The Shape of Things to Come
The pace of technological development has accelerated rapidly in recent years. In a little over a decade the way that we approach almost everything in life has changed beyond all recognition. We now live in the digital age and can discover, purchase or create almost anything in double quick time using the latest gadgets and software. There is an overriding sense of or need for immediacy in almost everything that we do that has transformed social interaction, self-expression and attitudes.
The way we watch television illustrates the extent to which our lives have changed. Gone are the days when we waited with eager anticipation for our favourite programmes and would stay at home to see them. Now we can record them digitally, watch them when we want, fast forward through the adverts and even skip the bits that don't interest us. Similarly we don't have to leave home to shop for anything from our groceries to a new pair of jeans and the arrival of 3D printing has meant that we don't even have to buy certain things anymore as we can simply design them and produce them ourselves.
In the contemporary world immediacy is so fundamental to our lives and flat screens largely inform the way we see the world. So where does art fit and what is the future of the visual arts?
Art in the Digital Age
Those who pondered these questions a few years ago and artists struggling to find an audience for their work may well have feared the future. Especially if they had foreseen to what extent the internet and new software and gadgets would change the world. What could art's role be in a society for which the height of excitement is the latest incarnation of the iPhone and where so many visuals are created using the latest software? The future may have looked bleak but the reality has proved to be a very different story. Artists have embraced new technology both in the way that they produce their work and more importantly in the way that they showcase it. The digital age hasn't killed art it has democratised it and introduced a whole new audience to the creative endeavours of our most talented painters and sculptors.
In the past, artists had to persuade galleries to exhibit their work. With space at a premium galleries were forced to be very selective in what they chose to take on, especially as there were a limited number of potential buyers for any work. Now the internet has brought art to everyone. The demographic of art buyers has changed dramatically with many younger collectors now investing in pieces and people from all walks of life discovering art that they love.
The truth is that in a world where so much is transitory, art offers permanence. Where so much is about immediacy people are finding value in that which it takes time to create. Where so much is software driven and soulless, people value the beauty, originality and spirituality of human creativity.
So the visual arts have prospered, perhaps not only as a part of the digital age but as a counterbalance to it. However, the way we showcase art and sell it has had to move with the times. We may put a value on the time it takes to create great art but that doesn't mean that we want to spend too much of our lives trying to find it or to get it delivered! You can still enjoy viewing the Sculpture Gallery collection at The Enid Hutt Gallery in Aberdeen or Kirkcaldy but the chances are that you have discovered us online and if you are not local then you will purchase online too. Our websites have enabled us to showcase more fabulous pieces and to reach more people but that does mean that we have had to adapt our systems to maintain the exceptional service that we pride ourselves on.
Intelligent Retail Review
Below you will find our short Intelligent Retail review, containing details of the EPoS system and website we use.
With thousands of works by hundreds of artists in our collection, it would be impossible to manage our business and to display everything both in our galleries and online if we did not have the right systems to support what we do. These days retailers require EPoS (electronic point of sale) tills and software to operate efficiently and we found exactly what we needed with Connect from Intelligent Retail.
Connect is a premium multichannel solution for retailers with award winning architecture and a user friendly drag and drop system that makes selling across different platforms easy. With Connect we can upload products quickly, drag and drop them into the appropriate channels for selling in store and online and benefit from real time stock adjustments. The innovative visual stock tree helps us to identify the right products for our customers, to locate them and to suggest alternatives. In addition, the excellent reporting provided by Connect enables us to quantify our sales, to maintain the right stock levels, to identify trends and to understand what our customers are looking for. Clarke AKA The Boss explains that
"Connect has proved to be particularly useful when people come into the galleries looking for specific pieces. We can look these up on the system and then locate them quickly which is a real boon as nobody could ever be expected to remember exactly what every work looks like and where it is in the gallery!"
The breadth of information at our disposal is particularly important to Sculpture Gallery as we attend several fairs and events throughout the year. Clearly we cannot travel with every piece from the galleries but Connect's reporting functions enable us to identify what is likely to be of most interest to our potential buyers in different locations so we can always have the perfect pieces with us. We are also able to use Connect to find and contact our customers in the various locations to invite them to these events. We can also keep our customers informed about exciting new works and new releases. Connect usefully holds a database of all of our customers whether they shop with us online or in store.
All in all we would not be able to offer such a huge collection of sculptures without the right EPoS software and tills. Neither could we maintain our high service standards and swift deliveries. We have moved with the times and take great pleasure in showcasing the work of so many great artists so our customers can discover it and then enjoy it in their homes. We hope that you are inspired our comprehensive collection of wall art and sculpture in variety of media!