Looking for an interesting and contemporary way to brighten up your walls? A gallery wall display might be just what you’re looking for.
HOW A GALLERY WALL WORKS
A gallery wall enhances the impact of a picture, painting or print by clustering a number of framed art pieces in the same place. It creates a singular focal point on your wall that holds the viewers’ attention while they move from piece to piece taking in details. This way, the pieces work artistically as individual works as well as a combined whole, creating shape, colour and atmosphere through association and proximity.
Scattering a cluster of artworks along the wall also creates a wave, or movement through different sizes and textures. You are creating multiple layers that are interesting and pleasing to look at.
A gallery wall maximises the number of artwork pieces you can display while minimising the amount of space they use. Rather than competing for attention and space along a wall as individual pieces, the artworks work in harmony to create a large and attractive canvas.
Gallery walls work effectively to bring attention and focus to smaller artworks as well as effectively showcasing items that are designed to be displayed as a set.
The creativity also allows you to express your own artistic side by bringing together enhancing pieces, stretching the limits of your imagination to find items that will bring the collection together, creating atmosphere, mood and letting your personal character out onto the walls.
HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN GALLERY WALL
There really are no limits or rules when it comes to creating your own space.
You can choose only two pieces of the same size, you can choose 20 pieces of different sizes, and anything in between. They can be placed symmetrically or asymmetrically, they can move horizontally, vertically or diagonally across your wall.
They can be high or low, depending on your pieces and what you want to call into focus.
The most important things to keep in mind are your personal tastes and the décor of your home. You can also consider what artworks you have on display already and in storage.
While anything works as part of a gallery wall, to keep things coherent you are best to pick a theme. That theme can be similar colours, similar styles, similar subject matter (like coffee, France, Spring, or horses). They do not need to be obviously similar, subtle works well here as well.
If there is no obvious cohesion between the gallery items but you really love how it looks and feels, having a similar frame type or frame border insert can be enough to tie all your pieces together when they are hung.
The most important element is proximity. Your pieces should be evenly spaced and close together. Look to space them five to ten centimetres apart for best results. Keep the same gap difference side to side and top and bottom.
How do I know where to hang them?
The best way to get a feel for the finished piece is to lay them out on the floor or stack them against a wall and stand back. Do you like the overall look, feel, shape? Are your eyes draw to each of the individual pieces and the whole space?
If you want to know how the sizes will look on the wall you can cut out the frame sizes on butcher’s paper or packaging paper and tape them where you think they can go. This is also helpful for getting the hooks in the right place.
Keep in mind if you have heavy frames or pieces they will need to be fixed securely onto your wall so sort out where your internal wall beams are with a stud finder before you get started.
What can I use in my frames?
A gallery wall lets you get really creative with your art choices. Something that wouldn’t necessarily work in a frame on its own (like an emerald green piece of silk material) might work amazingly when nestled in a cluster. Here are some ideas to help get you thinking about what would best reflect you and your home.
• Professional paintings
• Professional prints
• Amateur paintings
• Cartoon style simple images
• Black and white mixed with colour
• Maps (hand drawn, line drawn and atlas style)
• Kids art
• Letters and numbers
• Shells, insects, butterflies
• Movie posters
• Comic books/prints
You can also think outside the frame. Some items work well without needing a frame, especially if they are prominent (usually sitting out from the wall). Artefacts, big bold letters, symbols and figures can also be included in your gallery wall.
Think about what you love and what you collect. These are great clues to getting your imagination fired up. After that, your wall is your only limit.
Peta Stewart – Certified Practicing Conveyancer