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Collector's Choice

Cath Kidston
A Great Escape

I have always loved pictures and have been a compulsive collector from an early age. I began by being drawn to collecting prints in my twenties. I was on a very limited budget and you could pick up early engravings for nothing in those days. My taste is very varied but in recent years I have bought mainly abstract work, often it must be said at the London Original Print Fair. Favourites have been a beautiful Ellsworth Kelly leaf print and a small Ben Nicholson, Circles. This year I was delighted to be able to escape this strange small world I am living in and venture out into a preview of the Virtual London Original Print Fair. What a joy to have a tour all to myself! I did feel nostalgic for years gone by, the buzz of the fair and seeing my favourite dealers and friends, but I loved the fact that I could look calmly though everything. What fun to choose my fantasy selection!

My buying is driven by emotion and I was surprised to see what I was drawn too; gentle, optimistic, rather ethereal work. I am sure I am not alone in wanting to feel closer to nature with all the horrors going in the world. I am also craving things around me that bring a feeling of comfort and optimism. So in my dream world I began by choosing Cy Twombly’s series of Some Trees of Italy. Then I couldn’t resist a couple of the very decorative Theodore Roussel prints and two pictures from the charming world of Ramiro Fernandez Saus. I chose Goya's magical Circus Queen, Edward Ruscha’s dreamy bubbles, and two wonderful Tom Hammick night-time prints as they lifted my mood. Of course I couldn’t resist Michael Barratt’s Reason’s to Be Cheerful and finally Ken Kiff’s Bright Rainbow, which seems to sum up this year’s show beautifully, surely a perfect ode to our NHS.