What’s The Gallery Companion?

You’re in the right place if you are curious about art, if you want to explore what it all means and if you’re interested in what art does in our world, what its purpose is.

This isn’t where you’ll find chat about the minutiae of art history, or the academic blah blah blah about brush strokes or provenance. But it is where you’ll find thought-provoking ideas which come from looking at art and thinking about its meanings.

Art is a representation of thoughts, feelings, ideas and experiences. For me art is about people, stories, and the things we need to express. I’m interested in how ideas that are circulating in culture and society are filtered through the artist and emerge in visual form.

I’m Dr Victoria Powell, I’m the voice behind The Gallery Companion, and I’m delighted that you’ve found your way here.

I’m an historian so I look at artworks as cultural sources. I’m always thinking about how ideas change over time, and how they get interpreted in different ways. Looking at art and artists is (I think) a fascinating way of doing that.

I’m also interested in the role of art in the world, what its function is, what it does for us, both as makers and viewers.

That’s the stuff I write about. And in sentences that actually make sense. There's no confusing art speak here. None of the hifalutin, hoity-toity, dry and boring language which you often find in the Art World, on the walls of art galleries, and in quite a lot of books about art.

That language makes me start yawning immediately, and my eyes glaze over. It switches people right off, and I want to do away with it.

Who’s it for?

The Gallery Companion is definitely for you if you feel like you’re not quite sure what to think about art sometimes, or that you have missed ‘the point’ because you don’t understand what you’re looking at.

But it’s also for you if you have already got some knowledge of art + history and you want to learn more.

What’s the frequency?

I publish every fortnight.

Become a patron!

All my articles are free for everyone to read. I fundamentally believe in open access to knowledge, especially when it’s not always clear who can and can’t afford to pay.

Conversely I also want to push back on the expectation of free content. Behind every email that I write is a ton of research, reflection and revision to craft something that is a pleasure for you to read.

I want to find a way of making The Gallery Companion sustainable for me and accessible to all, and I’m still not sure how to achieve that. But my solution for now is to have a voluntary payment model, and to set it at a flat low rate of five bucks a month.

So if you love what I am doing (and if you’re in a position to do so) please become my patron and help me keep this good thing going as I continue to build a readership. My hope is that there are people who are willing to support me for no other reason than that you value my writing and the knowledge that I share. There won’t be any add-ons or extras or exclusive content. But what you will get is the joy of philanthropy, interesting ideas that make you think, and my gratitude.

Sign me up for $5/month

The Gallery Companion Podcast

If you’re a podcast listener you’ll now be able to hear all my content wherever you get your podcasts - it’s available on all the main players including Apple, Spotify and Amazon Music.

The podcast content will be mostly the same as my writing, but if you want to see the images, watch the videos and click on links, they will all be on the Substack app and in the emails I send out to you. Search for The Gallery Companion or click here for links to your podcast player:

Follow the podcast

Subscribe to The Gallery Companion

Art without the confusing art speak. Stories about all the messy, complicated stuff that artists explore and question: what’s going on, how we think and behave, how the past impacts on the present, and the role of art in our world.


Dr Victoria Powell

Writer on art, history, culture and politics. Lecturer in modern and contemporary art. PhD in social history. Curious about almost everything.