I am a little obsessed with gallery or salon-style art walls at the moment.
I think they are one of the easiest ways to add instant personality to your home, and are the perfect way to cluster an ad hoc grouping of art, photos and other hang-able treasures.
And although you can give me a wall space that is big or small, and I'll happily create a gallery on it, I do especially think that cluster walls are the perfect solution to the 'big wall, small art' syndrome, and ideal when your art is also perhaps more minor than major!
When looking at a gallery style wall, the eye is drawn to the composition as a whole, the 'big picture', rather than concentrating on one or two lesser pieces, and everything suddenly looks and feels more,
shall we say, important.
Take my wall above - the dearest things on it to me, cost nothing.
And though it would be nice to think that the 'works' by Milly and Eva might someday be worth a small fortune, the reality of this is quite unlikely, and actually, of no consequence anyway
- I love them, and that is all that really matters.
On the wall they are mixed in with some treasured pieces given to me by friends, the framed original of one of the first 'small acorns' product labels, a tattered but beautiful wooden Indian goddess, and one or two works by New Zealand artists that may actually be worth something.
And you know, I'd be willing to bet that you'd be hard pressed to pick which is which!
And remember, walls like this should not be static. They can grow and change easily as you acquire new pieces.
More than anything else, I get asked about the rules when it comes to hanging.
Excuse the intentional pun - try not to get too hung up about it!
My advice is to pick one piece to be the focal point, hang it, and then work up, down and around from there. Some people lay everything on the floor to begin with, or cut paper templates to the size of each frame and tape these to the wall first. If this helps you to visualise the overall picture then great.
Personally, I like to see it as I go, and so, once the focal piece is selected, I start hammering.
(If you do make the odd extra hole in the wall, a little toothpaste works wonders!)
I also like to mix up my frames, but again, this is personal choice. On an eclectic wall this adds another layer of detail and interest, but a wall that is all black & white photography, for example, would look great if the frames were restricted to all black or all white.
Check out the sentry guard dog! Actually he knew I was leaving for work and was distinctly unhappy about it. Poor Bruno. He does not like these earthquakes at all, & barks every time there is a hint of an aftershock or a noise. I guess we are all on edge still.
Looking at this photo - I need to straighten up a few crooked bits!