Reviews, News and Commentary

Artfull is a new online site for buying New Zealand art

Reviewed by John Daly-Peoples

Paul Hartigan, Seraphine ($28,000)


Reviewed by John Daly-Peoples

When galleries, art fairs and auction salesrooms went dark when the Covid 19 struck art institutions previously slow to innovate digitally found themselves with no choice but to use online platforms to reach buyers.

An art market report published by UBS and Art Basel in 2021 showed galleries reported that more than a third of sales had taken place on dealers’ websites or through art fairs’ online viewing rooms climbing 7% to about $13.3 billion.

Figures for the New Zealand market are not disclosed but many galleries have experienced increased online sales and the auction houses have experienced more interest in the digital  platform. Because of Covid 19 restrictions many galleries restricted viewing to online viewers only and in one example Suite Gallery sold the majority of a Richard Lewer exhibition to online collectors.

Most galleries make it simple to buy online and sites like offer sales via a fixed price listing. All works listed are offered exclusively to members for a 7-day period prior to full release.

Many of these galleries and sales sites have limited number of artists and range of works by individual artists so the big problem for buyers / collectors is having  access to a single site where a range of work can be viewed and purchased,

The newly launched www.artfull may be able to provide such an enhanced service.

The website currently has work by two dozen artists including notable practitioners such as Paul Hartigan, several mid-career artists such as Elliot Collins and Kathryn Stevens as well as number of recent graduates and emerging artists many of whom have won awards.

Kathryn Stevens, Cell 1 ($3500)

The site makes it easy to select and purchase works and buyers are also able to make use of MyArt which offers collectors interest-free loans to buy art from galleries in New Zealand and Australia.


The site once it is up and running should provide something of a snapshot of current practicing artist in much the same way as an art fair.


Hopefully if they expand to Australian and international artists it will make the purchase of artists from around the world easier.


The two innovators behind the site are Jessica Agoston Cleary and John Barnett. Cleary has background in corporate branding and advertising. She also has a post-graduate degree in Art History and has worked with leading gallerists and contemporary artists as well as on a number of public art project


John Barnett is well known for his work through South  Pacific Pictures and as the producer of some of New Zealand’s most important films such as Whale Rider and Sione’s Wedding .


He has been recognised for his contribution to the screen industry with a CNZM.


He has been an active collector of New Zealand and international art for over fifty years.

Elliot Collins, Every Sea ($2500)

By johndpart

Arts reviewer for thirty years with the National Business Review

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