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.

Tuesday 6 July 2010

I have always said that I enjoy it when I have "lots of balls in the air" and the pressure is on.
I may have to re-think that one.
I do enjoy pressure and solving problems that have seemed insurmountable, but just every now and again "enough is enough" and I do question "have I taken on more than I can handle".
I have many things happening at the moment,
a new important exhibition opening this Sunday, talks with solicitors about the possible move to a larger premises, the ever ongoing dialogue with different artists, planning for exhibitions
up to the end of next year, organising the display and promotion of a large sculpture by Eve Shepherd which is going to be shown in Long Melford Church in aid of charity, wondering why I hadn't planned anything for Christmas this year, plus of course the very minor problem of ensuring we have sales to make any of the above achievable, etc,etc,etc.
I will stop there as the list is starting to bother me, plus I have started to think that some of the above plus other things not mentioned are worthy of a post by themselves.
So, in case nothing else happens to me in the next month I will hold some bits back.

Apart from the many things occupying my thoughts there is also something else that is happening which I can't ignore, even though I don't have time to handle it as I would like to.

Each year in many countries an event takes place called
'The Affordable Art Fair'.
In London it happens twice each year, Spring and Autumn.
It is the most attended art fair in this country, and as such makes the reputations of artists and galleries alike. The event is host to galleries only not individual artists,
it is highly prestigious and very expensive, the event might make or break a gallery
but then so might the cost.
Even so, the exhibition is over subscribed and stands are offered to galleries who have shown in previous years. To get a place a new gallery almost has to serve an apprenticeship, doing some of the other very important fairs around the country drawing attention and then hoping that patience pays off.
Patience? What's that.
Unfortunately, I am a very excitable person, I grab an idea, don't think of any of the problems
and run with it. Stupid I know.
But I just think that life is to live, and I have wasted far too many years of mine to sit back and be patient now. My problem is that I sometimes I think that I "can move mountains".
Of course I can't, but I haven't grown any wiser with time and experience.
Still I'm only 18 [in my mind].

So knowing that I couldn't get a stand at the A.A.F. I wrote and asked for one anyway.
After being told several times that there weren't any available I continued to write and put my case as I have often found that "genuine" appeals from the heart sometimes break down barriers. In our harsh old World of today there are still some nice people out there who want to give the underdog a chance.
So finally against all odds and expectations I have been informed that there is one stand available, with many applicants applying for it.
A decision will be made later this month to decide which lucky gallery has this place.
The criteria is quality of art to be shown [plus also the ability to find an enormous amount of money in a few weeks].
I can't tell you how excited I was to be given this chance.
Against all odds persistence paid off.

So what do I do now?
I am not too sure where we will find the money [donations accepted],
but I am positive that we can give everyone a "run for their money" when it comes to
the quality of work to be exhibited.
With a ridiculous deadline to aim for, and so many things to do plus an exhibition to set up, I have been calling and mailing my friends.
The very best artists.
Could they get pictures to me within three days?
Nearly all of them understood how important it is to us.
If it works it would put us firmly on the art map, hopefully with their work also.
Some of course like Jackie Morris don't need putting on any map,
but so characteristic of her she was one of the first to respond.
Louise Richardson who has a solo exhibition scheduled with us for October [the same month as the fair] told me to forget her exhibition and use her work in the A.A.F. event instead.
It is so good when you have had a nice opinion about people and then it is reassured by their selfless actions.

Well, I have pictures from most of the artists that I would like to show if we are successful, and
these will be submitted tomorrow.
From then it is in the "lap of the Gods".
I don't know what to expect, I'm scared and optimistic at the same time.
"Us", in London?
What a strange thing.
But I would like to thank my friends who responded [very quickly] and sent pictures of their work.
I know I can be a strange old sod, but thank you for seeing past that and understanding that
I do love your art and really want to share it with the world.

I can't show an image of every ones work so I just at random picked on a few that were to hand.
So above are.
A gorgeous pot by Adam Frew, who lives in Northern Ireland
From Norfolk, a dress made from nails by Louise Richardson.
"Infinity" [in bronze] by Irish sculptor Ana Duncan.
The artist who lives the closest Paul Rumsey "Library Head"
Would I ever be able to leave out the strange woman from the wild Pembrokeshire coast
Jackie Morris
Her beautiful new painting, "Wolf Brother".

Fingers crossed.


  1. John I have fairy recently discovered your blog and I look forward to reading each one of you posts - it is wonderful to see this snippet of life as a gallery owner that you portray. I attended the Affordable Art Fair around 3 years ago and was impressed with the quality or work displayed - and I very much hope that you get that opportunity for your gallery as it would be most well deserved.

  2. Beautiful work, as always and BEST OF LUCK!
    From across the wild summer sea...

  3. Thank you for your kind comments Gillian.
    It's all out of my hands now so I will just have to wait and see what happens. I will let you know.

  4. Luck was what I needed Valerianna.
    I had chosen the World Cup Final day for our opening.
    You can tell that I am not interested in Football, I was praying that nobody else was.

  5. Thanks Hanna.
    From what I have been reading you could do with a bit of luck yourself.
    Still you did have the two 'Pot Fairies' call in to help you.

  6. Hope this comes off John. Would be such a good thing to do. So looking forward to coming to the gallery in September so taht I can see it all for myself, but it is such a long way!...........