A new gallery in Shrewsbury has just opened its doors, with a rare £50,000 drawing by renowned British artist LS Lowry as a centrepiece.
Young entrepreneur Jonathan Soden has fulfilled a dream by launching the venture in Wyle Cop.
The new business, called The Soden Collection, will also feature modern and contemporary pieces by leading names, including David Hockney, Damien Hirst and Banksy, alongside modern artists such as Sir William Nicholson and Alan Lowndes and more traditional work by Lucien Pisarro and Francois Gall.
“We will be the first independent gallery in the region to specialise in work of this style and quality,” said 31-year-old Jonathan, who has been in art sales for three years.
“I have always been passionate about art since my school days in Telford so opening my own gallery is a dream come true – it is very exciting for me and hopefully for the town of Shrewsbury too.
“There is nowhere else in this region selling such high-end contemporary and modern paintings, ceramics and sculpture, in fact you would have to travel to London to get the same experience.
“The Lowry sketch is the showstopper for the opening – it is a rare and important drawing which lay undiscovered for over four decades and has already attracted widespread interest, as has the sought-after lithographs signed by Hockney,” said Jonathan, who lives in Shrewsbury.
Together with his business partner Paul Corbett, he has invested in the complete refurbishment of the former jewellers in Wyle Cop, which now features two gallery rooms, a private viewing lounge and an outside courtyard area where garden sculpture will be displayed.
“I have sourced my exhibits very carefully, often visiting artists in their studios in London and Paris and am thrilled to have also been able to secure work by people such as Endre Roder, Andrew Macara, Mark Beattie, Sandra Blow and George Morton-Clark,” said Jonathan.
He explained that his art teacher at Lord SIlkin School had ignited his interest in the subject by introducing him to the work of Gustav Klimt.
“As a teenager I took myself off to Vienna to see a Klimt exhibition which blew my mind and from then on I knew that I wanted to work in art so it’s amazing to be in this position today,” he added.
The LS Lowry sketch for sale at his gallery was discovered at a family home in Huddersfield. Called The Polling Station, it was drawn in 1942 and is seen to illustrate the breadth and depth of his talent as an artist.