Atishoo Gallery was founded in 1997 by artist and designer Liz Hackney. It started out as a small studio within a larger complex of art and craft businesses in St Agnes on the north coast of Cornwall. The name was a play on words inspired by the unusual technique that Liz uses in her art work making collages with hand dyed tissue papers. "Art Tissue" when said quickly sounds like "Atishoo" and so the name began.
After a few changes of location including a short spell with a shop in the city of Truro, Liz and her parents Jenny and Mike (who by this point had become her business partners), saw a lease available for the former butchers shop in Charlestown. Liz had by this stage learned how to frame pictures and had met her partner Paul Clark, also a framer and successful artist. The location was perfect, and so on Liz's 30th birthday Atishoo Gallery in Charlestown opened with a combined birthday celebration and opening night.
In 2009 Liz and Paul had a baby, Eileen, and Mike and Jenny ran the gallery while Liz took six months maternity leave. On her return to work, with baby Eileen accompanying her everyday, Jenny and Mike hung up their aprons and retired. Paul joined Liz as her business partner and they now run the gallery and bespoke picture framing workshop between them, with occasional help from Eileen at weekends, she loves sticking on labels and helping with displays.
Atishoo is very much a family business, and everything from choosing products, displaying them, framing, serving and running the online shop is done by Liz and Paul, as well as still producing their own artwork. Many of the artists and craftspeople have been selling their work through Atishoo for 14 years and are regarded as great friends.