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.

Thursday 1 July 2010

"If I don't do a post tonight I will probably never do another one",
or so my thoughts have gone.
There has been so much that has happened and so many miles travelled since the last post
that I don't know where to start, or end.
So I decided that I would just leave out a large chunk of my life and just record perhaps the most memorable piece.

Our next exhibition which features five different sculptors has perhaps preoccupied me so I will just talk a little about this, although inside I want to shout out
"hey, guess what has just happened for us"?
Hopefully I will mention [definitely, better or worse] to you about might happen soon
that maybe might put us on the "map" in the art world.
Also, I will talk about what will happen with the gallery as we may be[or not] moving soon.

But for now back to the most interesting/exciting thing that has happened for a few days.
After spending the weekend at a ceramic fair in Nottingham I travelled further south to Devon to visit the famous ceramic sculptor 'John Maltby' who features in our next exhibition.
I had no pre-conceptions about what he might be like, but after talking to a couple of ceramic sculptors at the Nottingham show I became concerned about my coming encounter.
Just what sort of man would I be meeting?

Arriving at the home of John Maltby I was waived into the drive by a frail looking man.
This was John.
I had been prepared for a Giant or a Troll shouting at me to go away.
Instead, I encountered one of the nicest most gentle of men I have ever had the pleasure to encounter.
I was privileged, because although obviously very ill John acted as if I was the only person who had expressed an interest in his work or come to visit.

I wished that I had the time and patience to talk about all that happened, but I haven't.
If you ever call in the gallery I will tell all.
To summarise, I was humbled, awed, and enthralled by this humble giant of an artist.

In the past whenever I have visited an artist [of any description] I have felt that their art was diluted by seeing such an abundance of the art on show.
Not this time, I wanted to see more, for once "more was more",
although I must admit that
having explanations of various pieces really brought them to life and made them seem so very special.
John explained that the sculpture that I used on the invitation was of his wife.
Sadly she has passed away.
In my mind I had been sure that it was his wife but I asked him to explain it to me.
The sculpture shows an angel hovering over the garden with a watering can.
He explained that his wife who was wheel chair bound loved the garden, and would sit watching and directing him as he worked in the garden.
Now, of course as an Angel she would be caring for that garden.
Other stories he told me explaining about "Kings and Birds", "Dark Angels"and
"Viking visitors", will remain in my mind for a long time.
Not only did I feel very privileged to hear these explanations I also felt very humbled by the presence of this man.
I left feeling that I had made a friend, for what remains of both our lives, and also feeling very honoured to be showing his sculptures.

" I have wanted to meet you, as you seem to have a very unusual gallery".
He told me as I departed.
The words have echoed in my mind many times since.

Much of the art I collected are wall sculptures,
these need presenting in frames, so a trip to my framer Neil
was the first thing that I did on returning home.
Neil who was a teacher at St Martins Collage of Art and is a sculptor in his own right loved the sculptures and asked could he frame them as he felt was fit.
"As long as it doesn't detract from the sculpture", I told him.
I should have known better than to have spoken.
This afternoon he arrived with the first "test sample" for me.
It is beautiful and I really don't want to sell it, it was a case of one artist respecting another.
I told him to go ahead with the rest in whatever manner he felt fit.

I want to talk more about John Maltby as he made such an impression on me,
but I really just don't have enough time to spare.
Let me just say something that I have mentioned before.
"The greater the artist the nicer the person".

Below are a few pictures of some of John's work that we will be showing,
before they were framed, plus a picture of the "Gentle" man himself.
Thank you John it was a visit I will never forget,
even though at times we both struggle to remember our own names.


  1. I'm glad you posted... and didn't fade into the ethers forever! Such a wonderful sounding meeting between you and John Maltby - and sooo interesting about how people prepared you for him. Jealousy gets us nowhere, and generosity of spirit, everywhere! I look forward to hearing all the rest of your news... like the news that might put you on the map!
    Good luck with the show.
    Blessings from the peaceful, RavenWood Forest....

  2. Thanks Valerianna
    As soon as I feel that I am "on top of things" I will write some more.
    I miss it when I don't post, it may sound silly but it puts a lot of jumbled thoughts "to rest" and I feel better afterwards.

    At the moment here it has been an awful, hot and humid day and I would have loved to have been a visitor to your Forest.
    Especially now I have seen the picture of the river on your blog.
    Just how lucky are you?