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.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

I have had too many things that I should have written about but I thought that maybe if I start with the latest and then try and catch up over the next couple of days then that might be best.
Or, perhaps that's just me pretending to myself that I will write about things instead of ignoring them.
I really am behind on lots of different jobs at the moment, the weekend saw the opening of our latest exhibition which has taken up a lot of time and has left me playing catch up,
but I will write about that as soon as I have taken some pictures of the different exhibits.
I had intended to take pictures at the opening but that didn't happen, which is maybe just as well as photographs taken while talking to people don't tend to be that good.

So, the very latest thing of any interest to have happened was a telephone call that I received about 30 minutes ago.
It was from a woman in America called Brooke Oliver,
who is the agent of the very famous artist
Michael Parkes.
I have been longing to show his art for a long time but I knew that I would be wasting my time as he is far too successful and shows in galleries worldwide, so why would he be interested in us.
However, I gave it a lot of thought and then decided it was worth trying.
I can only be told to "get lost", I thought.
I can live with that.
So off into "space" went my email asking "was there any chance"?
The result was that for the last four days I have been eagerly awaiting a telephone call which was arranged for this evening.
Basically, he and his company wanted to know what I could do for Michael in terms of representing his work.
It was a challenge for me considering that another major London gallery was competing against me. I did the only thing that I could and "poured my heart out" and told Brooke that we may not be the biggest gallery but the work would be shown with genuine appreciation.
It was the nearest experience to a job interview that I have had for many years.
I wanted those pictures as much as I wanted any job that I've applied for,
after an hour the poor woman announced to my delight
"well I'm sold".
I wanted to put down the telephone and skip around the gallery punching the air, but I didn't think that that would go down too well on her phone bill,
so instead I just sat and continued the conversation with a fast beating heart and
a big grin on my face.
It is still very early days and there is a lot of details that remain to be sorted out, but I am
one step closer to achieving an ambition.

For those that don't know Michael's work, apart from his beautiful paintings he produces
lots of his work as 'Stone Lithographs'.
A technique that is all but extinct, well certainly in the manner that he works.
The way he works hasn't been used for a very long time, he actually draws his art onto stones,
not just one stone, but the same picture produced again and again [by hand] onto different stone slabs.
Each different picture represents a different colour of the finished artwork.
The stones are then covered in different inks and each colour hand printed onto paper with each colour fitting precisely.
The skill involved in this technique is beyond belief, and it is the precision and understanding
of what the combined colours will look like which makes it almost a lost art.
I have only ever seen stones illustrated with such craftsmanship at the museum in the
London College of Printing when I was a young [much younger] man.
We [the students] were being shown the history of printing and the methods that no longer existed.
So to find years later that there was a man who had this ability was a great surprise,
Especially when you consider the subtle beauty of the pictures by Michael
that are shown above.
Let's hope they will be in the gallery before too long.
Hey! I'm taking orders now. 

1 comment:

  1. Amazing. Now I need to see what you picked up from Graam Piggott.I love his work and must go and visit him and his wife some time.