4×4 Episode 7

This episode is a particularly personal one for me as it features four wonderful women who I met through Instagram and have become friends with, regularly meeting up for coffees, lunches and cocktails whenever we can! Instagram gets a bad rap, but it also has so many positives, including bringing like minded people together.
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So I’m delighted to present the art stories of Antonia Sanchez-Toomey, of Tinker Tailor a super stylish style blogger and shop owner, Karen Wareham aka The Style Nurse and Anna Berkeley, both fashionistas and personal stylists, and Caroline Jones of Knickers Model’s Own, one of the funniest people I know, with a particular penchant for second hand style.

1×4

ANTONIA SANCHEZ-TOOMEY IS THE FOUNDER OF TINKER TAILOR ONLINE, A STYLE BLOG, LIFESTYLE SHOP AND CAFE IN NORTH LONDON, WHERE SHE ALSO RUNS CREATIVE WORKSHOPS. WE MET SHORTLY AFTER WE HAD BOTH STARTED ON INSTAGRAM AND IT’S BEEN LOVELY TO SEE HER ACHIEVE HER DREAM OF OPENING A BRICKS AND MORTAR SHOP IN HER HOME NEIGHBOURHOOD OF BUSH HILL PARK, ENFIELD.

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We are the proud owners of a unique piece of art made exclusively for us and I love it!
Q1. What is your favourite work and where is it from?
My favourite piece of art is by Miranda Carter, it’s an abstract painting that we commissioned especially for our loft extension which is now our bedroom
Antonia Bedroom
Q2. Why do you love it?
I love this painting because for me it reminds me of the sea. I grew up by the sea and it has always been an anchor point in my life. It soothes me, it makes me feel calm and it helps me to switch off from the world, so to have it represented in my bedroom is absolutely perfect.  
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Q3. Where does it live in your home?
Above my bed. We had been waiting to build a loft extension for several years and when the time finally came we decided to design our dream space and a bespoke piece of art was part of that plan. I had no experience of commissioning or buying art but I felt inspired by Kate’s blog and the 4×4 interviews, so when I stumbled upon Miranda’s work, I decided to approach her about creating something just for us. It sounds simple enough but taking this first step was completely out of my comfort zone. I shouldn’t have worried though, because it was so far removed from being the daunting experience I thought it would be. We are now the proud owners of a unique piece of art that was made exclusively for us and I love it!  
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Q4. If money were no object what piece of art would you buy?
I’m really not sure about this question because, in all honesty, I am not that well versed in art. However, I have long coveted a Gray Malin (the sea again!) and I’ve got my eye on something by Philippa Jeffrey
P Jeffrey
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2×4

KAREN WAREHAM THE STYLE NURSE IS A PART TIME PRACTICE NURSE IN REAL LIFE AND ALSO A PERSONAL STYLIST WITH CLIENTS IN HERTS, BUCKS AND LONDON. AS WELL AS WARDROBE MAKEOVERS AND EVENT STYLING, SHE’S AN EXPERT ON THE HIGH STREET AND THE PERFECT PERSON TO GO SHOPPING WITH AS SHE ALWAYS SPOTS THE KEY PIECES!

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It’s the perfect combination of art and fashion.

Q1. What is your favourite work and where is it from?
My favourite piece of art in our house is a Pure Evil print of Audrey Hepburn. I think we got it from Jealous gallery where we have bought lots of other pieces over the years.

Pure Evil Audrey

Q2. Why do you love it?

I love it because of the striking colours and the subject being a beautiful iconic woman, but mostly because it’s the perfect combination of art and fashion which describes both myself and my husband (he is the art obsessed one in this house but luckily we have very similar taste!). I think this one represents us both perfectly.

Q3. Where does it live in your home?

It’s in our hallway, directly in front of visitors as they walk in the front door so you can’t miss it!!

Q4. If money were no object what piece of art would you buy?

I’ve always loved the idea of an Andy Warhol Marilyn, maybe one day…!!!

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3×4

ANNA BERKELEY IS AN EX WOMENSWEAR BUYER AND PERSONAL STYLIST WHO SPECIALISES IN SHAPE AND BODY MAPPING THROUGH HER BUSINESS ANNA BERKELEY STYLING. SHE’S BRILLIANT AT DEVELOPING SIGNATURE STYLE AND HAS BEEN FEATURED THROUGHOUT THE FASHION PRESS, MOST RECENTLY BY ANNA MURPHY, FASHION DIRECTOR OF THE TIMES.

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The suddenness of the sun bursting through on an overcast day always cheers me.

Q1. What is your favourite work and where is it from?
My favourite piece is from a small gallery in Caswand, Cornwall, called the Westcroft Gallery. It’s by artist Laura Rich and it’s a tiny square painting using acrylic on aluminium. It’s a skyscape.

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Q2. Why do you love it?
The colour mix, that evocation of a vast sky –  I find it really calming. The clouds and that almost godly burst of light. I’ve always been drawn to pieces that study light. The suddenness of the sun bursting through on an overcast day always cheers me.

Q3. Where does it live in your home?
It’s currently on a shelf in our living room. I can gaze at it every time I sit down on the sofa to read/nap/watch a boxset.

Q4. If money were no object what piece of art would you buy?
Can I only pick one??? It would have to be a Turner. He lived around the corner from us in St Margaret’s – not that this is relevant to the question! Probably Norham Castle, Sunrise,  or any of his landscapes to be honest.

Norham Castle, Sunrise c.1845 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

4×4

CAROLINE JONES AKA KNICKERS MODEL’S OWN IS AN AUTHOR, SELF TAUGHT STYLIST AND SPECIALIST IN SECOND HAND STYLE. QUIRKY, FUNNY AND EXTREMELY STYLISH, CAROLINE HAS TAUGHT ME (AND MANY OTHERS) HOW TO SHOP SECOND HAND SHOPS AND DEVELOP UNIQUE OUTFITS. SPECIALISING IN COLOUR AND PATTERN, SHE WORKS ALL TYPES OF LOOKS, FROM ASCOT TO BEATNIK.

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I’ve always loved getting very close up to the painting and noting the confident, deep sweeps of the paint brush mixing greys, aubergine and mauves

Q1. What is your favourite work and where is it from?
‘Boot & Sock’ oil on canvas (2000) by Hugh Mendes which my husband and I bought as our wedding present in Oct 2001 through BritArt.com (sadly no longer running). At the time this new online approach to buying art felt very exciting.

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Q2. Why do you love it?
For many reasons, obviously it reminds me of our wedding. But also the symbol of the boot & sock on a plinth, perhaps a reference to working lives, the daily grind, the exhausted feet. I’ve always loved getting very close up to the painting and noting the confident, deep sweeps of the paint brush mixing greys, aubergine and mauves. The off-centre angles of the plinth also interest me.
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Q3. Where does it live in your home? 
On the wall (opposite another of Hugh Mendes work) in our lounge.
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Q4. If money were no object what piece of art would you buy? 
Portrait of Ann by L.S. Lowry (1957). In 1988 I visited the Barbican, London to view the Lowry exhibition (Lowry / The Harold Samuel Collection / The International Art Show for the End of World Hunger 4 Aug–2 Oct 1988) and it was this painting that mesmerised me: it’s symmetry; her stillness; her eye make-up; the parting of her hair. I find it such a striking, stylised image of a young woman. 

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