Art of Ideas

Join Jo Digger, Head of Collections, and Paul Hedge, Director of the Hales Gallery, London for a fascinating discussion packed with anecdotes on public and private collecting and the relationship between artists, dealers and collectors.

Part of the Art of Ideas lll programme of events and talks, an Arts Council England initiative led by Arts & Business.


Free, drop in, no booking required.


Biographical Note

Paul Hedge was born in Stevenage in 1961.


His schooling was undistinguished at a local comprehensive but in 1972 he opened a museum in his father’s garden shed (along with now successful TV producer Neil Crombie)


He studied and gained a BA Hons (1st class) in fine art at Goldsmiths College in the early 80s when he also opened his first gallery on the ground floor of a town house in New Cross Gate, SE London. Scratch Gallery lasted three years. Its most notable exhibition was a show of watercolours by Hiroshima nuclear blast survivors.


Between leaving art school in 1983 and the opening of Hales Gallery in 1992, Hedge worked as a postman in Central London. He also curated shows in fledgling alternative and independent spaces.


In 1988, Hedge began to renovate a derelict undertaker’s premise in South London and in 1992 opened Hales Gallery with business partner Paul Maslin. Hales Gallery began as an alternative art venue and cafe in a rough part of South London but quickly grew.


The gallery became very well known for developing the careers of many artists and Hales Gallery’s early shows featured artists such as Jake and Dinos Chapman, Mike Nelson, Spencer Tunick, Vik Muniz, Amy Sillman, Tomoko Takahashi and many more.The cafe attached to the gallery became a notorious hang out for artists, foodies and musicians alike.


In 2004, Hales Gallery became a commercial space, moving from South London to a 3,000 sq ft space in Shoreditch in London’s East End. Hedge has been the director for the last 18 years and has vast experience of the market in international contemporary art. The Gallery has taken part in prestigious international art fairs such as Art Basel, Arco/ Madrid, Frieze/London, The Armory/New York and NADA/ Miami.


Hedge has also consistently and regularly lectured at many art schools including The Royal College of Art and St Martin’s College as well as other institutions such as Christies, Sotheby’s, ICA, Tate, Baltic mills. He has written articles for Art Review and has been the feature of articles in publications such as The Times, The Independent and Newsweek. In 1998 he was the subject of a TV programme shown on Channel Four.


Image credit:  Craig Holmes.