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DeMontfort Fine Art

Innovative, Individual & Inspirational

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Clarendon Fine Art, the UK’s most dynamic gallery group is at the forefront of contemporary art, connecting established and emerging artists to a loyal and engaged customer base. Here, we spend some time with Founder and CEO Helen Swaby to discuss the ideas behind the company and what its future plans are as it continues to grow.

Clarendon’s story began because of a desire to tackle the elitism that dominates the world of art and to change the perception that contemporary art is just for the chosen few. Today it is viewed as both a disruptor and innovator across the art sector. Clarendon Fine Art is a culmination of a passion for art and a vision to make it accessible to all.

“Our portfolio features top international names, award-winners and the most exceptional new emerging talent, featuring living contemporary talents such as Mr Brainwash, Christian Hook, Fabian Perez as well as an extensive Modern Masters collection including Damien Hirst, David Hockney, Andy Warhol, L.S. Lowry, Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso,” highlights Helen Swaby, Founder and CEO of Clarendon Fine Art.
“We believe in the transformative power of art and our concept revolves around curating exceptional pieces that inspire and enrich the lives of our clients.”

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Over the last 15 years, the company has grown to a portfolio of 91 boutique galleries across the UK, on-board 11 ocean liners in partnership with Cunard and P&O Cruises and one gallery in the US. Their physical retail presence is a collection of inspiring spaces where art lovers can explore and collect diverse artworks in immersive environments. Their galleries are strategically situated in high-traffic, affluent locations to maximise visibility and accessibility to art enthusiasts and collectors.

The most recent openings for the business include a flagship gallery in Westport, Connecticut that was launched last year and spans 3,000sq ft. In addition to this flagship, in the last few months they have opened boutique galleries in the southeast of England – Canterbury, Blackheath and Tunbridge Wells to cater to the exciting art scene in these regions. These openings reflect the business’s commitment to reaching diverse demographics and fostering artistic dialogue in thriving cultural community hubs.

Over the next year or two, Clarendon Fine Art plans to focus on enhancing their online presence and digital capabilities to adapt to evolving customer preferences. They are currently exploring international markets, including expansion into the Middle East to tap into its flourishing art market.

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“The Middle East presents an exciting opportunity for us to introduce our brand to a discerning audience with a penchant for luxury and art appreciation. We are actively exploring partnerships and collaborations to establish a foothold in this dynamic region,” Swaby explains.
Discussing its market position, the Founder and CEO comments that Clarendon Fine Art remains at the forefront of the market by continually innovating and adapting to changing consumer trends. They invest in curatorial excellence, leveraging technology to enhance the customer experience and fostering collaborations with artists and cultural institutions.

The business prioritises and fosters meaningful connections with their customers by offering a unique and personalised consultative service, immersive exhibitions, and exclusive artist events. By curating memorable experiences, they have cultivated a strong brand loyalty by ensuring they can assist their clients in building amazing, personalized art collections over the years, under a strong relationship built on trust between clients and art consultants.

Social media plays a pivotal role in today’s retail world and Clarendon Fine Art recognises the power it possesses in helping them amplify their brand presence and allowing them to engage with a global audience. They utilise multiple platforms to highlight their artworks and artists events, sharing behind-the-scenes content and to continue interacting with their followers, thereby fostering a vibrant art appreciation community.

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Another initiative that plays a major role with the company is that of sustainability and they are committed to reducing their environmental footprint through responsible practices. They prioritise sourcing eco-friendly materials, promoting UK artists and implementing recycling initiatives across all their operations.

As our conversation with Helen moves onto the topic of enhanced digital strategies, she tells us that the current landscape has propelled the business to accelerate their digital strategies, focusing on enhancing their online gallery experience and offering immersive virtual exhibitions.

“We envision a seamless omni-channel experience for our clients, blending the physical and digital realms, providing our clients with unparalleled access to art and visual encounters.”

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Clarendon Fine Art has come a long way in a short space of time and the success it has achieved stems from their unwavering dedication to artistic excellence, customer satisfaction and innovation. What sets the company apart is their commitment to democratising art, making it accessible to both seasoned collections and new enthusiasts alike.

“Our company ethos revolves around passion, integrity and inclusivity. We believe in the transforming power of art to inspire, fostering a cultural dialogue, which allows art to transcend boundaries by enriching the lives of our clients.” Swaby enthuses.

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Before our time with Helen runs out, we ask her what challenges lie ahead and after thinking about this for a moment, she says that as they charter new territories and embrace digital transformation, their greatest challenge lies in maintaining the delicate balance between tradition and innovation while staying true to their core values. In addition, she highlights that navigating the dynamic landscape of the art market amidst geopolitical uncertainties presents inherent challenges.

“I would like to express my gratitude to our clients, partners, and dedicated teams for their unwavering support in our journey so far. Together, we remain committed to shaping the future of art and enriching lives through creativity, passion, and enjoyment,” Swaby concludes.