The entrepreneurial spirit that started it all
Bold, passionate & on a mission
One might be forgiven if the words ‘Art & Antiques Dealer’ invoke any other notion other than the ‘passionate, young and unapologetically striking woman’ that is Christina Busuttil. Always displaying an aptitude for challenging the status quo since childhood, she’s now back in Malta, her homeland, snapping at the heels of the establishment in the way she knows best. Aged 30, ARTEMISIA Fine Arts & Antiques’ founder, Christina, brings an incredibly diverse and impressive range of skills and experience to this new venture she co-owns. Her talent, drive, ambition and resources enable her to sufficiently compete against the old guard whilst also allowing her a great chance at achieving her highest desire: ‘to see the status and value of art improve across every class in society’.
Before to her involvement in the art world, Christina graduated in Archaeology and Theatre at the University of Malta. Subsequently, in 2009, she was absorbed into her family business, Francis Busuttil & Sons (part of the Foster Clark Group) where she advanced through various departments (Front desk, Logistics and Marketing) before settling into the Wines & Spirits Division; a department her father began some 30 years prior. It was these years that saw her successfully manage brands such as Glenfiddich, Grants, Hendrick’s, Taylor’s Port, Laurent Perrier Champagne and De Kuyper Liquors amongst hundreds more.
Two of the greatest opportunities she recounts from this period in her life involve becoming the Chairwoman for the Wines, Spirits and Tobacco group at the Maltese Chamber of Commerce, whilst also landing her a job with alcohol industry titans, William Grant & Sons Ltd where she become a European Brand Ambassador for Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum. These experiences kept reinforcing her values and beliefs, that hard work pays off, and that through vision, perseverance and patience (which she is still working on) the beautiful can be achieved! Other factors she quotes as beneficial to her successes in life revolve around her ability to network, her desire to help those around her, self belief and the presence of mentors.
In 2015, Christina left the family business to return to one of her favourite teenage memories- studying History of Art at Malvern Girls College, then one of the best boarding schools in the United Kingdom; only this time it was Christie’s in London that she applied to. She enrolled into the Fine & Decorative Arts (1450-1940) M.Litt course where she graduated with Honours. Her thesis explored ancient and ruined architecture in British landscape paintings; she traced the British commodification of the continental Grand Tour ruin obsession and charted its budding presence in art against other concurrent socio-political events to prove her arguments.
After her M.Litt course, she then enrolled into the Christie’s postgraduate Art Business diploma where she studied art taxation, law, logistics, communications, dealing with artists, understanding art market dynamics and more.
Throughout her sojourn in London, Christina attended a multitude of art trade fairs, galleries, exhibitions, art conferences, networking exercises and also completed multiple professional development courses at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
At present, Christina’s primary objectives include finalising the Bidnija Gallery and concluding orders that will serve as enviable stock. Each object is handpicked in person by her on the basis of craft (skill employed in making of the piece), aesthetic beauty (proportions observed, materials used, similarity to well known pieces in institutional collections or sometimes peculiar features and nuances the object might display as opposed to the former trend of objects) along with other desirables such as provenance, dealer affiliations and accreditation along with value for money. The Antiques stock she has selected is a healthy mix of English and Continental fine and decorative arts with a few exceptions here and there. In total she supposes the artworks between themselves span across some 700 years of culture.
Whilst the quintessential gallery will most definitely boast to collectors an unparalleled private space for them to admire astoundingly beautiful objects; I’ve made sure no serious buyers are left out- novice, adept, commercial or institutional. Gallery price vary between €2,500 up to €50,000 (exc.VAT) whilst online stocks and private inventories range up to €480,000.
– Christina Busuttil
Simultaneously, she will be offering art specialist advice, valuations and condition reports for the discerning collector whilst finishing off her auctioneering training in the United Kingdom.
In the near future, Christina is aspiring to start up a private foundation that will allow her to invest in both art education (publications, art symposia and private art research grants) and the support of local and foreign artists. She believes this to be one of the greatest ways in which the private sector could show respect and appreciation for the society in which it operates- investing in truly productive and meaningful projects that encourage a positive change and better future for the community the form part of.