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, 3 March 2011

Whenever we have an exhibition "on the horizon" it seems to become all encompassing.
and as a result many of the new exciting pieces of work that we have
seem to get overlooked for a short while.
This isn't by choice it is just caused by the worry of the forthcoming event.

But, what is happening outside the exhibition and future events always seem to occupy my mind, no matter what is going on and however busy I am.
I suppose at all times I am excited about the future and what we will be doing next.
It is the anticipation of the unknown, or at least the unknown response to what we will display.

Sometimes, not often, but sometimes, I can get excited about things that will be happening in the future with the knowledge that others will be equally excited.
For instance, the forthcoming exhibition of Maureen Minchin's ceramics.
I know that there will be a huge response.
Also other occasions, when different artworks arrive with no great "fanfare" but which are perhaps more important in the scheme of things than the exhibitions that we hold and which I know the public will love and respond to.

Two instances instantly come to mind,
but one will have to wait until tomorrow before I talk of that.

I know that many, many people out there know of the work by Rima Staines.
She is almost famous without being known.
No, that's wrong. She is famous, but in a strange way, and she is certainly very well known,
but not perhaps in the "all" important art world.
She is a gypsy, a 'will o' the wisp'', a "free spirit", a very unusual woman and an incredible artist.
She has legions of fans and followers worldwide and has perhaps "the" most followed blog, but what is amazing is that we were the first gallery to exhibit her exciting and very varied work.
To describe what she does would take hours, everything from watercolour to wood.
Paintings, drawings,games, sculptures and even films.

Initially it took an age to "track her down" as she was living in a "house on wheels" travelling the country.
It wasn't a camper or a caravan it literally was a wooden cottage on wheels, something I had heard of but didn't appreciate until I visited for "tea" one summer evening in a Suffolk field.
It was hard to appreciate that in a few days time this cottage in its idyllic location would be gone. No longer would you sip tea and eat strawberry's looking out of the 'stable doors' at a lake but would perhaps instead be viewing a Welsh mountain.
It had such a feeling of permanence it was hard to believe that it could travel.
But travel it did, until one day it stopped.
She stopped, and stayed in Devon.

I feel very privileged to be allowed to show her work from time to time, as she doesn't need any gallery to sell her art as most is pre-sold, but she always participates in any themed exhibition that we hold.
So it will be this May, when we open
'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner'.
I have no idea of what we will receive, but I do know that it will be very unusual, and beautiful.

But exhibition pieces aside, I have been lucky enough to persuade her to work with us on a longer term basis, producing a small series of 'hand embellished' prints unique for us [and her].
The pictures have been chosen from a few of my own favourites of her paintings,
each is printed on textured watercolour paper, is hand finished, signed and totally unique.
Edition size 0f only 33 worldwide.
Of course the odd number of thirty three could only come from Rima's imagination.

I do have other things that I want to talk of but they can wait,
so just for now here are few of her prints.


  1. Cor! What a write up :) Thanks John! Delighted to be hanging works on Imagine's walls: your eye for beautiful works is always appreciated :)

  2. Rima's "Baba Yaga" above has a most wonderfully skinny hand & glittering eye! I hope you produce a catalogue for "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" exhibition, it's my favourite poem & will be interesting to see what everyone does!

  3. I was wondering when Rima would show up here. Her life is as "fairy tale" as her art, it seems. I'm glad you are able to work out a special relationship with her. She does wonderful things.

  4. Truer words were never spoken! A wonderful and exciting article about an ethereal and inspiring master. It doesn't get any better than this. Many thanks from South Carolina!