One of the biggest worries of having a gallery is trying to keep fresh work on show all the time.
Finding new artists is one of the greatest pleasures of doing what we do, but having found those artists, especially the good ones it then becomes a pressure to ensure that you can replace their work when it sells and also to keep the gallery in a state of flux, so that the
regular visitors will feel that they can always find something new.
As it approaches Christmas that can start to get even harder, as for many galleries this is their best selling period so they book as many artists as they can under the "umbrella" of Christmas Exhibition. I suppose we may be a little guilty of that, but mostly for us December is just a big excuse to indulge ourselves and show a larger mixture of the work by our favourite artists without the worry of it being a major event or themed exhibition. In truth this time of the year can be a little bit more fun for us and a little less pressure.
So the last week or so has had me traveling around the country collecting different work, and spending even more time [if that is possible] talking to artists giving them a "wish" list of things that we would love to show during the run up to Christmas.
So here are a few pictures of new work as it starts to arrive.
We do have much more work but these are the latest to be unpacked, the others I will include as I get around to photographing them, many of the artists will be familiar but for us that is what the Christmas exhibition is all about.
We have got art coming from some very new [to us] artists but I will show them separately as their work arrives.
The work shown above is all ceramic, which isn't strange as we are first and foremost a ceramic gallery, but for a lot of people this is a surprise because they had never realised that ceramics comes in so many different shapes and guises.
The first piece is one of Ross Emerson's unusual clocks. I don't know where his mind is but it is definitely in the same place as mine. They are all about fantasy, imagination and are so very childlike in the most delightful way, they make you feel young just by looking at them.
There are never two the same and it is a constant source of wonder "where can he go from here?" There is no second guessing his imagination and there seems to be no end to the varied paths it follows.
The second picture is of a plate by a woman who I consider to be one of the country's best potters, Maureen Minchin. She lives in a very remote corner of Scotland and seems to be virtually unknown in ceramic circles yet her following is World wide and the demand for her work far outreaches the supply. I would be content like many galleries to stock nothing but Maureen's pots, but that would never happen.
It often makes me smile when I visit one prestigious ceramic event or another to come across many named potters who are supposedly successful knowing that they have never heard of the
Maureen, but that is what she would expect. She is the most humble, talented and generous
potter I have ever been lucky enough to deal with, she is totally unaware of her incredible ability and truly thinks of herself as "just a potter" which is is in such contrast to so many others. Her pots are modestly priced [considering the amount of work involved] and she doesn't have aspirations above living the life of a potter in the Leach/Cardew tradition, and like them she employs as many local people [there aren't many where she lives] as she
can at the pottery. She is following tradition and wants to pass on her skills to benefit others.
I can't think of many potters doing that today.
The plate shown is a very modest piece and I know she would be embarrassed for me to boast about her and show something that wasn't her very,very best.
For me every piece is her best and I think many could learn by her example.
Lastly, but not least, is a very beautiful "Don Quixote" or 'A hard Days Night" as he calls it by Paul Priest. I met he and his partner Gaynor yesterday and I was encouraged to take whatever I liked. I loved everything but in the end followed my heart and left with the 'Knight' [and other pieces], there really is something about it that touches the soul.
I love it.