First up is Erin Hughes, an MA student in painting at the Royal College of Art, which is across the street from Young’s premises.
Her three-dimensional collage, Home Time, incorporates a chair on offer at the gallery and remains on show for the extent of the annual RCA degree show. It is one of four planned for the coming year.
The work brings together a backdrop based on rooms from the artist’s childhood home, including a series of ‘postcard paintings’ executed from memory, and an 18th century Windsor chair from the shop.
Hughes says of the collage: “The chair would have originally been situated beside a fireplace. The floors were rough earth or perhaps slate so these seats were three-legged to stand firmly on the uneven floor; a feature which is dramatised within the collage.”
Young told ATG that he hopes the series of shows will recontextualise the antiques he offers. All the subsequent installations will run for a month each and while they incorporate stock from the shop, Young and his staff have no editorial control over how the pieces will be used.
“Maybe not everything will be to our taste,” he says, “but that’s not the point.”
The goal is to get clients – many of whom are already buying to fill modern and contemporary spaces – to see offerings in a new way. And the use of emerging, rather than established, artists is likely to appeal to the sensibilities of buyers who come to browse objects and works of art by now-forgotten makers.
Recently he has noticed “more and more young people coming in to the shop to have a look. They see things that have been fashionable and they’re excited by things they haven’t seen before”.