Don’t just bash a nail in the wall or hang your masterpieces on the hooks left by the previous owners, assuming they’ll be right for you. Chances are they weren’t right for the earlier daubs. Remember, hanging art is an art in itself. Oh, and don’t be afraid to take cues from your décor for a new higher-impact way to hang art, (once consider very lowbrow). It’s the new big thing. Before you start hammering, read this!
THE DO’S AND DON’TS
The rule of thumb is that the centre of a work should be 150 centimetres from the floor, so you can look it at it from eye level (when you are sitting down).
Don’t just get out your tape measure and plant works at random intervals along the walls. Get all your painting together in one place and assess their qualities. When you mass your art together you’ll probably realize thay you have a lot of paintings the same size.
Do look at the colour and subject matter of your paintings and position them accordingly. Move them around to see how they lighten up in some rooms and not others. Take your time.
Don’t commit the cardinal rule and strand a small work on a big wall. It will look lost and lonely, worse than nothing.
Do hang big paintings first, usually in the middle of walls, and then work outwards. It’s a bit like creating a collage.
Do think how you can mass small works together. A dozen little paintings hung in close proximity can make a statement, even when no individual work is particularly memorable.
Don’t leave unframed art leaning on floors for years. Frame the best and chuck the rest. Hang your art at the right height: the general rule is to make sure the centre of the work is 150cm from the floor.
Do hang big artworks in small rooms. An oversized painting will make a room appear bigger, and add weight to the space. (It’s all about the space created around the piece, not the space it takes up).
Do rotate works regularly. You’re a homemaker, not a museum curator. Be fluid. If it doesn’t work, move it.
Don’t hang cluttered, salon-style arrays of artwork which have lost their mojo. What looks new: Framing similarly sized pieces identically and hanging them in a tight grid formation.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take Cues From Your Décor A little worried about buying a painting to go with your sofa or plaid wallpaper. Don’t be – follow the lead of a new-generation of artists who mix and match all kinds of different art and decorative finishes in a room. Artists don’t mind what you do with their art, as long as you treat it with respect.
If all this sounds too hard or if the thought of getting out a drill gives you a headache, call a professional art hanger. If you’re suspending an 80kg work on a plaster wall, you’ll need expert help.
WHERE TO GO
The professionals can help you hang a single work or a whole collection. Hanging Around (Greg McInnes) 0418 416 444; THE HANGMAN (Jonathan Lee) 0419 424 604; MUSEUM SERVICES AUSTRALIA 9144 2144.