Natasha Raskin Sharp has launched a pandemic-proof online auction platform, Exhibit Auctions, which she hopes will transform the way art is bought and auctioned.
On March 17, the original paintings of Natasha’s father – world-renowned artist Philip Raskin – will go under a hammer. The auctioneer will be his daughter, Natasha Raskin Sharp, presenter of Bargain Hunt, and the sale will be streamed live online from the artist’s studio in Strathaven, South Lanarkshire.
Exhibit Auctions is the new venture of the famous TV presenter, who was forced to take stock of her career when filming was temporarily suspended due to the pandemic.
Natasha, a 34-year-old woman who lives in Glasgow’s West End, who is also a reporter on The One Show and an Antiquities Road Trip star, said: to stop and think, and to review my career.
“I started dreaming of a side project, something that could be there if for some reason the TV work wasn’t.
“I have thought about starting my own auction house or my own art gallery, but since I spend a lot of time on the road, the idea of working in fixed premises is not practical. So I developed a more flexible style of auction offering and since it’s only online, it’s also a truly pandemic-proof concept.
“Each auction will feature a collection of an artist’s works of art and the location of each sale will be the studio of the exhibiting artist. With my travel platform and my trusty hammer – a gift from my father, in this case – I will be auctioning the works of art from the very rooms in which they were created.
“For many, auction houses are uncharted territory and people are particularly put off by the commission added to the hammer price. I have decided to add 0% buyer’s commission to the hammer price so that when you buy an artwork at exhibition auction, what you bid is what you pay.
“I know Dad’s studio so much, it’s the perfect place to start. I can’t wait to sell his paintings and the timing couldn’t be better: Exactly 10 years ago, he relentlessly pestered me to apply for a job at an auction house. Thank goodness he did it!
After a short stint at the Glasgow School of Art in the mid-1960s, Philip rediscovered his passion for painting in the early 2000s and has since had a fantastic career as an artist.
The contemporary Scottish artist, 74, famous for her paintings of seascapes and landscapes, said: “I am extremely proud of Natasha and what she has accomplished. As a father, I have to say it, but I was so impressed with the amount of effort she put into this project. I truly believe it will capture the imaginations of artists and collectors across the UK and beyond.
After graduating from the University of Glasgow with a degree in art history in 2010, Natasha was unsure of her career path. It was then that his father suggested that he show up at the local auction house. An internship at the beginning of 2011 led to a full-time position as a trainee evaluator. In no time Natasha had secured her place as both auctioneer and head of the imagery department.
Natasha’s first appearance as an expert on Bargain Hunt was in 2013, when she was wanted by the show’s producer. Just two years later, when offered the role of co-presenter of the BBC’s Favorite of the Day, Natasha left the auction house and decided to focus fully on her career at the screen.
Since then, she has become one of the favorite faces of antiques television nationwide, appearing on Antiques Road Trip, Flog It! and for what it’s worth. The auctioneer has found a whole new legion of fans in the wake of the lockdown, as many people working from home have made Bargain Hunt part of their lunch routine.
Natasha is also a reporter for One Show and for the past five years has hosted her own weekly music show on BBC Radio Scotland.
The sale of his father’s works will come full circle for the past ten years. She said: “Some of my proudest moments in the gallery were selling my father’s paintings at art sales and charity auctions. He truly is the perfect painter to usher in this unique new venture – without his guidance I wouldn’t be where I am today. “