Welcome to the Gallery

Imagine is set in the Suffolk village of Long Melford.
This is an attempt to record the daily trials, tribulation and pleasure of running an art gallery.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Rock 'N' Roll

This will perhaps be the smallest post that I have done.
To be honest none of them have been overlong, but at least they have had more images.

Thinking ahead for our next exhibition which isn't until September, there is perhaps something that I should mention. We are having our first ever 'pre-sale' of artwork.

The coming exhibition is from the George Underwood collection of "Musician portraits'.

I think that by now the world knows of his lifelong friendship with David Bowie.
What many people do not know that George himself was also a musician, in fact many years ago when they were young men he and Bowie had their own band.
Their school days together almost read as a 'rock 'n' roll' fairy tale.
Their art teacher [George's mentor] was Owen Frampton, father of Peter Frampton who went on to become one of the most successful English guitarists of all time.
What a melting pot of talent that school must have been.

George did pursue a musical career of his own joining many bands and eventually pursuing a solo career as a recording artist, but throughout his young life it seems that art was his first love
that he constantly returned to.

I will tell no more of his extraordinary tale, George tells it so much better in his own book.
Soulful Warriors

It just remains to say that throughout his career music was a strong influence both on him and his art.

So it is strange to learn that many people have little knowledge of his musical artwork.
I think it would be safe to say that at some time many music lovers have admired of purchased an album featuring his artwork without knowledge of who the artist was.
Of course the album 'Hunky Dory' by his friend David Bowie changed all of this.
The rest [or some of it] is history, as they say.
So our exhibition will show a history of his musical hero's, influences and his friends.


One of those friends was the founder of the band T REX
Marc Bolan

Bolan and Bowie were friends, as a result David introduced George his old mate to Marc
Who had a new album coming out titled
'My People Were Fair and had Sky in Their Hair.............'
As a result George painted the cover, and in his own words "never looked back".
This was at the age of 21.

Now, just a few years [decades] later it is logical that George would re-visit these relationships
for his exhibition here at our gallery.
So in conversation with me it was decided that he would produce two new paintings of
David Bowie and Marc Bolan.

The painting of Marc is really appropriate as the exhibition is to open on the 40th anniversary
of his untimely death.
In honor of this the famous tribute band T. REXTASY will attend the opening of the exhibition
to play an acoustic set of some of his most famous songs.

Of course many original paintings by George will be available for sale,
Accompanied by a large selection of of limited edition 'fine art' prints of paintings previously sold.

As a promotion for the exhibition it has been decided to produce the two new paintings
as a special affordable limited edition of signed prints.

Since they were first offered for sale a day ago the response has been outstanding.

If anyone is interested in purchasing, contact the gallery direct or go to this link.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Time flies when your having fun, or especially when you are always thinking about the future.
Or as described better by John Lennon
"Life is what happens while your busy making other plans".

That is what I have been guilty of, "making other plans" or thinking of the future,
Meanwhile important events have been happening while I have been planning ahead.

I can only explain it by describing how on a daily basis I will have someone tell me
"You have such beautiful things on display",
My thoughts will be "just wait until you see what is coming".
I think this each and every day, but for me tomorrow never comes
I'm definitely a person who has a cup half full, and when things sell I start to panic about where I can find something equally as beautiful to replace "that" piece with.
So I start to search.
Then I want to tell you about who I have just discovered.
I want to tell you about "this"or"that" artist whose work will be here one day, then I tend to get over excited and undecided about what to mention first, so don't write anything at all.


This does tend to make life much easier for a lazy person like myself.

"Hhmmmm! What shall I write about"?
'Nothing', job done.
 So today, I decided to take a step back to reality and talk about art that actually is here
Art that I am excited about and which I am very proud to be exhibiting.

The last time I picked up my pen I mentioned an artist whose work I was looking forward to arriving.
It's now here.
 The paintings of Jimmy Lawlor.

Jimmy is an artist I have admired for a very long time, his beautiful paintings are the
"stuff that dreams are made of".
In fact they seem to come from dreams or very poignant stories.

Perhaps, 'poignant' isn't the correct description
Because apart from being very moving they sometimes also possess a great deal of humor.
They are beautiful in there execution and also great fun, they occupy a space in our imagination
Yet, they are also very "human" paintings, they show images of us as we were, as we are
And how we will be.
Age is very prevalent in all of his art.


So too are the landscapes.
To me it is obvious where these people of different ages all live.
Albeit a different version to the reality of the location, yet still instantly recognizable. 

As is shown in the painting above they also express a great gentleness and sensitivity.

The painting below is perhaps one of my favorites.
It really captures the world of my childhood.
It reminds be of the wonderful book 'Bevis a Story of a Boy', by Richard Jeffries
Although it was written in 1882 the story of a young boy and his adventures is timeless.
So is this painting.
A boy, with his best friend and his vivid imagination, what an exciting world.
I truly love this, it makes me feel young again.
I suppose that is the power of art, your age may change but your inner emotions don't and at times
All it needs is a painting or sculpture to unlock time and join the two together.

A clever, talented and very nice man.
I have wanted to exhibit his art for six years, some things are worth waiting for.

Now, onto something just slightly different. 

I was recommended by a painter [that's how it works] to look at the sculptures by a Russian artist.
'Tatiana' or Tanya as it is pronounced in our little island
Despite my many bilingual talents I am still unable to get my tongue around her proper name,
[Give me a week or two then speaking Russian will be another of my many talents].

Tanya creates sculptures from clay and found objects, each piece very unusual
but all with a sense of great age and history.
Of course her small antique additions help create the feeling of great age
But it is the story of each piece which creates the history, some of her sculptures will have more than one title,
It seems that she has named pieces to help with the English interpretation and understanding of each sculpture.

She has exhibited and worked in many different countries, but now for some reason she works
in our small part of this country.
Her work defies being placed into any category but it does really engage the imagination.
When I have fully caught up with my very belated posts I will tell and show much more of her work.

Meanwhile, I have lots more to tell you about.
But as they say
"That's for Another day."

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Recently, I have become excited about different artworks that will be arriving in the near future.
I wanted to share them immediately even though I am not sure of the arrival date.
The reason for that is they are still being created.
But, that's no reason to not show them I thought, as it is always the anticipation of what will arrive 
that can be the most exciting of times in the gallery.
The excitement and the desire becomes almost like a drug
I just know I won't be happy until it is here in my possession for a little while.

Then I remembered that with all of the current nonsense going on that has distracted me somewhat,
that there were many deserving exhibits that had "slipped through my net" and not been shown.
I decided that it was time to play "catch up".
So here are a few [very few] images of pieces that should have been shown as they arrived.
I will add others over a period of time.
[It is no good me saying tomorrow, because sometimes for me tomorrow never comes].

One man is long overdue for a mention, Noah.
Yes that's correct Noah.
He may have not yet created an Ark but he has come very close.
It is impossible to put his work in any "pigeon hole" all I can say is that it is very unique.
He works on many different scales from small delicate silver and bronze containers
To giant size tables standing on antique industrial wheels.
His work [for me] has a slightly 'Jules Verne' nostalgic feel about it, and as suspected the evolvement
Of his sculptures have a history of their own.
In time I will feature many of his smaller works.

The artistic creations of this incredible young woman are equally hard to describe and to show you.
Viewed "front on" they look like paintings
Which in fact they are, but paintings with a great difference.
They are 3 dimensional artworks.

In fact she told me that being unable to describe them to galleries has really hindered her.
"It seems that my work has to be a painting or a sculpture but not both", she told me.
In the past she has even tried to describe them as a collage, but that didn't work either
as it seems it would then have to incorporate printed paper, which it doesn't.
So for want of a description it is sometimes ignored and goes unseen.
I just call it beautiful
Works for me.

I hope that the images shown explain a little of how her work really looks.
It is painted on 'chamois' leather attached to wood, which is then cut out and built in layers
Which create a 3D painting.
To view them from side to side is an education.

Again, I will show more in the future.

At least this doesn't need an explanation.
It is a "very" limited edition print that I am thrilled to have from an American artist.
The edition is of '91' prints which is very unusual.
Framed, and hanging on the wall in front of my desk it is an image that I have enjoyed
each day since its arrival.
I have tried many times to work out the story within the picture, yet every day I imagine another.

The art shown above are a sample of what has arrived and is now on display.
However, I couldn't help myself and I had to show you just a hint of what we will have in the future.
So below are two examples of what will be arriving very soon.

I won't say anything about the artist or what we will be exhibiting of his art at the moment
But I can tell you that we will not have these two paintings.
They are sold.
Although limited edition prints are available of both. 

The paintings that I have chosen and those still being created I will leave to your imagination
Until that day when I can show them to you as a complete group.
But I think that you can guess that they will be just slightly different to traditional landscapes.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Will I ever write on my Blog again?
I have been asking myself this question for a very long time. Since I last posted the world seems to have changed a great deal, and to say that events have left me angry and frustrated would be an understatement.
So to write about myself and the gallery seemed a very shallow thing to do when there is so many important and life changing events happening everywhere.

On consideration, I realized that the whole purpose of my Blog was just to talk about events that happen in my life and a art gallery in a rural part of England.

Whoops! I nearly went off on one then with the word "England".
Now, back to reality and really important events.
My events.

Early last year we held a fantastic exhibition by the artist George Underwood.
Perhaps you may remember that George had been David Bowie's lifelong friend from the age of nine.
There friendship and adventures together have been well documented, and of course George's paintings of his friend have been exhibited worldwide, plus also at our gallery.
At the conclusion of our solo exhibition with George my thoughts were
"That was great fun, I wish we could do it again".

Of course we always have a selection of his art on display in the gallery but I wanted to repeat the fun and excitement of holding a special solo exhibition with him.
The response from the public had been fantastic, to the extent we even held a "closing day" event,
this was a first for us and was held so that his fans had a chance to have a "one on one"
conversation with him, although that didn't happen as he gathered everyone around him and it turned into a group session/interview which was loved by everyone.
As I walked around the gallery dealing with everyday customers I could hear in the background laughter and applause.
"What am I missing"? I wondered.
That evening it was all recounted for me by George, his wife and Irene.
What a day, what an exhibition. How I would like to experience it again.

A few days later the opportunity for such a unique event presented itself.

In his long career and also from his friendship with David Bowie George has met and painted portraits and album covers for many famous musicians.
Some were created for his own private collection but many were used by the artists.
One such artist/musician was the "late" Marc Bolan.
An incredible musician who tragically died far too young and at the height of his musical career.

He has left behind a giant fan base and even inspired the now famous tribute band, "T.Rextasy".
A tribute to the name of his own first band "Tyannosaurus Rex".
T. Rex as it became known.
The singer and founder of the tribute band is a lovely man name Danielz.

Because of the exhibition with George Underwood, Danielz came to the gallery and left me with the cover of an early Marc Bolan album [created by George[ which George had promised to sign for him.

A few weeks later Danielz returned to collect the signed cover. 
By this time I had given much thought to a "follow up" to the Underwood exhibition.
So, in conversation with this charming musician/artist/singer I asked "did he play acoustic"?

"What an idiot", he must have thought.

He explained that the band had just done a fully acoustic Gig in the nearby town 5 miles away.
In fact with his band they intersperse full sessions with "unplugged" gigs.
Which makes perfect sense as much of Marc Bolan's earlier work was acoustic folk music.

So, to cut a very, very long story short.
We will be holding a solo exhibition by George Underwood this September.
It will be an exhibition with a difference, it will consist of all of his music portraits and album covers,
Some for sale, some on loan from his collection, but with new paintings and many Limited Editions
created especially for the exhibition.

The main focus of the exhibition will be his art of Marc Bolan.

Marc died on September -16 - 1977
Our exhibition open on September -17 - 2017

On the 40th anniversary of his death our exhibition opens, and to mark this very special event
Danielz and his drummer John Skelton will be here in the gallery to play an acoustic session in tribute to the late musician.
The music of Marc Bolan will be played in front of a background of paintings by George.
It will be unlike any event we have done before, and I expect ever again.
I think the term is "once in a lifetime".

There is a great deal of planning to be done, idea's are growing as I write.
Even today a visitor asked will you hold an "Evening with George Underwood" the night before?
Wow! Now that's an idea.
Anyway at the end of this month all parties are meeting to discuss the growing plans so I will keep you "posted".
I confess I am scared as I think that the event will be "BIG".

I had not intended to talk about this for another couple of months or so, but as people have started to call/email asking for "ticket" availability I have started to become really focused.

Of course we will be holding some lovely exhibitions before this date, but in terms of planning
they will almost seem a "walk in the park".
This does not mean they are any less important or be treated less seriously but the logistics will be more what we are used to.
Because of this I am looking forward to them with greater pleasure.

So, if you are a music fan and have a free day in September.
Get in touch soon.

Of course what is shown above is just a small selection of George's music portraits and album covers,
a very small sample of what to expect.

The exception is the first image, which is of a poster produced be Danielz which is available at 
his many Gigs.
At the moment he is playing around the country almost every night, his only days off are when he is traveling to the next venue.
Check his website [we are listed as a "unplugged" Gig].


I am glad that I did write again.
As I was writing I could visualize how the event might unfold and look and I have become very excited.
So, tonight I will not return home and watch the news on TV,
I am in a much happier place.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Our Christmas exhibition opened a couple of weeks ago but until today I haven't shown any of the
Varied art pieces that have arrived.
The exception being the amazing "Pop-Up" book by Anne Bachelier.
Which really has to be seen to be appreciated, if only it wasn't a "one of a kind" we could all enjoy
owning a copy.

As the cover of the invitation [shown above] suggests the exhibition is titled
A Christmas Carol.
It would have been great to have every exhibit centred upon the old novel
But in reality this was an exhibition that was open to interpretation by the various artist involved.
To my delight everything received captured a little of the innocence and magic of Christmas.

'Nom', the artist we recently exhibited went out of her way to create something with a nostalgic feeling.
She also created it in little time and under great pressure.
I had asked her if she could create something really special for the exhibition,
I knew she could and would,
But with the needs of a little girl and a new baby to care for I think that her attention was focused
on many other things and she was forgetting how close Christmas was becoming.

She gave me a call telling me that she had purchased an antique clock case to be the frame
for her Christmas painting. "What do you think", she asked?
"Fantastic, just the sort of thing I have been wishing for, but have you enough time?
When does the exhibition start?
In a weeks time.
Oh! I had better stop talking and get painting".

One week later, and two hours before the opening Nom arrived with her finished painting.
I think it is easy to see why I like her so much.

Even better she arrived with her husband
The illustrator 'Adam Oehler'.
Adam had also produced two artworks for the exhibition.
Both in his very unique and innocent style. Which seems strange as he had just finished animation work
on a video for the "Heavy Metal" band Metallica, which was far from innocent.
His personal work is always innocent [and very collected], and I don't think it will be long before we are all owning a copy of his new book.

Adam and Nom, both totally different artists, both very nice people, both very talented.

I have been yearning for the sculptures of a very modest sculptor for some time.
Sometimes, although it is frustrating the wait is all worthwhile, and so it was with "Barry".
A very modest [extremely so] sculptor who had worked for the British Museum of Natural History.
His own personal work covers many different styles and interests.
From detailed wildlife sculptures to his beautiful recreations from Alice in Wonderland.
It was these that he drove for hours to deliver to us.
'The Walrus and The Carpenter'.
Both sculptural recreations of the illustrations by John Tenniel featured in the original version of the famous book.
They are "smoked fired" to replicate the "black and white" quality of the drawings.
The Carpenter is even "shedding a bitter tear" and at both their feet are the Oysters that they eat.

The man is a genius and I really hope to exhibit more of his work next year.

Something totally different is a cabinet which is a collaboration.
The cabinet made by myself many years ago from reclaimed Elm floorboards.
It has been put aside for decades, I don't know why really but I never thought it was complete.
This year I discovered the perfect artist to complete, transform and improve the object.
Despite the fact that it would be weeks of work at the wrong time of the year a wonderful woman
"Jo Anne" undertook to finish the cabinet for me.
I feel that her input was perhaps greater than my own, however I now look at the finished piece
With the feeling that it is at last perfect.
Inside is another piece of her art, to see that you will need to visit the gallery.
It is titled 'Sleeping Beauty" cabinet.

After another long wait [months], at last the first of the highly unusual sculptures and paintings
arrived from another artist that I admire, Jill Desbo.
Some of her creations very serious others not so, but all with a large amount of imagination and work devoted to their creation.
One of my personal favourites is this sculpture/puppet titled
"Mrs Thackeray's Theatre".
Her dress [stage curtains] part to reveal the audience inside watching the performance.
With rods her hands can clap and her head will turn.
Although it's hard to see, a bird nest complete with chicks perches upon her sheep s wool hair,
But I don't think Mrs Thackeray has noticed [she doesn't wash it often].
What all of them are watching I do not know, but perhaps it is a performance by another of Jill's puppets.
We have them all.

An artist who did a special painting directly related to the title is Jane Ford.
"The Poor of the Parish". is the title.
I think that it is perhaps not what Dickens was thinking of when he wrote the book
But for Jane it is a version of her Wild Life adapted to fit the theme of the exhibition.
It is certainly innocent.

But when it comes to childish innocence I could exhibit nothing better than 'Wind in the Willows'.
Or at least this fantastic creation of Ratty's home by the riverside.
I have tried many, many, many times to take a photograph of this sculpture.
None of them work, or show the true detail so I will have to describe it instead.

Built inside a Victorian cabinet with glass doors is a perfect miniature cottage, Ratty's cottage.
Complete with water and a jetty where Ratty is sitting beside his boat fishing [with fish in his basket].
It is a night time scene, the moon [illuminated in the sky] reflects upon the water.
Inside the cottage "Mole" is asleep next to a jar of cider, the fire is alight and windows illuminated.
The attention to detail is beyond belief, bottles, jars and box's sit upon shelves. 
Washing hangs from lines and candles sit in lamps, probably to help when climbing the stairs.

Obviously Ratty is a creature of thought as outside on the jetty is a telescope aimed at the moon, but this is nestled amongst baskets rubbish and flotsam he has collected.

At the base of the cabinet [beneath the cottage] is a drawer.
Opening this reveals a limited edition of 'Wind in the Willows'.
The whole piece of art is a total "one of a kind" there will never be another. It is a creation that makes me feel like a young boy each time I look at it.

Of course it sold instantly, but fortunately the buyer has let us retain it for two weeks, so it is giving pleasure to many visitors who think like me, children disguised as adults.
I will be sorry to see it leave the gallery as I will never see its like again, but at least for a short time it has been mine.

Thinking of the magic and innocence of such a piece I wanted to share it with someone.
I couldn't think of anyone better than my friend and artist Rachel.
A self confessed "Peter Pan" [I have never grown up] I just knew she would love it.
She did.
As a result the day before the exhibition opened I received her own piece of art inspired by the book.
Her version of the old and wise Badger, beautiful in detail and cast in Bronze.
I love him.

Perhaps Rachel is not alone as being a Peter Pan
There is a part of us that never grows up, in this bad world sometimes we all want to hide our eyes
and make the bad things go away.
This is what I wanted this exhibition to speak of.
Innocence and childhood.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Although there is still a month to go, our Christmas exhibition opens next Sunday.
I would make the usual excuses about why I haven't shown anything as yet but sometimes,
just sometimes it is not all my fault.
There are things that I am excited about and would like to show but I am unable to
The reason being that many are still being created as we speak.
They are all worth waiting for.
I am very excited about their arrival and I have seen many pictures of
"work in progress"

The finished artworks promise to be very special but they can't be shown in their entirety
until they arrive here in the gallery.
Until then I thought it worthwhile to show you some "teaser" pictures of some pieces that are still being created.

The first is by the artist Anne Bachelier.
This is to be a very special piece of art, she is creating a book.

I should first explain that the title for the exhibition is  "A Christmas Carol"
A theme taken from the famous book by Charles Dickens, a story that I have loved from the age of nine. Every Christmas I read it again and each time it still holds the same magic for me.
I think that it captures the spirit [or three] and the innocence of the occasion and with every reading it still makes me feel young again.
Stupid I know, but it makes me smile and think of better times when the world didn't seem as bad.
A time when Christmas was about magic.
For many years I have intended this book to be the theme for a Christmas show.
This year it is happening.

Anne Bachelier was one of the first artists that I approached to be involved.
Fortunately her imagination, creativity and ability far out exceeds my own, but the idea
excited her in the same way as it had me.
From our initial conversation we were comparing ideas and inspirations, it was exciting as I had someone who shared the same vision, plus the ability to make it happen.
These are the best days when running the gallery

Anne offered to create her version of the book
Not just a version illustrated by her but a very special childish version,
It was to be a "Pop-Up" book.
I am sure that the idea of something like that makes us all remember Christmas as a child.
The idea of something like that really excited me.
The perfect Christmas art, created by the perfect artist for such a task.
A Pop-Up book for adults.

The creation of the book has taken many months, and is still to be finished.
That she was prepared to attempt such a project is testament to her creativity and work ethos. 
Especially considering that this has been one of her busiest and most productive years with exhibitions back to back in many different countries.
But to know Anne you understand that she lives to create, she travels with her brushes and paints each and every day.
However the creation of this special book was so much more than painting,
It was creating paintings that were then cut by hand to fit and fold behind other paintings.
Also the whole book has been handwritten with her beautiful script,
In English I might add, which certainly must have been an enormous task.

[Of course not for myself, being multi-lingual and fluent in all languages, especially Cockney].

The thing that I find most amazing is that each page works as a "stand alone" painting.
Just because there has been so much work to do has not tempted her to cut corners or create
"throw away" images. She is treating the whole book as if it is one piece of art.
I eagerly await its arrival, when it does I will turn each page slowly.
This will be a once in a lifetime experience.

I can't thank Anne enough for taking the time and effort to indulge my passion for this project.
It speaks volumes about her, her generosity and willingness to help a friend.
I know that I will never own the book but what a wonderful present for the gallery.
I can't wait to show you the finished book,
I really do feel like a child awaiting the magic of Christmas.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Here at last is a small selection of sculptures that form the other half of our current exhibition.
They are by the artist Evelyne Galinski.

A year ago Evelyne contacted me asking would I be interested in seeing some of her sculptures?
She was traveling from France to deliver work to one of her many UK customers and she offered to call at the gallery before returning home.
After seeing a couple of images of her work I could never say no.
This sculpture was so good it was an opportunity not to be missed.
So, a couple of weeks later she arrived here at my doorstep.

She is one of those artists whose work has to be seen to be fully appreciated.
It is very complex yet at the same time very gentle and beguiling, there are stories to be told about Each unique piece of sculpture.
I am sure that my own interpretations of her work will differ from her own
But that is not important it is the emotion captured in her art that is so moving and personal,
That is important

I was really intrigued in the way her work was created
So on her visit here she showed me many pictures of the work in progress.
One image has been fixed on my mind ever since, it was a white hot sculpture with rain cascading upon it.
Well that is what I thought.
However, it was not rain but sawdust scattered in the air
Where the random flakes hit the hot surface of the ceramic it ignited and changed the surface.
I really wanted to have these images to show you as they were so dramatic,
Unfortunately for me Evelyne is in the progress of producing a book where the photographs will be Shown for the first time so I had to suffice with just a few close up shots of her working.

Her sculptures are sized from those just a few inches tall to others of a giant proportions.
Whatever the size the attention to detail is superb, they can only really be appreciated in the flesh.
There are details and shapes in area's that would not easily be seen
Unless the sculpture is rotated and viewed from every angle, unfortunately although
I am sure that can be done, I am unable to do that for you.

Hey! What do you expect I'm an aging man?

What I would really like to show you is just the raw emotion in each sculpture.
This is very hard to capture in a photograph but I have tried.

I can only say that my life is richer for having this work here with me for a short time.
It is all so dramatic and moving I just know that in the future
I will look back and feel amazed that I ever had this art here on display in "MY" gallery.
Perhaps I should keep one piece a prisoner to enjoy forever.