Studio Visit Book Vol. 1

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Storytelling and art: Why your art needs to build a strong narrative |Kristin Hjellegjerde|

Watch & Listen to this podcast Episode.

This week on the Arts to Hearts Podcast, our host Charuka Arora sits down with Kristin Hjellegjerde who is a gallerist and a curator based in London. Kristin is also the curator for our upcoming book “100 Emerging Artists: 2024 Women’s Edition”. In this episode, Kristin talks about her curation process and the struggles she had to face in the gallery business without an art background.

Selling art is not easy, but over the years, Kristin has become quite good at it. She always thought she would become a writer, but she jokes that she lacks the self-discipline for that. However, everything turned out perfectly for her as she was able to find her calling and choose a career she felt passionately about!

From the outside, people simply see Kristin’s success, but a lot of hard work and sweat went into it. From creating relationships with the right people to building trust with the collectors, Kristin has done everything she can to make sure that she has a sustainable business that continuously grows despite any external variables. Right now, she’s running galleries in London, the U.S., and Berlin, and none of it came easy. As someone who started out without any funding or wealth, she had to learn some hard lessons at the beginning of her career. But it was her self-determination and constant struggle that enabled her to pull through everything that came her way.

Talking about her curation process, Kristin likes to follow her instincts and wants to be surprised by something she has not seen before. Being the curator for our “100 Emerging Artists: 2024 Women’s Edition”, she is looking for anything with a good narrative, whether it is photography, painting, or sculpture. Your art can be in any form, and the one way it will grab Kristin’s attention is by telling a good story!

So tune in to this week’s full episode and listen to Kristin talk in detail about her journey as a gallerist and a curator!

TimestampSummary
00:00Introduction and excitement about working together
00:17Update on opening the Palm Beach gallery
00:42Demolition of London Bridge gallery and moving to a new space
01:08Designing the new London Bridge gallery
01:27Challenges and excitement of designing the gallery space
01:56Introduction of Kristin Hjellegjerde and her background
02:55Opening the gallery in London without any connections
04:00Expansion of the gallery to Berlin and Norway
05:02Opening the West Palm Beach gallery
06:00Designing the West Palm Beach gallery space
07:07Collaboration with Rebecca Fontaine-Wolf for a show in Paris
08:32The value of immersive and experimental exhibitions
09:14Challenges of being a gallerist and financial struggles
09:51End of conversation
09:40Sharing experiences of not getting paid
10:17Challenges of running a gallery without funding
11:32The pressure of covering costs and sales
12:20Increased shipping costs and Brexit limitations
13:30Dealing with credit checks and government regulations
15:06Challenges of selling art and avoiding illegal transactions
16:27The growth of the gallery and team
17:24Importance of close relationships with artists
18:14Finding new artists through recommendations and referrals
18:18Planning to visit an artist studio recommended by a friend
19:08Curating process as a gallery curator
20:02Joy of curating exhibitions and seeing the artwork come together
20:39Using Zoom for virtual installations when unable to be present
20:56Did not initially consider being an artist, wanted to be a writer
21:36Father’s influence in the art and furniture industry
23:25Feeling intimidated by the art world, but still pursued it
24:37Overcoming feelings of not being worthy in the art world
26:42Working hard to sell artwork and support artists
27:57Challenges faced when starting out as a gallery owner
27:41Introduction to the challenges of selling art
28:16Adapting to challenges and utilizing social media
29:26The vulnerability of the art market during economic crises
30:39Building trust and loyalty with collectors
31:52The positive and negative impact of social media on the art world
34:12Recognizing unique and authentic artistic expressions
35:20Trusting intuition when selecting artists to work with
36:43Success in supporting artists from the beginning
37:17Kristen emphasizes the importance of personal connections in the art world
38:22Kristen believes that galleries should provide a safe space for artists to grow and experiment
39:13Kristen advises artists to keep showing their work and organize group shows to expand their careers
40:22Kristen encourages artists to keep working and not give up, using Felita Barlow as an example
41:47Kristen looks for artwork with a strong narrative and a personal story behind it
42:59Closing remarks and farewell
[TRANSCRIPT]

**** – (): 00:00.00

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Welcome to the podcast Kristen I’m so happy to have you back again. Exciting again always to speak to you to you know work with you and I’m so excited that we’re also working together.

**** – (): 00:02.82

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Thank you Good to be back.

**** – (): 00:14.38

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): On our next issue which we talk about but how have you been.

**** – (): 00:17.82

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Well been extremely besting and we talked last summer then we and that in since then we opened the Palm Beach gallery the west palm beach gallery which is really really exciting plus that we have ah.

**** – (): 00:23.17

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes.

**** – (): 00:35.30

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Are starting the demolition of our um London Bridge gallery now in April which means we have moved into a new space on tanner street and the London Bridge space will so tanner street is right across from white q gallery are in bermee for those who don’t know where exactly that is.

**** – (): 00:42.97

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 00:54.55

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): And then um, the London Bridge Gallery will now be a um will be built and we will have a new space there in 2 years I hope it will be finished so that’s also extremely exciting and I get to you know, kind of design it and.

**** – (): 01:08.10

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Wonderful. Oh that’s always a fun part isn’t it but you have so many exciting things happening moving from 1 place to another.

**** – (): 01:13.16

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Make decisions for how it’s gonna look like yes to make is perfect. Yes, always it’s not. It’s not a day without something happening.

**** – (): 01:27.60

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah, okay now Kristen we’ve already recorded once and unfortunately we couldn’t retain or get the video and the audio. So we’re recording again. A lot of people the conversation we’ve had they won’t unfortunately have access to it. So we decided to do this again before we get into it. How about you introduce yourself and who you are what you do for people who just joining us and maybe are not familiar with the work that you do.

**** – (): 01:56.59

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Great. So my name is christineiada I’m originally norwegian from the curds if anybody who knows where guy wrong if you miss so a very small place where you I take a fair ride to get to and and I actually. Studied literature criminology and ideas history of the universe are completely different things and went through with theater and performance art and even real estate in New York before I started art business and I know I’m a good salesperson. But. I didn’t want to sell anything I don’t care about so when I came to London because my husband is an architect or Norman Foster I decided that I was already 39 years old. So I decided that I amm going to open my gallery because I i. Just couldn’t start working for someone else. It would take too long time to build myself up so here I go didn’t know anyone in London nearly except some parents and nothing no clients.

**** – (): 02:55.65

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Absolutely nothing 1

**** – (): 03:03.14

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Um, and so I opened the gallery in one sort and everybody said good luck down there. You’re never going to survive right? But here we are so we still have all our one sort gallery which is kind of just 7 minutes away from me here I wish um wish I open. Close to my kids’ school because I knew I was going to work 24 hours and to be handy and handsomem also today sitting in my son’s room. Um, so um and then over the years we opened the London Bridge gallery that is now being um. Rebuilt and then we open in Berlin we’ve been having 4 years four summers in Norway with exhibitions and the museum show of the rest boston museum african art as I travel a lot in Africa to to do that museum show which took but.

**** – (): 03:51.87

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 03:59.53

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): But multiple years and then we have also opened. We love this kind of like you know, unique sp spaces and curation and unique spaces is inspiring so we also have a rundown castle in Germany outside of Berlin which we are.

**** – (): 04:00.20

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Wow.

**** – (): 04:18.63

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Ah, doing the next summer show this summer is going to be the art which is I’m commissioning all the artists to make work in relation to what they want to trash for the future. It could be their own interpretation and then we like sort of putting it in this castle that is I thought last there its own boat.

**** – (): 04:28.78

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Who are.

**** – (): 04:36.63

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Amazing.

**** – (): 04:38.11

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Last year we had all the artists do art. It was the show was called where the wild rose who scroll of Nick Cave Song which I love and then I made all the ah other artists make a work inspired by music that changed their life and it was just we had our own soundtrack. It was amazing.

**** – (): 04:45.72

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 04:51.88

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Wow! So nice.

**** – (): 04:57.19

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): And then um, yes and then over the years I’ve been traveling to Palm Beach for 14 years so so because my husband was working on the museum as a project architect and um so we got to know quite a lot of people there and hence why it.

**** – (): 05:02.35

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 05:16.00

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Was the most natural choice for me to open in um in west palm beach I got offered this space that was a rundown storage unit. But now there’s going to be a prime museum at the end of it. There’s other galleries in the building and I was like the sort of the first one except the museum.

**** – (): 05:20.49

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Fombage.

**** – (): 05:27.53

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Round.

**** – (): 05:34.85

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): To to sign up for this and the whole thing that’s happening in West Palm beach now is like they really make you a cultural um sort of ah center with that. It’s close to the Norton Museum they want to make an arts club. There’s a lot of younger people moving there. Ah. And they they’re making new parks restaurants. It’s yes, every time I go. There’re used to be a month in between there is a new change and so we open our space in October and my space is that is like a cathedral I love it.

**** – (): 06:00.85

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Wow.

**** – (): 06:06.52

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay, oh my god.

**** – (): 06:12.41

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): So much and I got to I got it to design the space with the help of my my husband and he helped out with the rest of the building so they were quite lenient with how they how to create my space you know because I’m not wealthy. So I I am.

**** – (): 06:17.14

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Husband.

**** – (): 06:24.20

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, you wanted to do. He has.

**** – (): 06:32.32

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Had an angel over my head on that one and I still got to decide and I was like can I please have Cathedral high ceiling windows and then they did put it in and I didn’t think about the hurricane proofing with steel Beams True I can’t even imagine that the space looks so phenomenal and the owners are so happy about how it turned out as well. And.

**** – (): 06:40.40

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um.

**** – (): 06:46.91

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Oh my god.

**** – (): 06:51.89

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): And I built it in a way that you have a solution of front and then you have you have the storage in the middle and then you have solo spaces in the back. So I can have us I can have um.

**** – (): 07:00.19

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 07:05.85

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): So maybe more than more established artists in front and then I can bring up my other artists as well or new people to the program. So it’s all a win-win for everybody and now. Yeah, yeah, thank you? yes.

**** – (): 07:07.25

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes, Asra is yes.

**** – (): 07:15.69

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Right? This is so exciting so many things from 1 gallery I remember our last conversation also coincidentally are 2 cover artists from ah the magazine cover artist come from the same gallery like they’re part of your rooster. Um, which is Christiania rithaica and Rebecca both and now that we are doing your are guest curating with us the top hundred um, emerging artists of 2024 which is extremely exciting I think it’s been so well received and so well loved that I’m really looking forward to how that turns out.

**** – (): 07:47.37

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Yeah, can wait to see what people are sending in oh and by the way Rebecca Rebecca and I and her parisian gallery said bone there Aon we are doing an incredible show for Rebecca.

**** – (): 07:51.47

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): But tell me something. Yes I We can’t wait. Yes. Okay. Oh Wow God That’s so exciting.

**** – (): 08:05.75

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): In the bastillecent in Paris in April which is in combination with dancers and performances. So. It’s a two-week program. Yeah, ah so if you look at her Instagram right now. A lot of the paintings that she is created in relation to inspiration by the artist. Um, is going to happen a I’m really, it’s like it’s a kind of like alternative to doing fairs doing more of these kind of experimental exhibitions instead. Yeah yes.

**** – (): 08:32.29

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Engaged. Yeah and I think it’s such a great way to engage people as well. I think because it’s just not feeing but how they like a little bit of more immasive and truly diving into something and learning about it than just you know and I think it’s also. I Think experiences like these also open up new Audiences. What do you say.

**** – (): 08:56.96

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Absolutely, it’s it’s more personal. You know it’s like you go in? No no I was not hours is fine. Um.

**** – (): 08:58.58

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, tell me something all these years. Sorry go ahead. He was saying something I wanted to ask you all these years of being a galist from and you said you didn’t come from a wedy place. You also started.

**** – (): 09:14.93

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Um.

**** – (): 09:15.26

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): In London when you really just recently had moved and you literally had nobody like you know that you felt like okay you had a client base to start on with etc. How has.

**** – (): 09:17.69

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): M.

**** – (): 09:29.24

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): These years been for you. What has been the hardest part for you as a galist we keep asking this to question this question to artist I Want to ask you this question.

**** – (): 09:35.52

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Ah I tell you like ah I couldn’t pay myself for the first six years or like I started like £500 a month and thought ah and I think like the first few years I would like no exactly.

**** – (): 09:40.16

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Wind. I can relate to that I Still don’t get paid.

**** – (): 09:51.33

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Like I was like um I remember when I started the gallery I was so naive and I was basically under the table. Um my my worst night there was some guys that pretended they bought a bit of card and um and an American Express and then they withdrew the money and. I was like on the floor crying but and my husband said you can’t do that in front of you people work for your normal camp. But I can’t be anything but real and and so and he was like I can’t believe you didn’t know that you have to be rich or have funding to run a gallery.

**** – (): 10:17.80

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 10:28.98

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): So yes, it’s not easy but I did I just didn’t feel like I had any other fallback. That’s just what I wanted to do So I mean if you have a backup plan isn’t you not going to make it happen. You know it has to be because you.

**** – (): 10:42.90

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, but what was the hardest part for you and now that you’re not managing one gallery not in 1 country, you’re managing many galleries across the world. That’s pretty. That’s pretty commendable of the progress in you know, um.

**** – (): 10:47.19

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 10:53.61

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 10:59.99

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Of what you’ve built from where you started but I’m sure it’s it’s everybody looks on the front and looks at how classy it looks but the picture on the on the back is pretty different and could be you know, nothing comes easy.

**** – (): 11:06.10

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Yeah, or you kind of have to be. You know you you have to be on the sales all the time because you know I’m goingnna I’m gonna have to cover costs on old spaces and I’m still like. I mean although my my team is getting better and better at selling I’m still doing seventy to eighty percent of the sales for all the spaces. So it’s quite um, a lot of pressure on me which I’m trying which we are working on dividing a little bit more and everybody is getting better I mean.

**** – (): 11:32.41

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Wonderfully.

**** – (): 11:37.22

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Reallys Off yeah.

**** – (): 11:42.19

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Really talking a lot about how to delegate and also what becomes a little bit better is that when you have a waiting list for artists. Ah that are very successful that makes it also um, a little easier. Yeah, it least easier to place and nowhere to place it and so on.

**** – (): 11:52.44

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): The demand comes easier.

**** – (): 12:01.80

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): I think like the latest years. The biggest problem has been um, shipping cost because it’s gone up so much and then you know also because of the Brexit and and all these um extra um limitations that are being put on us all the time I mean for example.

**** – (): 12:06.65

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 12:20.10

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Credit check it’s all fine to credit check ah people. But um, we have to go through classes and write um ah protocols and there’s not I think my team is on it like 1 to two days a week there’s so much work and they cost so much money to do and I I think that um.

**** – (): 12:30.23

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): God money.

**** – (): 12:38.79

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Having to credit check everyone who buys for £8000 is a bit of a low threshold and it should be higher or the government should have their own little green card like you can register with the government and get your permit to collect and be approved instead of putting it on the galleries as we are not lawyers.

**** – (): 12:49.99

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 12:58.55

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): And it’s like horrifying to to be worried about doing something wrong all the time you know, but be only trying to do good. So I think these things that are taking a lot of attention away I don’t think they understand how hard it is to sell out. It’s not like we just like getting money thrown out us I’m like.

**** – (): 12:58.89

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 13:13.43

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, he has. It’s not a you. Yeah.

**** – (): 13:17.46

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): And I don’t think I don’t think I’ve I have never had anyone spending illegal money at the gallery you know I’m sure that there was a lot of that before I think now you you you? you cannot take that risk anyway because your account will be closed. So you have to be really careful.

**** – (): 13:30.58

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah, um, yes, yes, absolutely.

**** – (): 13:36.51

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): But ah, all the all the pressure is being put on us I’m thinking when I had only when we were only 2 people in my team. How how could we have done all this due diligence. You know so is that eight years ago we were still only to yeah so we.

**** – (): 13:42.25

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): How long how how long was that to go. It is and how many are you now.

**** – (): 13:56.42

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): So now we are 9 plus me in London and then we are three in Berlin and 2 in the Us. Yeah, all really lovely people. Everybody stays on.

**** – (): 14:01.69

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Amazing. How does it feel to yes your how has your journey been from being a single soul open your let’s also compare those years because it’s very interesting. You know when we start off, it’s just 1 person and you’re doing anything and everything and it’s just you and. The world that you’re creating and then slowly and steadily it becomes so much more than you you know the people that you join the artists you’re working with ah the team that you you know work with they become such an important part. How has that transition be for you and what you’ve learned. So ah, you know via having this.

**** – (): 14:38.70

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Our one I think that um at the core of of the gallery is the kind of family spirit are my artist is getting. It gets very close to me I I know if.

**** – (): 14:46.31

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay, yeah.

**** – (): 14:55.50

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): You know, most personal things that’s happening in everybody’s life and also my yeah, my team is also family. We really are there all of us for each other. Ah so I think like having that at the core.

**** – (): 14:57.27

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 15:06.28

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 15:11.65

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): It’s the most beautiful thing and it’s what do you like really feel like you are like everybody wants to help each other and help building each other up. So so that’s that’s my favorite part of everything and um, you know I do.

**** – (): 15:23.96

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 15:30.22

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Appreciate that I don’t have to do all the practical things shipping. For example I am completely out of um because there’s a lot of work especially paperwork these days. Um, you know before we just shipped it with the dl or Fedex so you know right out of it. But now it’s just.

**** – (): 15:33.41

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 15:41.77

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, um.

**** – (): 15:44.72

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): That is yeah thislip.

**** – (): 15:49.72

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): All these different things that you have to add on. Um, so yeah I think that I I have um I get to inspire I get inspired. Um and that.

**** – (): 16:02.50

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes.

**** – (): 16:07.99

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Pleasure of having all these spaces is that I can keep my arts busy. So um, they can. They don’t have a gap in their creative um spirit and I you know and also I mean like I would hope and sometimes they have shows with other galleries and so on. But.

**** – (): 16:10.98

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 16:20.43

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Output yeah.

**** – (): 16:27.12

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): It is kind of like a safe spot to to be ah to be together about a lot of our goals and missions also like for example with Sohaa Soknvari that is my the first art is ah that I started working with she you know she’s.

**** – (): 16:28.47

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 16:34.23

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Now.

**** – (): 16:39.88

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Then you started.

**** – (): 16:45.23

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Only having museum shows right now and if there would have been multiple galleries involved. It would be nearly impossible to loan back 28 artworks for each show and so on because they all come from different collectors. So all of these things is is quite practical to be like very close and working very close together.

**** – (): 16:55.51

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 17:01.54

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes, yes.

**** – (): 17:05.23

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Ah, we have they have all the research to be know we know who not to sell to and who to sell to you know because we are trying to protect our art is not to so they don’t so they don’t so they don’t get it to be on. Um, so the auction Market is not.

**** – (): 17:14.35

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah, oh yeah, artist as well. Yeah.

**** – (): 17:24.30

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): On before they’re ready for it. For example.

**** – (): 17:24.11

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, how do you select from the early years to now. Do you think your process of finding what kind of artists you want to work with has changed and what does that look like.

**** – (): 17:35.70

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Well I think like you know my perspective you know has grown I mean I’ve been looking at art for so many years and doing research and so on I think that that I’m still working from the instincts though like I see something that. Hits me and I never know what it’s gonna be I just love the surprises. Ah yeah, so um, it can be anywhere from Instagram to references to art fairs.

**** – (): 17:58.81

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): How do you find artist that you feel like okay you know this this I’ve been asking a lot to everybody now where do you find your new artist From. And soon.

**** – (): 18:14.47

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Yeah, like for example, but the the one I’m going I’m going to an artist studio tomorrow and they was recommended by I had dinner a bit of friend of mine who’s a writer and and she’s like look at that and I was like Wow that looks amazing. So I’ve jumped on it right away and I’m going to our studio tomorrow. So let’s see you know.

**** – (): 18:18.97

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 18:32.36

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Amazing. That’s something. Yeah.

**** – (): 18:34.33

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): If that’s ah, a winner and um, yeah, so all these kind of I think it comes from all over I do keep looking online all the time and I am you know basically creating all all the shows myself so I have to feel it.

**** – (): 18:46.29

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes, how do now since you’re also curating our hundred and topic emerging artist 2024 what is your curation process. How do you curate from as a curator’s perspective as a gallery’s perspective. What does it look like how can artists launch roommate and take notes.

**** – (): 19:08.81

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Well I think that curators are ah very important for example in a museum setting and then at the gallery you kind of have to do your own creation because it is kind of a relationship between me and the artist and if the artist has specific.

**** – (): 19:20.65

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): He.

**** – (): 19:24.88

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Wishes that we try our best to a company and create those wishes to come true. Um, so you don’t need it like a middle man there you know unless you are um, unless you’re going to bring in a new a lot of new artist in a group show or something that I’ve done that before so but.

**** – (): 19:28.37

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah, okay.

**** – (): 19:39.20

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Like.

**** – (): 19:44.66

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): And for example for the arc ah you know we usually like last year we had 35 artists the 50 works I kind of run around like like in a um playground placing work. It’s so much fun.

**** – (): 19:49.93

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 20:02.43

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): To see how it’s going to work out together and you know I’d I like to not have a plan like you know except except with that you really large pieces that needs to go specific space or something like that. Yeah, but um, otherwise it’s just a fun thing because you will be surprised at the.

**** – (): 20:04.20

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Gonna work come together. Yeah, same here. Yeah, an outline in.

**** – (): 20:21.23

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): How some work can really work together that you didn’t think and play us play a story. Yeah, so that’s that’s a joy a lot of times so because I’m now having you know we have over 42 shows a year plus art fairs. It’s cut a lot. So.

**** – (): 20:26.80

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): How thing over and. Yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 20:39.64

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): You know it’s not always that I can be there so then we do Zoom and Zoom insulations and so on.

**** – (): 20:46.98

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah, what did you? ah did you think yourself of being in the arts were you someone who was in the early Yearss were you interested in being an artist at ever or thought yourself to be you did.

**** – (): 20:56.95

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): No I thought I was going to be a writer but I have no self-discipline to be by myself so much. So yeah, no, and I’m kind of very much from the countryside where we didn’t have much more than Elk in sunshine. You know.

**** – (): 21:05.27

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah, you never thought yourself to be in the arts.

**** – (): 21:16.83

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): I do remember my dad you know he he worked with furnitures and built the company small company to for big company for a while and they also did something furniture fair like ah in col and cologne or in um. In Copenhagen and so it’s kind of actually very similar to the art fair and when he did the furniture fair. He would take the local painter with him the artwork from him and put it on the wall in the in the bootth to help out his load. The.

**** – (): 21:36.65

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 21:44.10

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Oh Wow yeah.

**** – (): 21:51.23

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): The most famous local little town artist. Ni Godd was his name I remember and so so he did have that kind of little bit of an when I look back at it as an influence and also he he did produce furnitures that um. There’s a share called extreme that ah extreme that is quite famous now that he ah nobody would produce in that days is quite specific I’ll show you a picture of it later and yeah and everybody said oh who’s going to do that then Pade Elada who will do that.

**** – (): 22:20.73

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, sure.

**** – (): 22:28.60

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): And um, and then now the share is in the National museum and so on you know and and I’m thinking it This has some sort of similarities that I give the artist a platform and the stage to build they grow on and that’s kind of what he did for all the kind of designers as well.

**** – (): 22:30.72

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Oh wow.

**** – (): 22:38.91

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes, yes.

**** – (): 22:45.50

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): How me think.

**** – (): 22:47.55

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): And but but yeah, no so I um art was like I remember coming to Oslo and saying the astroferly collection with the on some kikir bookshop the high priestes which has which is like. Kind of brought art and books together for me because I was always reading all the time that was my yes so and this book shef had all these books kind of like you know in sort of steel and yeah, it’s kind of hardcore but beautiful and that kind of brought it 2 things together for me and.

**** – (): 23:08.52

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay, so reading? yeah.

**** – (): 23:23.20

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 23:25.82

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): And I’ve been always so since I was like 1819 everywhere I went I would go and see exhibitions and museum shows and and so on but I didn’t know that I was sort of allowed to be in that world. But you know and I like I think a lot of people think art can be very intimidating. Um, you know.

**** – (): 23:31.74

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay. Yes, yes, Absolutely absolutely I remember talking about this law in the last recording I’m going to ask a follow-up. Question. Go ahead.

**** – (): 23:45.76

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): But yeah, yes, so you know so then from all that um when I was doing real estate then it kind of dawn on me that you know, go and see all the shows. Why not.

**** – (): 24:04.36

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): See where I can fit in.

**** – (): 24:06.28

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Tell me something you just shared about you know coming we I remember speaking about this with you in the last episode when which didn’t come out which was you know like you said artward feels intimidating does not mean that you know even if you’re an artist art collector. You know what.

**** – (): 24:16.32

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): I.

**** – (): 24:25.65

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Changes Even if an an artist you feel intimidated if you don’t come from. Let’s say an art school, etc, etc. If you’re an art collector. You’re always thinking if I am if I’m legit enough to buy something to be an art collector and similarly being a gallerist or being on the.

**** – (): 24:37.13

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Man.

**** – (): 24:45.22

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Other side of this ecosystem where you’re facilitating this transaction you know it it does on the top level. It does feel like a lot aristocratic and for the selected you I Remember you said that you know we shed a very similar idea that you know I also grew up in a smaller Town. You also grew up in a smaller Town. We. Didn’t have and I also had this question within myself am I am should I be doing this am I worthy or you know is this the right place for me, you know, sometimes you question yourself and I said I remember you also sharing the same thoughts. Can you talk a little bit about your experience because a lot of times this is this story is often not shared a story about the galleries or someone on the ah you know a role which is often put on a pedestal on how you’ve navigated ah from not coming from the field. Then being able to build this whole beautiful business that supports so many artists and a lot of your artists are doing such incredible work.

**** – (): 25:52.36

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Yes, so I think that everyone I met I just pulled on every red string I could to make them be supportive to the gallery. Um, you know making friendship with the collectors and with Journalists and with.

**** – (): 26:10.40

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): The artist and I don’t know and every day just sitting there writing emails or inviting or yeah until and until he grows We just like we we um. I Think all my team now is also very good at collecting like I said as a joke to a woman the other days like oh you know I haven’t been able to come I said well as long as as soon as you come into my spare. You don’t get away but and she was like oh.

**** – (): 26:42.54

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Oh well.

**** – (): 26:45.17

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): A little bit surprised I guess about the honesty but um, it is true. You just? um, ah but I think that because I have to work so much maybe harder than people that have have the money and the funding. My art is selling and they can live from the work because.

**** – (): 26:55.97

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Have that.

**** – (): 27:03.31

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): You know I have to sell so I work so hard on making those ah those commitments and I like ah one of my artists is oh ah, one of her studio colleagues was asking. What do you do with all the work after the show is finished and he’s like I’m not getting in you work back.

**** – (): 27:03.91

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yes, yes, yes.

**** – (): 27:21.13

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 27:21.46

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): And all sold you know so I think like that is what what I can offer because we have to sell to make make the money go around so we sit up and we make that happen until we hit the the target each month to to cover costs.

**** – (): 27:28.47

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 27:37.30

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): And how do you? How how in the beginning when now you are a seasoned calry as entrepreneur now you know your ways but how did you feel about it when you were just starting out Also didn’t have enough support system. Let’s say you were just by yourself or you had somebody and not coming from an art. You know you just.

**** – (): 27:41.80

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Um.

**** – (): 27:57.33

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Didn’t have an experience What how did this world of collecting where you high view before that did you collects yourselfve so that he knew Okay, how did you navigate from not knowing anyone to being able to build build one of the I think art selling art is one of the most incredible like most difficult things. It’s not easy.

**** – (): 28:06.40

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Move.

**** – (): 28:16.90

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, and as the ticket goes higher I think you know and you know the whole how social media has changed and you know it’s It’s so many things now How how was that for you. How did you do that.

**** – (): 28:30.87

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Um, I think that every challenge is coming we we we kind of try to look at it from a different perspective I thing Maybe it’s an advantage I didn’t work from all galleries. So I kind of knew what you’re supposed to do so. For example, when.

**** – (): 28:48.30

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 28:48.20

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): When Covid hit we kept ah kept putting up every installing every exhibition like normal. We just did exactly the program but as it was and then we had some and install and took pictures and um yeah, like.

**** – (): 28:54.20

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay, okay.

**** – (): 29:04.32

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Share it with people.

**** – (): 29:07.89

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Yeah, we did um and it was okay to use the space as a shipping facility which you ended up being so it kind of worked getting things in and out and hiding in the back and keep the keep the work going.

**** – (): 29:14.56

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes, yes.

**** – (): 29:26.22

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): But then yeah like we just have to find different solutions like yeah I think the artwork is very vulnerable if there is an economical crisis. We are the first one to be hit because these are luxury good. You know so like for example now with the war in october.

**** – (): 29:34.95

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes, yes, yes, absolutely.

**** – (): 29:44.18

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): It’s been very hard in ah in Europe for the arts I think I think we can all see that. Um it’s it’s starting to lighten up a little bit again because people and tend to move on after a while even though.

**** – (): 29:46.90

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 29:54.18

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Me.

**** – (): 30:00.44

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, who.

**** – (): 30:02.89

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Um, Tragedies is still happening. Um and the same thing with the Ukrainian war. Um, it was also like a bit of a down a lot of European money is going to different causes right? Ah so I think I.

**** – (): 30:16.40

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes, absolutely.

**** – (): 30:21.34

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): You just have to be prepared for for challenges at all the time. Um, and that’s why it’s so good to have to create a real loyalty video collectors because if they’re going to buy. They will probably maybe buy.

**** – (): 30:33.46

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 30:39.20

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes, absolutely.

**** – (): 30:39.79

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Collect from your gallery. You know? So it’s building building that trust um, between the different people we have um, it’s kind of what I’ve been trying to do the whole time since the beginning. Ah so 80% of the the collectors will buy again and.

**** – (): 30:59.28

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): They’ll come again. Yeah, what do you feel has yeah so go ahead I was about to ask what you feel has with the rise of social media and now being you know.

**** – (): 30:59.38

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Yeah, yeah, come again and then mean us no fine. You can continue.

**** – (): 31:15.91

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): It’s also opened up and diversified the whole ecosystem so much and democratized both. Um, how do you see this changing. Um and just in general for the art world as well. How do you think this change has brought.

**** – (): 31:32.86

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): I Think it’s good I mean some certain I can I I’m really not fond of cancel culture because I think none of us are perfect and we all can say the wrong things So in that respect I think social media is can be.

**** – (): 31:41.65

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah, and yeah, okay, yes.

**** – (): 31:52.48

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Horribly destructive but in regards to seeing what’s out there and knowing what’s going on is beautiful like I I use social media all the time for Instagram with the images of artwork and sharing and growing.

**** – (): 31:53.24

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes.

**** – (): 32:00.33

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): No way.

**** – (): 32:08.25

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, you know what’s strange for the past month I’ve been speaking to so many in galtists. Um, we’ve been recording a lot of podcasts and I keep asking this question to everybody just to see that you know what is a general consensus and where people are going where they’re spending the time and.

**** – (): 32:11.18

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): And.

**** – (): 32:25.82

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I Have this hate love and hate relationship. Ah with social media I I love the opportunities it does provide but I also feel like specifically and specifically as an artist I feel like it also just sometimes it asks too much of me to go where I want to go? Let’s say.

**** – (): 32:27.67

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): And. New.

**** – (): 32:43.50

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Remember.

**** – (): 32:44.74

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): But as a business owner I feel like it has such an important It’s such an incredible tool. So I have two ways about it but I was asking this to a lot of people including you and 99.9 people said that they would just um scroll on Instagram and. If they like somebody. They just save that and a lot of the work that they the first glance so they’ve seen about an artist has been through Instagram. So which is yeah which is extremely through Instagram you do what does a process why I want to understand what goes behind the scenes. Let’s say if you’re starting to work with an artist. What does that and.

**** – (): 33:14.88

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Yeah, yeah, no, it’s um, it’s very powerful I also discover artists from there. Yeah yeah.

**** – (): 33:33.11

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I’ll ask you a few more questions which are again focused on emerging artists artists. I think the biggest problem is we do not have enough galleries and we have a lot more artists and there is such incredibly talented artists who. Ah, sitting in different parts of the world and may not be in the limelight or are getting the attention properly. They deserve. So let’s like let’s figure that out how what is the first thing that um strikes you to see a potential in supporting an artist’s work. Let’s say if you see them online offline. Whatever way? What is the first. First few thoughts.

**** – (): 34:12.19

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): It’s very difficult to describe because it’s just I just see something that I’m not seen before and that’s what makes my heart tick in a way. Yeah, so I can’t describe it because I don’t think.

**** – (): 34:18.85

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Nice one.

**** – (): 34:27.00

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Any artist can make something to be discovered. They have to make something that is truly theirs if it’s truly from the artist like not because they try and be in one direction that is in right now or they see out there. But if they truly go to.

**** – (): 34:33.53

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): That’s absolutely.

**** – (): 34:38.80

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Something. Yeah.

**** – (): 34:45.44

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Their heart and their sources. That’s where magic happens and that’s what I also try to like let my artists have that time to find that place you know like since we take care of most of other things. The artist can focus on being in the studio and and you know.

**** – (): 34:49.73

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): And what.

**** – (): 34:55.22

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): To have Mr a voice. Yeah.

**** – (): 35:04.84

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Create ah magic I only just interfere with asking what the subject’s going to be for this show or and so they know that they’re on some sort of direction and if then they have that six months before I think I feel pretty safe that they are on track with making a great show.

**** – (): 35:05.71

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 35:14.19

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): No.

**** – (): 35:20.16

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah, and what next let’s say you’ve liked somebody’s work and you feel it speaks to you Then what? if next few things that come to your mind. What does that process look like how do you explore this relationship and turn it into something.

**** – (): 35:24.61

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): I think.

**** – (): 35:35.37

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Ah I can well I can be very impulsive. So I can be maybe a little bit more dramatically fast and other people like ah negi or muus she says he has this funny story that is she. When she heard about my museum to Norway cobana she she was like oh you know I want to know Kristen so she she she followed me this is when I didn’t have that many followers this like six years ago something so some.

**** – (): 36:00.17

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, okay.

**** – (): 36:05.92

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): And so she would click like on follow me and then click like on lots of multiple things and myself saw in 5 minutes I had seen her work and I was like oh do you want to do a group show. So its like you know so if something hits me like I know our kids.

**** – (): 36:08.80

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 36:16.24

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Wow.

**** – (): 36:22.71

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): You trust your intuition more I love and yeah.

**** – (): 36:24.19

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Feel It is good. Yes I do so then I go for it which can to more some people be a little bit like oh who is she what is going on here because not many people react like that you know and then and that it I think.

**** – (): 36:36.33

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): E.

**** – (): 36:43.75

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): I’ve had very great success with that actually like being so you know following that kind of feelings and not questioning them and um, yeah, now like all her work most of her work also goes to museums and you know. Greatest collectors and we just had this incredible sold out show in Palm Beach Now. It’s Beautiful. So It’s I think it’s really fun I Love I Love that process of being there for an artist from the beginning and enough because it’ it. It.

**** – (): 37:17.91

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes, yes, and you will just see them.

**** – (): 37:22.83

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Yeah, it’s just that we create like a bum for for for long long time that is strong and to know each other and you know some galleries They don’t want to really represent artist or just don’t want to deal with that personal part and so on for me. Um.

**** – (): 37:28.00

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): You know.

**** – (): 37:41.27

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): That’s the whole reason Mom here kind of you know like I like yeah yeah, get yeah I get it? Yes I want to I Want to know the people that I have around I want to have that kind of thrust around me.

**** – (): 37:42.76

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Getting you like to get in Endo like you know, really get your hands messy and truly dive into it.

**** – (): 37:56.81

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): And that’s why like some of the artists calls me La Mama You know.

**** – (): 38:03.77

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah, amazing. Yeah.

**** – (): 38:04.83

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Ah, or mom or all kinds of different versions of that. But yeah, because and that’s what I want to be like I think that being the galleries you should be mothering. You know you should give that kind of safe place for them to be to grow and.

**** – (): 38:17.44

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Guiding. Yeah.

**** – (): 38:22.25

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): And and dare to to do experiments and sometimes the experiments doesn’t work and then I will have to be the one to say that it doesn’t work and that can hurt. But then they know that I really mean it when something is really good. So it’s that’s that’s part of.

**** – (): 38:33.20

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 38:39.80

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Part of my job is to make sure that yeah make sure that they know what they that this is work that they want to bring out there. You know.

**** – (): 38:40.66

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): That’s plot of the part. Yeah.

**** – (): 38:49.38

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, what is your tip for artists who are looking to ah to expand their careers to take the next step to get let’s say um to find the light I think Collaborators Galies agents consultants collectors are someone who’s. Let’s say not able to they feel like stuck in a loop I think a lot of time I think there comes a point where you figure out that you’re still learning and you’re able to find and then a lot of artists I see are stuck in a loop. They they know who they are the kind of work but just don’t know.

**** – (): 39:13.59

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): M.

**** – (): 39:24.54

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Now What to do with that now where to take it how to take it forward.

**** – (): 39:30.22

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Yes, well the most important thing is to keep showing and maybe 1 can do group shows oneself that one can organize with other artists that they care about and they want to grow with um I think i.

**** – (): 39:33.77

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 39:41.15

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 39:47.67

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Keep working and um I know it’s just it’s so hard to to get the the right path in um and some people do it early and some people do it much later, but just keep. Working like I mean think about Felita Barlow you know she was teaching for all those years before she got her break and she kept on doing it and nobody will remember her nobody will forget her work now right? as I think like it it. Your journey can be doesn’t have to be the same as the journey of.

**** – (): 40:06.92

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah, yeah, doing it me now. Yeah.

**** – (): 40:22.81

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Your your other artist friend or so on you know, like maybe your journey is going to be bigger sometimes you know new new work takes a long time to be appreciated I.

**** – (): 40:28.80

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): And. Yeah, and also sometimes you just have to keep believing and keep making the work I think you’re respective of where it’s going when it’s going to go you just have to hear your heart and if it keeps calling you and you keep I think that process should shouldn’t stop.

**** – (): 40:45.18

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Um, yeah, yes I believe that if you really work on what you’re doing and. You are doing something that’s from your core and not something as I’ve mentioned before not taking from some other places then it’s going to happen somehow you know not give up.

**** – (): 41:02.78

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah. Yeah I love that Thank you so much Kristen one last question which is extremely important because we’ve been getting that you’re curating the top hundred emerging women artists 2024 volume with us and so.

**** – (): 41:16.56

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 41:26.34

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): We’ve received a lot of submissions but a lot of times people want to hear from the curator on what kind of work are you interested? What catches your eye. What will you look at? do you have? can you anyone who’s interested and who’s listening to this episode What do you want to tell them. What are these? How are we going to figure out these top hundred.

**** – (): 41:47.46

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Well I think that um, a strong narrative is very important to me that you have that the artwork comes from a story that you are telling something it could be from where you’re from or from whatever.

**** – (): 41:50.13

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay, okay.

**** – (): 41:59.22

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Here.

**** – (): 42:04.92

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): You have to say it’s like writing a book if you don’t have a story is not. It’s not going to be particularly good. So I think that if you just make work without thinking about why you’re making it I mean it’s absolutely some of the work like abstract work sometimes is’s much more subconscious.

**** – (): 42:10.30

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah, yes.

**** – (): 42:23.48

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah.

**** – (): 42:24.32

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): But it’s still because it comes from some sort of core part of you. You know? So I think just what is it that you Why is it important to you to make that work and that’s kind of what I I feel like I can you know see and feel.

**** – (): 42:26.20

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 42:33.39

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Mean I. That boy calls you.

**** – (): 42:42.82

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Yeah, that’s what calls me and it can be in any form you know it could be photography. It could be painting. It could be sculpture. It can be any form but um, yeah, and thank you.

**** – (): 42:51.59

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Perfect. Thank you so much Kristen thank you so much for having you again. Always always and I hope you have a good day and I’ll see you soon again.

**** – (): 42:59.36

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Lovely speaking to you.

**** – (): 43:06.52

**** – (): Kristin Hjellegjerde

**** – (): Um, thank you bye.

**** – (): 43:07.73

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): You don’t have to go.


About the Guest(s):

Kristin Hjellegjerde is a Norwegian gallerist and entrepreneur. She is the founder and owner of Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, which has locations in London, Berlin, and West Palm Beach. With a background in literature, criminology, and performance art, Kristin brings a unique perspective to the art world. She is known for her ability to discover and support emerging artists, and she is passionate about creating a nurturing and collaborative environment for both artists and collectors.

Episode Summary:

In this episode, host Charuka Arora interviews Kristin Hjellegjerde, the founder and owner of Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery. They discuss Kristin’s journey from starting her gallery in London to expanding to multiple locations around the world. Kristin shares her insights on the challenges of being a gallerist, the importance of building relationships with artists and collectors, and the impact of social media on the art world. She also provides valuable advice for emerging artists and discusses her role as a curator for the Top 100 Emerging Artists 2024 volume.

Key Takeaways:

  • Kristin Hjellegjerde emphasizes the importance of building relationships with artists and collectors in the art world.
  • She believes that artists should stay true to their own vision and create work that comes from their core.
  • Kristin discusses the challenges of being a gallerist, including the pressure to sell and the impact of economic crises on the art market.
  • She highlights the power of social media in discovering and promoting artists, but also acknowledges the negative aspects of cancel culture.
  • Kristin encourages emerging artists to keep working, stay true to themselves, and create a strong narrative in their work.

Notable Quotes:

  • “If you truly go to your heart and your sources, that’s where magic happens.” – Kristin Hjellegjerde
  • “Being a gallerist, you should be mothering. You should give that kind of safe place for artists to grow and dare to do experiments.” – Kristin Hjellegjerde

Charuka Arora is the founder of the Arts to Hearts Project and Host of the Arts to Hearts Podcast. She is also an acclaimed Indian artist known for her contemporary embellished paintings. Her unique blend of gouache, collage, embroidery, painting, and drawing explores the intersection of art, culture, heritage, and womanhood. Through her work, she tells stories of female strength and encapsulates them in pieces that can be treasured for generations.

 Arts to Hearts Project Gallery + Studio

Charuka’s work draws inspiration from Hindu mythology, recognizing women as vessels of Shakti, the cosmic energy. She beautifully portrays powerful goddesses like Durga Maa riding a tiger or lion, symbolizing their unlimited power to protect virtue and combat evil.

Through her art, Charuka invites us into the world of women, showcasing their beauty, strength, and resilience. Her creations not only exhibit exceptional talent but also serve as an inspiration and a symbol of hope for those challenging societal norms.

About Arts to Hearts Project Gallery + Studio

Arts to Hearts Podcast is a show delving into the lives and passions of renowned artists. From running creative businesses and studio art practices to cultivating a successful mindset, Charuka Arora engages in heartfelt conversations with her guests. Experience your personal happy hour with your favorite artists, right in your studio.

Through candid discussions, Charuka and her guests reveal the joys and challenges of a vibrant creative life, both within and beyond our studios. Get ready to be inspired and uplifted as you tune in.

Kristin Hjellegjerde

Kristin Hjellegjerde

Drawing on her own international background, Kristin Hjellegjerde seeks to nurture new talent by offering artists a dynamic, inclusive platform through which they can be introduced to local and global clients. She established Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery in 2012, and it has fast gained a reputation for exhibiting a diverse roster of innovative, international artists, both emerging and established, with strong theoretical and aesthetic bases. 

Kristin works closely with other curators and collectors as well as developers and architects to develop unique and exciting exhibition concepts. In 2019, she curated ‘Kubatana’, a museum exhibition focused on African artists at Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, Norway. In October 2021, Kristin Hjellegjerde was featured in Monocle Magazine’s Top 25 Global Entrepreneurs of 2021. 

Kristin’s relationship with artists is very much like that of a protective mom because she believes that as a gallerist, her job is to mother her clients. She loves the feeling of being there for an artist from the beginning and does her best to give them a safe place to grow, which she does by being honest and supportive.

Hardest part as a gallerist

For Kristin, starting out wasn’t easy. For one, she started as a gallerist with nothing but her passion. As she came into the business, she realized how hard it can be especially when you don’t have something to fall back on. Without any funding or money, she found it to be overwhelming, to say the least. It took her many years, trials, and tribulations before she got the hang of it.

Even though Kristin’s team has gotten bigger over time, she still struggles with the workload and feels immense pressure on her. Another thing that proved to be quite challenging for her business was the increased shipping cost due to Brexit and all the extra limitations. Her team has to put in more work due to all the protocols, and that can cost extra money as well.

It’s true that not having any background in the art world can create self-doubts, whether you are an artist, collector, or a gallerist. For Kristin, it was no different as she felt she had to work twice as hard because of no wealth or funding. She worked each day to make sure she reached out to collectors and journalists. For her, it was about creating contacts and making friendships with the right people so that she could get as many people as she could that could support her gallery.

For Kristin and her team, it’s important that they sell and make money so they can reach their target each month and cover the costs. And so, the entire team has to be ready at all times for any kind of unexpected challenges. From COVID to the recent war in Europe, the art world is vulnerable to such external variables and economic crises as art is considered a ‘luxury good’. Kristin’s solution is to focus on creating loyal art collectors. If there is trust between a gallerist and collectors, chances are that the gallery can survive unexpected surprises because 80% of the time, the collectors do come back to buy again.

BERLIN: UPHOLD – RICHARD BURTON – Image taken from Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery’s website

Kristin’s curation process

Kristin creates all the shows on her own, so it’s very important that the artists she represents also represent what she feels at her core. For her, it’s all about instincts. She has been doing this for so long, that now it has become second nature to her when she sees something and knows whether it checks all the boxes. She loves being surprised by art and how it can make her feel. From Instagram to art fairs to recommendations by friends, she can get inspired at any place and at any time.

Talking about her process and social media, Kristin says that she isn’t a fan of the cancel culture. While social media has its perks, there are some drawbacks as well. It really depends on the user, as it can either be destructive or it can be used to further your career. Kristin herself uses social media to grow her business and discover new artists. Knowing how you create that balance, where you figure out how to use social media to your advantage, is also an art.

For Kristin, what makes her heart tick is seeing something she hasn’t seen before. It’s that instinct that tells Kristin of the artist’s potential and whether she wants to go through with it. According to her, the only way an artist can create such art is by listening to their heart. If they want to be discovered, they need to create that magic that can only be channeled from within. So far she has had great success with having that mindset where she likes following those kinds of feelings and not questioning them.

LONDON (WANDSWORTH): ELYSIUM – TUAN VU – Image taken from Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery’s website

Curating for ATH’s ‘100 Emerging Artists’

Kristin is curating our next book “100 Emerging Artists: 2024 Women’s Edition”. In the episode, she talks about looking forward to seeing all the new art and says that for her, a strong narrative is important. The artwork has to tell a story about you or where you are from, and that’s how you can grab her attention. Creating good art is very much like writing a book, where you need to have a good story. So think carefully about what you want to create and why you want to create it, and you’re halfway there already!

It comes from some core part of you.

Kristin Hjellegjerde – Arts to Hearts podcast s04e11

Kristin’s advice for artists

For artists who are looking to expand their careers, Kristin has one important things to say.

The most important thing is to keep showing.

Kristin Hjellegjerde – Arts to Hearts podcast s04e11

As an artist, you have to have the heart to keep showing up even if things don’t seem to work out at the moment. If you are struggling with shows, you can always do group shows with artists you care about and want to grow with. Artists should take inspiration from people like Phyllida Barlow who was a teacher for decades before she got her big break. Her secret? She kept on trying and making art and now she is one of the most celebrated female artists!

You just have to keep believing.

Kristin Hjellegjerde – Arts to Hearts podcast s04e11

Do not compare your journey to other artists, because everyone is on their own path. Maybe your journey will be bigger and maybe it will take time to get there. The important thing is to not give up and have faith that things will work out. If you are doing something that’s from your core, then you best believe that it’s going to happen somehow!

You can reach out to Kristin on her Instagram account and don’t forget to check out her work on her gallery’s official website!

To read up more about Arts to Hearts Podcast and its episodes, click here.


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