TV’s Bargain Hunt presenter Natasha Raskin Sharp has used lockdown to launch a new online auction platform.
Nastasha, who lives in the West End of Glasgow, hopes Exhibit Auctions will transform the way art is bought and sold at auction.
And her father – the world-renowned artist Philip Raskin – will be the first to have works go under the hammer on the site.
The first auction will come from his studio in Strathaven, South Lanarkshire.
Natasha, who is also a reporter on The One Show and star of Antiques Road Trip, said: “Having been beholden to busy filming schedules for so long, the initial lockdown provided an opportunity to stop and think, and to review my career.
“I began to dream of a side project, something that could be there if, for whatever reason, TV work wasn’t.
“I thought about launching my own auction house or art gallery but, given that I spend so much time on the road, the idea of working within fixed premises isn’t a practical one.
“So I’ve developed a more flexible style of auction offering and as it’s online-only, it’s a truly pandemic-proof concept, too.
“Each auction will offer a collection of artworks by one artist and the location for each sale will be the exhibiting artist’s studio.
“With my travelling rostrum and trusty gavel – a gift from my dad, as it happens – I’ll auction off the artworks from the very rooms in which they were created.
“For many, auction houses are unfamiliar territory and people are especially put off by the commission added to the hammer price.
“I’ve decided to add 0% buyer’s commission to the hammer price so that when you buy an artwork at Exhibit Auctions, what you bid is what you’ll pay.”
She added: “I’m so familiar with dad’s studio, it’s the perfect place to start.
“I genuinely can’t wait to sell his paintings and the timing couldn’t be better: exactly 10 years ago he pestered me relentlessly to apply for a job in an auction house.
“Thank goodness he did!”
Philip, 74, famous for his seascape and landscape paintings, said: “I’m immensely proud of Natasha and what she’s achieved.
“As her father I’m bound to say it, but I’ve been so impressed by the amount of effort that she’s ploughed into this project.
“I really believe that it will capture the imagination of artists and collectors across the UK and beyond.”
Nastasha completed a degree in the History of Art at Glasgow University in 2010 and her dad suggested that she introduce herself to the local auction house.
An internship in early 2011 led to a full-time position as a trainee valuer. Before long, Natasha had secured her place as both an auctioneer and head of the pictures department.
Natasha’s first appearance as an expert on Bargain Hunt came in 2013, when she was head-hunted by the series producer.
Just two years later, when she was offered the role of co-presenter of the BBC daytime favourite, Natasha left the auction house and decided to concentrate fully on her on-screen career.
Since then, she’s become one of the nation’s favourite faces of antiques television, appearing on Antiques Road Trip, Flog It! and For What It’s Worth.
The auctioneer has found a whole new legion of fans as a result of lockdown, as many people working from home have incorporated Bargain Hunt into their lunchtime routine.
Natasha is also a reporter on the One Show and for the last five years has hosted her own weekly music show on BBC Radio Scotland.
The sale of her father’s artworks will see the last ten years go full circle.
She said: “Some of my proudest moments on the rostrum have been selling my dad’s paintings at fine art sales and charity auctions.
“He really is the perfect painter to inaugurate this new, unique venture – without his guidance, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
- To find out more or to place a bid, visit exhibitauctions.co.uk.