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, 1 February 2014


I imagine that like all gallery owners I am constantly searching for artists whose work I feel
will sit harmoniously alongside the other art that we show.
It seems strange that without ever having given conscious thought
to the art that we show, like everywhere else we have established a gallery "style".
I suppose what this means is that we show the various different artworks that I admire which reflect my own personal taste and understanding of what is good or bad art.

I appreciate that there are many, many good artists working in various mediums who
are really successful and who really sell well,
on occasions they approach the gallery,
introduce themselves [knowing that I must have heard of them]
Then ask would I like to exhibit their art.
Also of course the same thing happens more frequently with artists
who have never shown in a gallery before,
I hate these moments as it puts me in a position of appearing to be disinterested or aloof.
The truth is I don't want to offend anyone, especially if it is someone approaching a gallery for the first time
I really don't want to dampen their enthusiasm, plus I understand that it probably
takes a lot of courage to approach a gallery for the first time.

But time has taught me that the only art that works for us are the pieces that I love and admire.
Be they from established or unknown artists.
These are the works that of course fit in with everything else.
This is how galleries establish their own identity.

I regret saying "no" to anyone,
of course especially when it is a known artist, but I feel it is better to be honest rather than
let them and myself down.
On occasions this will happen, even when I really believe in an artist and their art,
but then it never bothers me because I loved that art and I feel that someone has lost an opportunity
to own something wonderful.
I would regret it a lot more if I wasn't sure about the artwork.

So, as I started off by saying, I am always searching for the artists who I feel will
work for us and us for them.
I search almost everyday and then maybe write to one new artist each month.
In the past I have been really fortunate and have received replies
[followed by art] from people that I highly regard.
Well, lets just call them famous
Although that is not how they perceive themselves, that is our perception of them.
Usually, they are the nicest of people

Some [very long] while ago I sent a letter to an artist who I felt would really fit with the gallery.
'Gwen Fulton'.

I had looked at her art many times and wished that we were showing it.
Like many successful artists she was very hard to find
so I found myself writing to her on a "contact" form, something that I dislike as it seems so
impersonal but I appreciate that
More and more artists need to do this rather than spend hours each day reading unsolicited emails.
Everyone, especially artists likes to escape now and again.

Off went my message to Gwen.

I heard nothing again, which was no surprise as she is a really sought after artist.

Months later,

I received her reply, she was becoming concerned that there was nobody had been contacting her
via the 'contact' page,
It wasn't activated and nothing was being sent onwards to her including my small letter.

"Yes," she would very much like to show some art with us, "How do we progress?"
Gwen is now part of our forthcoming exhibition.

I love her paintings, they have such a narrative which has me wondering for hours
What is the story behind this?
She explained to me that this is what she want's to achieve
because there will be so many different stories in so many different minds, each different to her own.

But what is really special about these paintings is that they "overspill".
She paints the frames which become a part, a very important part of the finished painting.
I can't imagine anyone asking "could you re-frame this in a black moulding."

Gwen's beautiful, unusual paintings have become a part of the jigsaw
that is our gallery.

I will tell and show more of this exhibition very soon.


  1. You have such beautiful work John, in the gallery. Coming to Suffolk in April. I will come and visit.

  2. Look forward to seeing you Jackie.
    I wish I was there to see your storms, I bet they are fantastic [as long as you are safe and not flooded] and very dramatic.

  3. They were quite something, but have become a little tiresome now.