Things to do before Christmas: visit a gallery

Visit an art gallery

Already a bit tired of the high street’s generic offerings this Christmas? I know I am. And it’s not even December yet.

How about trying something new? Most towns have an independent gallery. They’re not scary places, I promise – and they’re a fantastic place to buy beautiful and unusual Christmas presents. Most galleries will have a great range of things – from small paintings and more affordable prints, right down to little handmade craft items, jewellery and cards. You don’t have to have a full purse to be able to leave with something.

Recently I went to a special evening hosted by Cambridge Contemporary Arts, and their sister gallery Cambridge Contemporary Crafts. I had soon compiled a Christmas wish list as long as my arm.

Blogger evening at Cambridge Contemporary Arts

My husband and I both fell in love with some gorgeous linocuts by Gail Brodholt. Our favourite was Every Moment So Fleeting (£300). Clearly it would be an expensive purchase, but we were both tempted to have this as a single, joint Christmas present to each other. A great investment, and something we could keep on enjoying.

linocut 33cm x 34cm edition 75

linocut 33cm x 34cm

I also loved this screen print (£345) by Angie Lewin. I can completely picture it in my house and I’d love to own it.


It’s worth noting that both of these prints are available to buy via the Arts Council’s Own Art scheme – where you pay for your purchase over ten monthly payments. The scheme is available for artwork priced between £100 to £2500. Such a good idea – especially when it’s hard to justify spending so much in one go.

But galleries aren’t just about paintings and prints. I also love the little decorative objects available, which are often much more affordable than the paintings – but every bit as unique and precious.

Ali Smith Angel

Ali Cooper’s beautiful Christmas porcelain pieces were my favourites – white, glossy and with the merest hint of gold. I fell completely in love with this little bird house (£20) and it came home with me. It’s always wonderful to buy a really special ornament for the tree every year.

Ali Smith ceramics at Cambridge Contemporary Arts

Will Shakspeare’s hand blown glass baubles are also completely covetable and I was thrilled to add another one to my collection.

Will Shakspeare's glass at Cambridge Contemporary Arts

So, whether you’re looking for jewellery, crafts, prints – or maybe just a gorgeous Christmas card – try calling into your local gallery. I came away feeling very inspired with lots of ideas.

Or how about a trip to Cambridge? It’s a magical place for festive shopping.

If you’re planning a visit, here’s how where to find the galleries. You can also order direct by viewing their websites:

Cambridge Contemporary Arts, 6 Trinity Street, Cambridge, CB2 1SU

Cambridge Contemporary Crafts, 5 Bene’t St, Cambridge, CB2 3QN





1 Comment

  1. November 29, 2016 / 10:39 am

    I really like the idea of this post Lizzie. As for hard to justify, I always think it is a shame that people say that about art but not about huge flat screen TVs, tablets, designer handbags or mobile phones, which costs just as much as art.
    The scheme is a brilliant idea. So much easier to pay 30 quid a month than 309 in one go!

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