ARTRIGHT is a project established to promote professional practice and business acumen in the South African visual arts community.

Art Hanging

Brett Deacon from Picture Hanging Services has hung artwork for private & corporate clients. He has the following advice:

The basics. Make sure that the picture wire or cord is strong and secure and not too long because a long cord makes your pictures hang forward. Large rings or eyelets in the back of the frame also push your pictures away from the wall. Hang your pictures with their centres roughly at eye level and keep the levels consistent throughout.

Techniques and materials For brickwork, drill small holes and insert screws or steel pins. Use umbrella plugs for heavy items on dry walls or dry wall screws for lighter artworks. Certain strong stick-on picture hooks are fine for light pictures on tiles, but avoid using them on painted walls because they are only as strong as your paint.

Location Allocate your best or most formal pictures to your public living areas (lounge, dining room and hall). Softer more feminine pictures and family collages usually suit areas such as the study, family room, passage or stairway. Avoid hanging pictures directly opposite one another in passages thereby creating a tunnel effect and making the space smaller.

Picture Collages Use pictures of different sizes and frames. Lay out your collage on the floor to get an idea of whether the pictures will work well together and fit the space.

Presentation Centre large pictures over a sofa or console. In a large room, add visual weight to a group of small pictures by hanging them over a piece of furniture. Keep the pictures low enough to link with the furniture and form a single visual unit. There are no fixed rules to follow with the art of hanging, art it is all about how the different artworks relate to one another and form an atmosphere. It helps to have people to hold the artworks up for you on the wall to show you what it would look like, move it around until you are happy before you start making holes in the wall.