Good news I had a positive "yes" from Herman Muys. He will be involved in the group exhibition.
This is not something that I take lightly, Herman is one of the worlds leading ceramic sculptors,
who has exhibited around the globe and is an artist who doesn't need a small gallery like us to promote his work. As far as I am aware we are the only UK gallery to have his work on display,
something I 'pinch' myself about daily', we are just so fortunate.
Why he decided to "give us a try" I perhaps never will know.
My approach to him was on a Christmas eve two years ago, with the spirit of Christmas in the air,
I sent an email to a gallery in Belgium [who had shown his work] asking would they forward my letter, in which I asked " would he let us try his work in an exhibition that we had planned".
Christmas morning I thought about what an idiot I had been to approach someone so big,
"why do I do such stupid things?" , I asked myself.
Boxing day, came the reply. " I would love to be involved in your exhibition, I'm not sure how we I will get the artworks to you, but we will speak soon".
I have since come to realise that some of the biggest artists are the most generous and kindest of people, I think they feel that as long as your motives are genuine, and that you really are moved by their art they will do anything to help you.
Many times I have felt humbled by the generosity of famous artists.
But one snag, how was I going to collect the work of Herman Muys?
Like most of my problems I put the the thoughts in my mental "pending tray".
Luckily not every one is like me.
A few weeks later an elderly gentleman wearing a leather hat walked through the door and asked "are you John, I'm Herman?"
He and his artist wife Monique Muylaert [much more of her later] had driven for a day and come via 'Euro tunnel' just to bring me his work. They stayed for 30 minutes, during which they signed autographs for a few lucky customers who knew who they were, then rushed out saying "we must get back for our train".
What can I say?
A few months later I travelled to Belgium to collect more work from them both, again they were so very generous. I visited their home and studio where they encouraged me to take whatever art I would like to have. It was an incredible experience, their home and studio was full of wondrous art, and it was mine to choose from.
They filled my car, and would have let me taken more had there been the space, then they guided me into Antwerp where in the very centre of the city they have their own gallery [open by appointment], and after giving me a brief tour presented me with a set of keys to the gallery and the flat above and told me that "they hoped I enjoyed my stay".
For two days the gallery and house were mine.
I still can't believe it.
To describe the pleasure of staying in my own private gallery would take far too long but let's just say it was an experience.
Since then we have always held some of Herman's and Monique's work here at Imagine, but it has never been taken for granted, these are world class artist/sculptors, so it was with relief and gratitude that I recieved the good news that "yes" herman would be involved.
Over the last two years we have had many beutiful pieces of art from them, both large and small, one of my favourite pieces of Herman's art is a box.
He once made 100 boxes, each 10cm x 10cm in size, they were exhibited and a book produced of the exhibition, '100 x 10 x 10'.
We were fortunate to be allowed to have four of the boxes, which have long since sold, but Herman & Monique visited recently and left me with an item.