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.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

I should have understood that when I decided to hold an exhibition upon a theme which was based on a tragic tale it was going to be fraught with problems.
Especially when it was showing the work of twenty five artists.
But I didn't, which says a lot about me. "Hey," that might not be all bad, maybe it shows determination, or perhaps just plain stupidity.
It has certainly taught me a lot about the nature, and generosity of some "artists".

There were four American artist/potter/sculptors involved in this themed show.
Each one of them has produced exceptional unique pieces, for which I am so very grateful.
For them to take such a "leap of faith" was a very kind thing to do, and I have been really excited in the anticipation of seeing and showing their art.
Alas, we have all been victims of the various couriers and the 'customs'.

Only a fraction of what was anticipated has arrived.
Of course I am disappointed, but even more I feel very upset for these people who have taken a chance on "this gallery" in England but who will be unable to have their work on display at the opening.
In reality I suppose that it is not too important, as long as things arrive in the next few days
because the show is on for a month, but it is a great shame as these people deserve to have their work seen by the greatest audience possible.

Whatever, I know that you mustn't advertise on blogs so I suppose you mustn't bad mouth either which is a shame because I would love to bad mouth and ask people to avoid a certain shipper who in my experience is the worlds worst.

So this has made all of the pre-exhibition concerns even more worrying than usual.
I just haven't known what to do.
Do I take a gamble or do I resort to 'Plan B'.
Trouble is there never was a Plan B.
I assumed couriers would deliver, and perhaps that was a silly thing.

So faced with a few gaps to fill, and in anticipation of work not being cleared by customs or delivered on time by couriers
I started to give serious thought to who might be able to help.
That help came from a very lovely man named Stephen Henderson, who lives not that far away on the Essex coast.
He was contributing a few sculptures to the exhibition but I had never met him until a week ago. It's strange how some people who you haven't met seem to be the people that you have known for years. This was the case with Stephen, I felt very comfortable with him, and coming from a shy person that is saying a lot.
I will have to devote a whole post to his life, home and studio, but I certainly haven't that time tonight, but I will because I want to share the magic of it all.

I had already collected Stephens sculptures and whilst collecting them saw many, many others
that my heart ached to bring back to the gallery.
So, in a spot I took a gamble and called him and in my Oliver Twist voice asked
"Not a problem, of course, come and take what you need".

I did, and now in our main window we have a seven foot wide fantastic sculpture.

Don't get me wrong here, this wasn't what I had intended to show in the window, in fact the front cover of the invitation shows the sculpture that would have been there, couriers permitting.
But if you were going to have a replacement than it doesn't get better than this.

All this aside, a few exceptional pieces have arrived "at the last minute
[or in the last possible post]
two of these are by Mark Rowney, who is by any ones interpretation a very talented man.
He knew I needed help, so he helped.
He sent a painting on wood, and an incredible book.
The book I will talk about later as I have never seen anything like it and it really deserves a showcase.

Thinking about it, there are lots of things that I want to show, but for now I suppose this is just a last minute thank you to Stephen and Mark.

So above are Stephens seven foot wide "Marlin chasing Flying Fish".
His small [only three feet wide] "Sea Trout & Fry", and Mark Rowney's painting of the Albatross.

But, I would like to thank everyone who has participated and I promise that once I have recovered from the stress I will show your various works.
Thanks to all of you.


  1. Good luck getting the rest of the work in the gallery, John. We found out last month with Doug and Hannah's shipments to the US, that it was a roll of the dice whether things arrived on time or not. But almost everything did, though some came at the last possible moment. Good luck the rest of the way.

  2. good luck to you, the work you have is magnificent....I can only imagine how fantastic the rest is.

    Maybe the nightmare life in death has hung a windless sea over your couriers, they need to pay heed to albatross'