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, 7 September 2010

As usual, so much has happened over a short period I'm not sure what to talk about,
I know that I will think to myself that "I will come back to that", but I seldom do.
Life has a way of taking over from what you might have intended.
But while I am thinking a little philosophical I will quickly mention one event, an even though I know it is unimportant It left a mark on me.
Once each year I have a woman come through the door, claiming to be a gypsy.
Each visit she stands before me with a basket of white heather 'sprigs' and asks
"would you purchase from a gypsy"?
Every time despite my reservations [what if she put a curse on me].
I have told her "NO, I don't purchase from anyone through the door".
Last week from the corner of my eye I saw a figure come walk appear, I looked up to see the Gypsy woman.
"NO". I called out,
"I tell you each time you come here, no".
"Won't you purchase from a gypsy"? She asked disregarding what I had said.
I sat back and looked at her, she was holding nothing, she had nothing to sell.
Just an old woman?
Well maybe not as old as me, but I had the feeling she was older, after all she had more whiskers than me.
"No, you've been here before and I will always say no to you, it has nothing to do with being a gypsy, that doesn't bother me, I just won't buy from someone who comes through the door".

I won't repeat what she then replied, and told me.
Not because it was rude, far from it.
Just because it was far too personal, and very moving.
She told me things about myself, and what would happen in the future.
I stared at her, but at the same time wanted to avert my gaze. We have all heard that the
"eyes are the window of the soul" and I believe in the honesty of eye contact, but this was different, I wanted to look away [but not really] as I felt that she was seeing far too much that I have buried in my thoughts and soul.
She spoke of what was happening to me and what would become of the gallery.
I opened the till and handed her some money, although she had nothing to sell.
I paid her for her words and the way they had moved me.
She had called on a day when my spirits were down and I believe her words were all she had for sale. A lot of nonsense I know but I felt lifted by what she had told me and felt that those few pounds were the best that I have spent for a long time.

Now where was I? Back to real things.
This weekend we had the opening of the Jackie Morris & Amanda Popham exhibition, this is one that I have looked forward to for a very long time.
Two marvelous, totally different artists without an ego to share between them.
Jackie arrived for the exhibition but Amanda [as she had warned] couldn't get a dog sitter.
Brilliant, as far as I am concerned she had her priorities in the right place.
I understand that artists must have so many different pressures, trying to earn a living or supporting a family with their work during a time which must be incredibly hard so it is very unusual to have a couple of women, both successful and very happy in "their own skin" and full
of the confidence that their art would sell and that people would like it.

As a result this of course gives them the time and confidence to concentrate on life's important events.

As different as their works are it goes without saying "I am besotted " by both.
It was an awful feeling, sitting trying to work out my own personal finances to see if I could "afford this or that" [or maybe both].

Having the work here is an absolute pleasure [on a daily basis].
At the opening having Jackie Morris, resplendent in her "pirate coat" was an even greater pleasure, she along with Emma Rodgers has been one of the most "down to Earth" highly
successful artists that we have had visit us.
It just goes to prove that great success doesn't change the person, it is the nature of the person that changes the manner in which their success is perceived.
Blimey! That's getting a bit deep, even for me.

As usual I took no photographs at the opening, I spent too much time talking.
I forget at times that it is not me that people come to see, still you've got to get attention while it's on offer.
Fame by association I think it's called.

Well. Let me just tell you about the toenail I have placed into the world of media and fame.
A nice young man came into the gallery yesterday carrying a very large video camera.
"I'm from ITN " he told me. "we are doing a feature about the 'Tour of Britain' cycle race which will be passing your gallery in a weeks time, would you mind giving us your thoughts on it"?

"Hhhhhmmmm! Could be tricky, I don't know anything about it'.
"Don't worry, I will give you the details and you just talk about it".
I told him that I would prefer to talk about the exhibition in the gallery, especially as I knew more about it.
"We can do both", he told me.
So as a result I was featured on the news talking about something I didn't know anything about and in return he filmed the gallery [and became excited] showing things he knew nothing about.
All in all, it's a funny old world, but I become more and more convinced that every thing
happens for a reason.
At the moment we are showing new work for one reason.
I love it, and for me what better reason can there be?
I will revisit more about the visit by Jackie Morris because she is such a larger than life character, and her visit needs recalling.
What was even better, whilst here she also purchased many things [my kind of artist], each so
unusual that it would be hard to imagine anyone else owning them.

So, at the end of this very rambling [taken 4 hours with distractions] here are a few of the
unusual works from the new exhibition.


  1. Still have the one ceramic piece wrapped up, John, but the other is on the window in my studio and I wore the clock necklace with the pirate coat today. They go together well.
    Hope to have pics of the opening and the gallery and the work on my website soon and on my blog, but today I was busy with my horse feathers.
    Will let you know when it is all done. The drawing is more or less finished and will try and post that tomorrow.
    Suffolk is so beautiful. So beautiful. Medieval and glorious and takes your breath away. Hope to be back, maybe to do an exhibition of horses? And maybe to go in search of The Suffolk Punch?

  2. I've had encounters with wise, old gypsies in Greece, and a few wise old souls in the U.S. too! Profound sounding encounter... and, of course, the glimpse at the pieces in the show are tantalizing.....

  3. It's a good thing you're there and I'm here, else I would have blown the rent money in nothing flat! Ms Popham's work is so witty and charming -- and colorful! And Jackie's heron is ravishing. Glad you had such a great opening for the exhibit. -- and a Gypsy!