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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.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

I had better get back to the 'Jim Malone' exhibition.
This exhibition by one of the UK's greatest potters opened here at the gallery less than a week ago, which seems very strange as it feels almost like a year ago.
The pressure of holding an event by such an important artist was immense.
On many occasions I felt that I wanted to walk away and pretend that it wasn't happening.
That's the trouble with showing the work of hero's, you just feel
"we are not worthy".
But of course we were, and perhaps more so than some bigger galleries who are just looking to make a "fast buck". This was a homage to someone that I have respected for a lifetime.

The opening of the event was unlike any that we have held, with people queuing at the door and
the telephone ringing constantly from two hours before the opening.
We had to open the door twenty minutes early as people were trying to purchase 'on-line' and by telephone and I had an awful feeling that when we opened the door at 12. noon there would be a riot if most of the major pieces had sold, especially as one man kept banging on the door calling out " I have travelled 300 miles let me in".
So for the first time ever we opened twenty minutes early.
Twenty minutes later over half the ceramics had gone, and this is how the day continued.
Jim Malone who arrived precisely at noon was "hounded" by fans as soon as he climbed from his car and I had no chance to talk to him for five hours.
By then he was exhausted, from talking to fans, signing autographs and posing for pictures.
I was exhausted by just doing what I normally do "talking to friends [customers], enthusing about the work, and drinking every glass of wine that was offered me.
It was a great day.
Most of the ceramics were sold and we were all happy, so off we went for a celebratory meal and drinks. But that really is "another story".

Since the opening we have had a constant stream of visitors/fans which has been fantastic, with only one problem.
Most of the work has sold.
We have had every different type of enthusiast here.
Film directors, gallery owners, museum curators plus many, many collectors.

What was especially nice was to know that one pot [perhaps the best] sold to the wife of
John Anderson, the man who produced the famous film about
'Isaac Button' the last of the English country potters.
The lady who I know will forgive me for saying she is 'advanced in years', acted like a young girl at the opening, she was obviously so happy to be amongst beautiful pots and with the company
of people who appreciated them.
" I know John would have wanted me to buy this", she said of her purchase.
What was lovely to know is that this pot will one day be in the collection at the
Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, alongside the other pots in her collection.

What a day it was, exhausting yet fun, and was finished in a variety of pubs and restaurants.

The remainder of the exhibition has continued to do well
but we are determined to have a total "sell out".
So today after a chat with Jim we have decided to produce a series of posters of the exhibition,
Each will feature one of the remaining pots and will be signed by Jim.
The only problem is I want them all.

Here are a few of the posters.

1 comment:

  1. Well, congratulations, John. The show sounds like a total success. I hope you and Jim sell out completely. And the "posters" look terrific, too.