Business: Lilford Gallery
Location: Palace Street, Canterbury
Years of service: 22
Canterbury-raised David Lilford (and family) own Lilford Gallery on Palace St, opened in June 2000. It’s an independent gallery with an eclectic range of exciting and thought-provoking artwork. It has stood the test of time and is one of the most respected art galleries in the South East. David’s original background is in retail management but art was always his hobby.
“I loved collecting and visiting galleries from an early age. I am originally from Canterbury and went to school here (St Thomas’s and then St Anselms). I chose Canterbury for my business because this is my home and the city I love. Canterbury punches above its weight; it’s quite small compared to other cities and our visitors come from all over the world. It is (normally and pandemic aside) a great place to do business! What people might not know about us is the breadth of art that we show in the galleries; from local artists through to the world famous. We often have works by the likes of Banksy, Sir Antony Gormley, Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst and many more. It can be a surprise sometimes for people to see this quality of work in Canterbury. I love it when people come in who have a passion for art and are interested in the stories about the works or the artists.
My best seller is an artist called Jonathan Stewardson (below). A great painter of light and a really nice human.
For my contribution to a Canterbury time capsule, I would put in a little tapestry I have on display by Grayson Perry. A wonderful artist and one of the best cultural commentators and observers.
My message to those who have not yet visited is – Come and seek us out! There are many small family-run businesses in the city like mine. Canterbury is a small place, none of us are far from the city centre.”
3 Palace Street
Canterbury CT1 2DY