Gill Bustamante on BBC TV Home is Where the Art is

In Spring 2020 (dates to be confirmed!), I will be appearing in the BBC series Home is Where the Art Is, season two. Each episode sees three UK based artists competing to win a commission from home owners who would like a bespoke piece of art for their home. Each artist specialises in different mediums, such as painting, sculpture, ceramics, etc., and have been chosen by a clever BBC researcher who selects the artists she feels will best meet the clients brief.

For my episode, I had to go to a lovely house near London where I first met the other two artists. We spent the day being filmed as we studied the art and other objects in the house to try and get an idea of what these mystery clients would like as far as a commission went. We were helped by a brief that the clients had left for us telling us what they liked and what they did not and this helped each of us to figure out a pitch we could give them when we met them.

Part of the programme filming involved the BBC sending a director and cameraman to each artist’s studio to film them at work. It was very strange trying to paint and concentrate on talking at the same time and I must admit that the painting I was working did become peculiar and had to be extensively tweaked later. Part of the day was also spent filming in the nearby Ashdown Forest where I took the crew to give them a glimpse of the kind of Sussex landscapes that inspire me. I sketched a tree during this segment that I intended to use if I won the commission. I thoroughly enjoyed the attention of being filmed and being asked what I thought about things, as artists like me usually work in a solitary way with just music for company. It was a treat to have people interested in what I was doing and actually really helped me to analyse just what exactly I was doing as I usually just paint instinctively rather than thinking about it.

Another day of filming took place at a studio near media city in Manchester and for this I was asked to bring artwork with me. The BBC contact was lovely and booked my taxis, trains, and hotel for my stay but I still had to somehow haul 5 paintings all the way from Sussex via Euston and then to Manchester. On arrival at the studio the next day, I met the other artists again plus some form other episodes and got to see some of the artwork they had brought with them. We were then interviewed by the lovely presenter Nick Knowles (who I managed to get a quick picture with to please my Mum) and got to meet our clients for the first time with our artwork to present our ideas for a commission. The idea being that only two artists out of the three would be chosen to create a commission according to what the clients wanted and then only one being the one chosen as overall winner.

I can’t say more about this as it would spoil the surprise but the final day of filming would be where the customers chose a piece of art to take home and paid the winning artist. The whole experience was a lot of fun and some of the artwork I saw was stunning. I felt privileged to be among them. There are some great British artists around and I totally recommend anyone who loves art to see this series.