The 'Ancient Mariner' art that I am showing today is chosen because these are the pictures that I had ready and was happy with.
I was going to show two other talented people but on consideration I didn't think that the
images did justice to their work so I will try again tomorrow.
However I am more than delighted to be able to show the work of sculptor Eve Shepherd.
The pictures again don't do justice to the work, but these sculptures seem almost impossible
to capture with the camera [sometimes it happens] so these are the results of the best efforts by Eve and myself.
Eve is a pretty famous sculptor by any ones standards and has become one of my favourites,
but this wasn't by intent, just accident.
She contacted me a couple of years ago saying
"I believe that you show ceramic sculpture, and that's where I want to go".
That sentence is a slight compression of an hour long conversation, so I admit that I have skipped a little piece here and there.
I had no knowledge of who or how well known she was, and I don't think for a second that she expected me know to of her.
She really is not that sort of person.
Eve is someone who takes her art very seriously, but outside that she
is such a lovely down to earth grounded person.
Obviously I now know of her fame [and have even watched her on TV
but it doesn't make the slightest difference.
She is still just Eve.
I like to think that we have become good "mates", or as she told me a few days ago "we work together", having come to regard her and her work very highly words like that meant a great deal to me, but I know she is right we do.
Both mad as "hatters", we have brilliant, exciting conversations together and I always put down the telephone with a big grin on my face.
Believe me that rarely happens.
She doesn't need to be involved with a gallery as small as Imagine
[not when almost every gallery and auction house is asking to show her work].
But she has chosen to, and although I shouldn't take that lightly I do, because like I said we have become friends and with good friends you take them for granted, which I know you should never do but it does make for a much nicer life having the knowledge that
"they will be there for you".
Not that this was the case with "The Mariner" exhibition because unknown to me it was her
favourite story, had I known or approached her earlier she would have filled the place up with her sculptures, so excited was she to work on this theme.
These three pieces by her are a total departure from her normal work, and I absolutely love them. To me they are the old Gustav Dore engravings brought to life.
When I first received her pictures of "the work in progress" I was so excited that I wanted to share them with someone so I sent them on to sculptor John Maltby.
He came back with the response.
"the best work I have seen in many a year".
So eventually they were fired [they are ceramic with copper] and were delivered.
After seeing them I called Eve to say you "will never see these again because at least one is coming home with me".
But I have said that many times about lots of different art that passes though our hands and
unfortunately I recognize that we are just temporary caretakers of these lovely objects.
So above we have three different sections of the story as perceived by Eve Shepherd.
I will add that in the first picture 'Merciful Spirit' the sculpture is mounted on a piece of the old Brighton Pier.
I asked her could I name it "Mariner's Day Out at the Seaside".