Alastair Hull - Haddenham Galleries

Today we meet owner of the Haddenham Galleries and Studios, Alastair Hull.

How and when did you set up the gallery at Haddenham?

It has been a long evolution of trading to arrive where we are now. We had a shop in Mill Road called 'Alternatives' in the 1970's to 80's, we then moved to Haddenham where we had a small shop in front of our big ethnic wholesale warehouse. However in 1998 we discovered that our 2 daughters and many other graduates were leaving art college with no experience of getting their work into a gallery. So since we had space for studios and gallery, we converted the building into 6 studios, an art gallery and an ethnic gallery with the brief to involve young emerging artists. We soon discovered that not all emerging artists are that young!! Over the past 12 years it has evolved, changed and grown to include a tea shop and sculpture garden.

How do you source artists to show at the gallery?

Initially we approached artists through open studio events, travelling as far as Somerset and Dumfreiss and by visiting other galleries all over the country. Now we find more and more artists contact us, or just walk through the door with a portfolio. However we do visit almost all our artist/makers in their own studios. This way we get to know them personally, their motivation etc. All of which reflects in the presentation and selling in the gallery.

What advice would you give an artist approaching a gallery to represent them?

Presentation, presentation! It is so important to have work that is at a stage where it can be displayed for sale. Pricing is also very important. Some work can be over priced and some under priced.

You also have studios at Haddenham, what disciplines are the resident artists currently involved with?

Wildlife artist, furniture painter, felt artist, painter, sculptress, textile and rug repairer, ceramicist, entomology artist, textile designers.

As well as promoting artists, you have an amazing array of "objets" sourced from all over the world. Where is your favourite place to visit to find interesting items?

I specialise in two areas of the world, Central Asia, that is Iran, Afghanistan, North West Frontier and Nepal, and the Indonesian Archipeligo. I need to know in great depth every thing I buy and bring back, where and how it fits in the culture, if it has any age, how it is used and made, if it has any religeous significance.

My favourite place varies according to various experiences, however one trip I would really like to do is travel over the Karakoram highway into the very western part of Tibet and Mongolia.

Tell us about the Charity Art Auction you are holding Saturday 16th July.

In July Alice and Tom are driving an ambulance to Mongolia, to donate it to a charity in Ulan Baatar who educate and support homeless children. To raise money for the charity they are holding many events including an auction of work donated by some of the best known and collected artists and makers in the region. I have been asked to put on a colourful waistcoat, find a gavel and act as auctioneer for this evening event which will include live music, refreshments and food. Visit

Have you got any workshops lined up for adults or children this year?

We have very popular workshops in July and August run by water colour artist Sarah Warnes and by illustrator Ann Biggs.

Describe your perfect day at the Haddenham Galleries.

Have an exciting new artist walk through the door with inspirational work. Have friendly customers walk through the door and say "WOW". Make a great cup of coffee in our tea shop for a friend and have a enlightening discussion.

Welcome to the Cambridge Creative Network where we invite creative professionals to promote their work through our gallery, find events and opportunities and network with other like-minded people in Cambridge. Want to join us? Apply here...

About Karen Jinks