Interview with Megan Piper
Interview with Megan Piper

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Interview with Megan Piper

Screen shot 2016 05 18 at 11.28.04

Interview with Megan Piper

Megan Piper, rising star on the London art scene, opened her gallery on May 11th in Mayfair. Plinth writer Emily Watkins asks about upcoming projects, the process of setting up the space and its philosophy.

After 2 years without a gallery space, it’s very exciting to re-launch my exhibition programme at 67 Jermyn Street…

Megan Piper
EW

Your gallery opened on Wednesday! How do you feel?

MP

After 2 years without a gallery space, it’s very exciting to re-launch my exhibition programme at 67 Jermyn Street…

EW

Tell us about your space, and how you came to choose it.

MP

The gallery is in the lower-ground of antiquarian dealers Harris Lindsay – they operate discreetly from a large ground floor premises, without a shop window… We were introduced through friends and the idea of juxtaposing antiques and contemporary art immediately appealed.

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I joined the fine art handler Momart when I graduated in 2008 and worked in their gallery services department, looking after clients that included White Cube, Gagosian and Serpentine Gallery.

Megan Piper
EW

Could you explain a little about your history, and how you came to work in the art world?

MP

I joined the fine art handler Momart when I graduated in 2008 and worked in their gallery services department, looking after clients that included White Cube, Gagosian and Serpentine Gallery. I left in 2011 to set up The Piper Gallery, which opened its doors in the summer of 2012 – my backer pulled out in 2013 and the gallery was forced to close. Since then I’ve set up The Line (a sculpture trail in East London that links the Olympic Park and The O2, following the waterways and the line of the Meridian) and am now excited to pick up where I left off – with The Piper Gallery’s exhibition programme – at 67 Jermyn Street…

EW

How did you reach the decision of which exhibition to open with?

MP

I’ve worked with Tess Jaray since 2012 and really wanted an opportunity to show these paintings. The gallery is modest in size but I felt offered an opportunity to present a tightly-focused exhibition. Tess’ public work is the subject of a new book, Desire Lines, to be published by Ridinghouse at the end of June and she has also just curated an exhibition, The Edge of Printing, at the Royal Academy’s Keeper’s House – it felt the right moment to put together an exhibition of her recent work…

Detail   first city %282015%29

Tess Jaray, detail from 'First City', 2015.

I’m showing a collection of Edward Allington’s new sculptures, The Hidden Sculptures, as an installation in the gallery’s library next month.

Megan Piper
EW

Can you tell us about the upcoming programme?

MP

I’m showing a collection of Edward Allington’s new sculptures, The Hidden Sculptures, as an installation in the gallery’s library next month. I will then hold a major exhibition of the late Francis West’s work in the autumn, to coincide with Frieze, and for this show I will take over the ground floor of Harris Lindsay also…

EW

What other projects are you working on at the moment?

MP

I’m continuing my involvement with The Line, as the project’s co-founder, but am having a more hands-off approach as I handover the reins to Artwise!

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EW

How would you characterise London’s creative zeitgeist at the moment?

MP

I think, as dealers, we’re being encouraged to be creative in terms of how we show work. More and more people are operating without a shop window – on first floors, in basements, sharing gallery spaces, as well as art fair stands – and I see this is a positive response to the challenges of operating in London. A spirit of collaboration is in the air and it’s interesting to observe the collaborations that emerge…

EW

If Megan Piper Gallery had a motto, what would it be?

MP

A fresh perspective.

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