. In the case of a botanical series or a series like Hogarth’s I would tend to go for some sort of grid formation.

Grid formations can be a great way to fill a wall space where a large painting or print isn’t available. Or to emphasise the lines of a long hallway.

Picture wall ideas. Eight Japanese flower pictures hung in a grid formation.

Eight Japanese flower pictures hung in a grid formation.

The parallel lines created by the grid formation can look particularly striking. Matching frames tend to be what works for a conventional set of multiples or series. It allows the subject matter to be the focus rather than the frame. I can’t really think of a case where a frame should deemphasise or takeaway from what’s inside it.

Multicoloured Frames

That being said I have used different coloured frames to great effect. On a hanging project in 2016 I was presented with a series of typical barrister’s portraits in a London barrister’s chambers. I felt there was a way of arranging the portraits that spiced them up a bit without being disrespectful. The goal was to create a feature wall in the reception area of the chambers.

Picture wall ideas. Collage of pictures hung for Martyn in Seven Dials, Brighton

Collage of multicoloured framed pictures hung for Martyn in Seven Dials, Brighton

For a series of nine photographs I suggested using three different pastel colours repeated three times across the series. I worked with the framer and the client to choose the right Farrow and Ball colours that we felt added some interest without being too zany or poppy.

You could try the same creative approach with family photographs or similar. Use colours that reflect or enhance the subject matter, not act in conflict with it, or drown it out.

Mismatching Frames

Equally, mismatching frames can be great, especially when a collection of works or family photographs has been built up and put into different frames over time then hung in various places around the house. Then, when having moved or redecorated you decide to hang a group of this disparate collection together, the mismatching frames can become a feature.

A trio of portraits, each from a distinctly different era and artist. Conversing through the ages, hung on a wall in a guest bedroom in in Kemp Town.

A trio of portraits, each from a distinctly different era and artist. Conversing through the ages, hung on a wall in a guest bedroom in in Kemp Town.

I’ll often arrange the group according to frame colour and style as well as the subject matter inside the frame. The principle to follow here is a technique I learnt in art school – you’re always working to achieve a balance between repetition and variation. The trick is to try to repeat colours, tones, styles where possible but also introduce enough variety throughout the group so that it doesn’t become too repetitive! It’s a balancing act!

Arranging a Collage Wall

Picture wall ideas. A salon style or collage picture hanging in Leon's house in Brighton

A salon style or collage picture hanging in Leon’s house in Brighton

If you do find yourself with a set of mismatching frames it becomes very difficult to try and force it to adhere to a grid. Don’t be afraid to break out of the grid. This is when you really are creating a collage.

I always begin by measuring the space on the wall to determine how large I think the group should be. I’ll use Post-it notes to delineate the top, bottom, left and right boundaries of the group on the wall.

The next step is to find an area of floor space where I can lay out my frames. Again I will use is Post-it notes on the floor to mark out my wall dimensions. I then begin to lay out the frames on the floor.

When you’re beginning your picture arrangement the trick is not to think too much about it. Just start laying out the frames without editing too much.

Picture wall ideas. A collage or picture wall that I arranged and installed running up these stairs in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

A collage or picture wall that I arranged and installed running up these stairs in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

It is important at this stage to consider the gaps between the frames. When the frames are small to medium sized I like to go for gaps of 4 to 6 centimetres. Having relatively consistent gaps helps to unify the group.

Then stand back and look at the whole layout and start to edit and move things around until areas of the group start to work together. You might find that some frames are just too mismatching and won’t work in the group. Take them out.

Picture wall ideas. A collage of over 50 framed photographs in a hallway in Putney

A collage of over 50 framed photographs in a hallway in Putney

You need to play around for a while until it starts to work as a whole. For a group of say 15 or 20 frames it might take half an hour to an hour to find a layout that works.

It’s a fun process and the key is to not let it become to serious. Maintain a sense of play and discovery and don’t be afraid to try things that might seem out of the ordinary. You never know, it just might look great!

Waxing Lyrical for The Daily Mail

Here’s me being quoted in yesterday’s Daily Mail Interiors section. I was pleasantly surprised to be asked the best way to approach hanging a set of multiples or a group of frames. Hanging groups of frames is probably my favourite thing to do, picture hanging wise. My comments are towards the end of the article.

A collage or picture wall that I arranged and installed running up these stairs in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

A collage or picture wall that I arranged and installed running up these stairs in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

1000 True Fans

If you’ve not heard of Kevin Kelly, he may well be one of the most interesting people alive at the moment. If that makes you curious I’ll leave it you to google him, but I will start you on your journey with a link to a blog post of his that I keep returning to. If you are a maker, inventor, creative, or small business owner then this will be relevant.

http://kk.org/thetechnium/1000-true-fans/

 

Out Of Office Poetry

One of my clients had this set as his email out of office autoresponder. Pure gold.

So, Ted Cruz has quit the race.
Leaving the way open for the man with the red face,
Who leaks bile from his every orifice,
To run unchallenged for a cab to the oval office.

I left my rectangular offices
To join up with those mercurial goddesses
And flew off to San Francisco
Home to streets, hills and quality disco.
Where Mercury Rev and I were on hire
To improvise a score to the film Vampyr
At this wonderful Film Festival
It wasn’t gory like Alien or extraterrestrial
Like The Man Who Fell To Earth
It was an event of real worth.

But people i must now tell you of my imminent sense of elation
As i am about to begin a few days vacation.
And i urge you to think twice
About asking for my advice
Knowing as you do now,
That even i must allow
Myself an occasional day off or two.
I don’t think this is an extreme view!

I’ll be back sooner than you think
Not with a red face but a gentle shade of pink.

People Often Call Me When They’ve Just Moved or Redecorated

Artwork hung in a house in Lewes, East Sussex

Artwork hung in a house in Lewes, East Sussex

If you’re like a lot of my customers you’ve probably spent years (or even generations) amassing pictures, mirrors and family photographs, hanging things slowly over time as they come into your life. Having taken everything down to move, redecorate or renovate, the thought of having to rehang everything all at once is overwhelming. I get most of my enquiries from customers who’d like me to take care of this for them.

When I arrive at your home we can approach the process of rehanging everything in a couple of ways. The first thing we’ll do is look at all of your photographs, artwork, mirrors etc. and talk about where you might like to hang things. Some customers are clear where they want everything to go and would like me to make sure everything is hung straight and in proportion with the rest of the room. Other customers have some idea where they want things but would like me to make suggestions and help guide the process. I approach every house like it’s a gallery, considering the relationship between the other artwork in the room as well as the existing decor and lighting.

While I’m hanging your work I’ll often check in with you about particular pieces. It’s important that the height and position of work within a room is something you’re happy with. I’ll suggest what I think works and explain why and together we’ll work out the best position for you.

Renovating or moving brings a degree of upheaval or change. When you finish rehanging everything it calms the space, brings it back to life and gives you a sense of completion.