Collas Crill is the headline sponsor of Art for Guernsey's eagerly awaited exhibition, A Renaissance of Victor Hugo - the first fully fledged exhibition to be hosted in the new Mansell Street gallery.
Aligned with the completed refurbishment of the building, the exhibition showcases the works of Art for Guernsey's most recent artists in residence, the internationally acclaimed Daniel Hosego and Oleg Mikhailov.
The exhibition is delivered in direct collaboration with the Victor Hugo museums in Hauteville and in Paris, with further connections to key societies and individuals focused on the legacy of Victor Hugo in Guernsey - specifically Toilers of the Sea - delivering a show inclusive of artefacts, information and digital media that really brings the narrative to life.
Here Christian Hay, Managing Partner of Collas Crill in Guernsey, talks about what the involvement with Art for Guernsey and the exhibition has meant to him and the firm.
How has Collas Crill partnered with Art for Guernsey?
We are delighted be partnering with Art for Guernsey on the A Renaissance of Victor Hugo exhibition - and it is very much a partnership as opposed to just sponsorship. From the very start it was important to us as a firm, and Art for Guernsey as a charity, that this working relationship would be more than just us putting our branding up at the gallery.
From the build up to the official opening on 31 March the teams from both sides have worked together and learned from each other.
Everyone would have seen the octopus tentacles popping out of the Mansell Street gallery at the start of the exhibition - social media was rife with stories of an octopus invasion. It's these creative touches that make supporting the arts fun and engaging.
How has the firm embraced the art?
It has been an honour and a real privilege to be able to support Art for Guernsey in showcasing the works of such internationally acclaimed artists as Daniel Hosego and Oleg Mikhailov.
We were lucky enough to get an early loan of Daniel's Whoever Loved piece - the first of a series of seven pieces which, until the exhibition opening, was proudly on display in our client waiting area and was a great talking point for people coming into our offices.
Plus in January Art for Guernsey brought to our offices a selection of artworks from this exhibition, alongside legacy pieces from Daniel and OIeg, giving us a sneak preview of the catalogue which we were most grateful for.
It was a real privilege to spend time with and review the artists' works and was a fantastic opportunity for our staff to observe details and learn more about the artists, their style and techniques.
What about the space at the Mansell Street gallery?
The refurbishment of the wonderful space that is the gallery will go a long way to support the regeneration of this part of town. The exhibition, the tentacles, the school trips to the gallery – all of this has created a real buzz around the area. It's great to see so many people from all walks of life, young and old, local and visitors, taking the time to come up to Mansell Street – it benefits everyone and long may it continue.
The gallery is such a lovely space and it worked amazingly for our client drinks in March and will again for several other client events we have coming up in later in the month. As a venue it's just something a little bit different from the usual settings for client lunches or presentations. Of course the art is a great ice breaker and conversation starter, which always helps.
How does the art resonate with Guernsey?
The pieces on display at the gallery are a beautiful homage to our island and place that Victor Hugo holds in Guernsey's rich history. In joining forces with Art for Guernsey we are proud to, not only celebrate Guernsey’s cultural heritage, but support the vibrant local arts community as a whole – tentacles and all!
I would like to thank the team from Art for Guernsey, as well as the artists Daniel and Oleg, for all their hard work in preparing this stand out exhibition.
If you haven't already, you can view the A Renaissance of Victor Hugo exhibition at he Mansell Street gallery until 20 May. The gallery is open five days a week from 10am to 5pm. Closed on Sunday and Monday.