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.

Monday, 21 November 2011

I have different events and various works to show and I am trying to decide what to write and show, I felt that they should all be in correct order.
But no, I will have to record today's event as it is still fresh in my mind and had made such an impression on my thoughts.

Every day, of every week of each month and year I am searching for new artists,
trying to find work that intrigues and moves me.
It is a little like prospecting for gold or that is how it seems to me, which is a little silly as there are many many fantastic artists working in all mediums out there,
but I am just searching for "my" gold and that is a little different.
I discovered one such artist [as had many others before me] maybe a year or so ago.
A young man named Will Teather.
I found his work so intriguing and desirable that I decided that it would be a waste of time trying to make contact with him.
He seemed to be in demand everywhere, was winning awards and was showing in so many
top class locations.
"Too late again", were my thoughts.
I moved on but never forgot his work and I would often search to find what he was up to.

I have explained that some artist's do also search us out, in the same way as I search them.
Serendipity? Is that the word I'm looking for.

One afternoon I had a call from Irene: "what do you think of that artist"?
"What artist"?
"Have you checked your mail today"?
"You had better, there is someone who is 'right up your street' who has mailed you".

To my surprise and great delight there was a mail from Will Teather.
He wanted to know if I would have an interest in his paintings as a friend had told him
that we were meant for each other.
After running around the gallery punching the air and saying "yes, yes", to myself
for a while I eventually gave him a call.

Some two months later [don't ask why] I eventually made the trip to his studio this morning.
With the aid of my SatNav I eventually found myself somewhere that I knew must be yards
from his studio, when I passed a very "up market" looking gallery.
"Bloody Hell", they had one of his paintings in the window,
I moved on to the next set of windows, made from curved sheets of glass.
"Just look at this place", I was thinking, then looking up I found an inscription on the glass.
Purveyor of the Extraordinary.

So my journey in to the world [or studio] of Will Teather began.
He looked exactly as I imagined him to be, tall, bearded with long hair that fell about and hid his face.
A larger than life personality for a larger than life artist.
Although that was the exterior, the man himself was shy, gracious and very humble,
He kept thanking me for my "too" kind comments, and I knew that he meant it.

His studio? Disorganised chaos.
It was fantastic, a real Alladins cave, beautiful paintings were trying to be seen.
A fantastic leather mask was fighting for space next to a banana, a cycle helmet was beside the paints. Prints, objects, frames and artefacts were everywhere, and I mean everywhere,
I wouldn't have been surprised if there wasn't an Egyptian Mummy stored in there somewhere.
It was a beautiful mess, one only an artist can create.
But on every available wall space was an amazing painting, some finished and others with months or even a year of work still to be done before completition.
It was wonderful.
I loved it and would have been disappointed if it had been any different.
More will be told about the artist as I get to know him, as I am sure that there are a wealth of tales to tell, so that is something for me to look forward to.

There were some particular pieces of Will's work that I was really keen to see.
Like many, many other galleries I wanted to see his series of paintings concerning
'Maudeline Spacks'.
The tale of Maudeline is too long for me to tell
[I shall ask Will for an abbreviated version that I can post at a later date],
but suffice to say that she performed the
Worlds greatest vanishing act.
She appeared on stage in Sydney and London simultaneously with a televised link between
the two locations, the event was attended by many celebrities and was being recorded by all the media, it was to be her "big break".
Appear she did, but only to vanish, somewhere between the two locations.
The dress that she wore at the performance still remains, and it is this that has formed the focus of Will's paintings.

True, untrue? I know that there is a lot to tell and that Will has researched his subject well.
Either that or he made the bloody lot up.
But the story and the artefacts connected with it are fascinating, and his paintings and those in progress are beautiful, and I know for certainty that those unsold are being sought after
by various galleries and publishers.
The one thing I know for certainty is that Will Teather is going to be a name we will hear a great deal more of in the future. I stood in front of his paintings and felt that I was viewing something very special.

I came home with a few of them today.
Will told me to choose what I wanted, so I suppressed by greed and desire and chose four
smaller studies, along with a limited edition print
A print of the first of his work that I had come across, that was a lovely feeling.

So here we have them.
The first is the original painting that introduced me to Will the others are from the
"Maudeline Spacks" series.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

What to write about?
Each day that passes I feel the need and desire to write something, but what can I write?
I want it to have at least a little interest, but on a daily basis not enough happens that I think
would interest anyone, so I tend to let things slide for "another" day.
There is a blog that I read everyday by a dynamic lady named Tracey Broome
who lives in America.
I delight in what she writes, records and rants about, such an honest, open woman.
If only I had the nerve to record events as she does.
Still I suppose that telling the world that one artist or the other is on a big "ego trip" is not really a good thing to write.
At the same time I have to subscribe to the British lie that everything is great.
"Recession, what recession"?
According to some English artist's we should have more of them, as they have
"never had it so good".
Fantastic artists or fantastic liars? Hhhhhmmmmmmm.

Without a doubt some of the very best artists are doing really well as their work is
perceived as an investment in these troubled times.

Hang on!
What troubled times?

It is so very refreshing to read blogs and receive mails from people
and galleries from around the World
who actually have the courage to admit:
"some shows are shit, all people want to purchase is a beer and burger".
It is having contact like this that makes me smile.
My vote is going to Tracey Broome for president of the USA,
not only for her courage to "tell it like it is" but also for the amount of work that she does and the beautiful unusual "folk art" that she produces.

So what can I write that would be as interesting and honest as someone like her?
Not a lot, other than the usual self promotion that we all get a little bored with.

Well, I could have written pages about our present gallery location and offers of other premises, but a lot of that is too sensitive and would involve a lot of swearing, and I do enough
of that each day without putting it onto paper [screen].
So I come back to my dilemma of what I can write about.
Things like, "I sold that, I didn't sell this but there is a lot of interest in that painting"
it doesn't make really good reading.
But these are the daily events and it wouldn't interest me to read it, but maybe I am wrong
and these are the interesting things, because I suppose thinking about it seriously,
my life isn't ordinary.

So for better or worse here is today's offering.
One of the things that gives me great pleasure and much cause for excitement is to often wonder "whose art will I be showing this time next year"?
What a thought.
I know that there are so many fantastic artists out there who have been producing amazing work for many, many years, yet I do not even know of their existence.
But next year I might be exhibiting their art and we might even be friends.
What an incredible thought.

It has made me think about where does our gallery art come from
and how did it all come to fruition?
So here are a few examples.

An artist that I have mentioned before, "Kate Leiper", has been someone that I have chased after for years. Unfortunately so have many, many others, and as a result her work is in great demand and the chances of us getting anything here were very slim.
But, I can be an very persistent, [others would say rude] so I never gave up with her.
How could I, as I love her paintings so much?
Eventually she conceded to my many requests and we now have her work on the walls.
It is impossible to describe the pleasure that this gives me, it is something that I once thought would never happen but it has.
Her paintings "in the flesh" are even more beautiful than I imagined,
what a thrill, they are here and we are selling them so who knows where it might lead?
That is fun to dream about.

Earlier in the summer I visited a wonderful art fair. It was a three day event but I had to visit
the day before the opening to return some paintings to an exhibiting artist.
In a way this was like a very "private view" as I was able to look at so much varied work by so many artists without being hampered by other visitors.
I found one artist whose work was so very different, unusual and beautiful.
Carole Bury
I would "just have to have [I told Irene on the mobile] her best piece in the gallery".
I wanted it so much it hurt but I also knew that it was a waste of time to ask for it as the woman had three days of exhibiting in front of her".
To cut a very long story short, I showed her my heart and when the show ended I drove away
with her work in the car.
What she creates is so unusual.
It is individual paintings that are stitched between layers of transparent paper.
You have to see them to understand them.
Since the day I left with her 'masterpiece' in my car, she has sent me many others.
A kind and very talented lady.

Frequently I get chased and called by some artists who would like us to show their work.
This I find hard as I can be a little fussy plus I hate rejecting people,
I know that it is so easy to kill enthusiasm and talent, and it seems unfair
when the only criteria is my own taste and thoughts.
From experience I understand that a few negative words can cause a lot of damage.
I find it easier to be rejected than to make the decision to reject the
people who approach me, but I do it, and on a weekly basis.

So it was with one young sculptor who approached me, I felt that her ideas weren't right for me,
I liked a lot of her work very much but a question mark hung in the air.

One year later we met early in the morning, miles from both our homes and her beautiful
work was transferred from her car to mine.
What a result.
I love it, it is well conceived and crafted and each piece tells a story which for me is so important, it doesn't matter if the story that it tells is different to the one in her own mind,
it tells a story and provokes a lot of thought.
So thank you, Clare Walker
for persisting, calling and mailing me many times, you have made me feel so very fortunate to have your work on show.

Other works have arrived recently, each with a tale to tell but my day has been long and I want
to go home to a welcome of dogs.
The people at home gave up on seeing me hours ago.