In this ‘talking to’ feature, where’s the frame? is talking to London-based art professional Peigi Mackillop who works for Roseberys Fine Art Auctioneers in London and as a freelance writer for i.a. The Art Gorgeous website and magazine. In this interview, we talk about how she got into the arts, the differences between the London and Hong Kong art scene and she shares some *very useful* tips for people who want to succeed in the art world. She also picked her favourite piece from ‘Like nothing else in the universe’ artists and told us why.
Let’s talk art first, how did you get into art?
I was born into a creative family, so I was surrounded by art from a young age. Inspired by my upbringing, I did an Art & Design diploma when I finished school. After my diploma, I moved back to Hong Kong. After studying Marketing, I started to work for Christie’s, but in their real estate division, however, there was a lot of cross over in the art world. This was initially how I got my first foot into an art world career. After this role, I started to freelance write for various publications about art and fashion. Fast-forward 10 years, I now work as the Marketing & PR Manager at Roseberys Fine Art Auctioneers in London, and as a freelance writer for The Art Gorgeous website and magazine.
Do you have a favourite art historical period or movement and why?
Before starting my job at Roseberys Auctioneers, I was particularly interested in Chinese Propaganda Art and the Young British Artists movement. Nowadays, I gain a lot of exposure to all aspects of the arts in my job, as I work across ten specialist departments, ranging from Old Masters to Islamic Art, so my interests have become more varied. Since moving into my new home, I have started growing a small collection of artworks. Artists I have currently gotten works from are Alice Tye, Abid Javed, Violeta Maya, Sarah Bahbah and a print from the Matrijaršija studio. On my dream list now (if money wasn’t an object) would be something by Ghanaian Sculptor El Anatsui, work by Bauhaus Educator Josef Albers and a print by Chinese Photographer Chen Wei. I mention the above, as it illustrates just how wide-ranging my taste in the arts and its movements are!
Do you have a favourite living artist?
I have so many – it would be so difficult to name one. Based on the number of saves per artist I have in my Instagram ‘Art’ folder, I am currently loving Landon Metz, Marria Pratts, Daisy Parris and Chloe Wise.
You’ve worked in Hong Kong and in London, what are the biggest differences between their art scenes?
Both Hong Kong and London are global art epicentres, which now stand shoulder to shoulder within the art market. During my 10 years living back in Hong Kong, the art scene rose dramatically – especially with the introduction of fairs Art Basel and Art Central, the ever-growing number of new galleries and the addition of the M+ museum. In the beginning, the art scene mirrored that of the economic state of the city, simply a place to make some dollars. However, with the growth of the market, vibrant local arts communities and artists have emerged now and are celebrated by both Hong Kong locals and worldwide, which is what I initially saw as a big difference between the two cities. Another difference is that Hong Kong lacks the immense art history London has to offer and a lot of the ‘old money’ which comes with it and has a more Contemporary Art focus. Both markets are fascinating nonetheless, and I feel extremely lucky to have worked in both cities which are equally incredible.
You work at Roseberys, what are the perks of working at a smaller auction house?
As someone who has many interests, I love working in a smaller auction house, as I get to work across all departments. At Roseberys, I have also been given the chance to learn various skills and apply myself across many areas in the auction world, from telephone bidding, designing advertisement campaigns, to writing articles. Something I may have not been given the chance to do in such a short amount of time at a larger firm. I also get to work with all the team more closely and personally, from the Porters and Specialists to the Managing Director – we are all great friends, as well as colleagues.
What would you say is your favourite thing about working for The Art Gorgeous?
I particularly love interviewing people in the art world. A personal favourite interview of mine recently was Massimo Vitali. The Italian photographer is best known for his large-scale colour images of beaches and mass leisure events. It was so interesting to hear his perspective on the lockdown.
Do you have any insights for the younger generation who are trying to get into art? Any tips for people looking to work at auction houses?
1. Find yourself a mentor who can guide you in the particular area of the auction world you are interested in.
2. Network, get your name/face out there. As nerve-wracking as it can be, attend events and introduce yourself to people.
3. Stand out from the rest. Create a blog, offer to write for magazines, document your interests on an Instagram page. Especially if you are a fresh grad, show that you are proactive in asserting yourself and confident enough to have your work published.
Can you pick a favourite work from the “Like Nothing Else in the Universe” artists and tell us why the pieces are your favourite?
Myro Wulff ‘s ‘How am I not Myself 01’ is my favourite from the “Like Nothing Else in the Universe” collection. After visiting Photo London this year, I have become really interested in experimentation within photography. This photo looks like a painting of someone’s aura. I was particularly drawn to the colours of this work.
Other works I really admire are:
Sian Fan : Seeping Out 7, 2021 (featured further above)
Alice Quaresma: Emphasize The Presence Of The Figure, 2021 (featured further above)
Gala Knörr Believe, 2021 (featured further above)
Li Hei Di’s Trimming Eros, 2021 (featured further above)