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.

Friday, 17 September 2010

I think it's about time now that I mention something that we are involved with which is going to take place very soon. In fact a weeks time.
There is a charity event taking place in Long Melford, well when I say 'event' what I really mean is a shopping trip.
A shopping spree with a difference, every shop, gallery, restaurant, etc, is discounting the goods for one day for a group of shoppers who have paid for the privilege of being aloud to part with their money.
A bit complicated I know, in fact I still can't understand it myself and we are very involved.
All the profits of the event are being donated to the 'Myeloma Bone Cancer' charity, a rare form of cancer which receives little or no funding.
Somehow [due to my big mouth] we have become more involved than most, so not only will we be offering a discount for the day we have also instigated something else.
With the very generous help of the famous sculptor Eve Shepherd we will be showing and selling an incredible piece of work, a sculpture titled FAITH, with a large proportion of the proceeds being donated to the charity.
The sculpture, almost 'Icarus' like depicts a young man who has given himself over to fate.
He is falling, or about to fall as his body has past the point of 'no return'.
He is letting himself fall, safe in the knowledge that he has faith, and that this faith will protect him. Engraved on his back [to represent a tattoo] are a pair of wings and the word 'Faith'
running down his spine.
From the first moment Eve showed me pictures of what she was working on I was determined to show it here in the gallery, but it was not to be.
Once finished it was going on display in Winchester Cathedral.
I think that by now some of you might understand that I have trouble with the word NO.

When I was told of the charity event memories of the sculpture kept going through my mind.
Faith. It was so relevant, with "faith and belief" almost anything is possible.
Maybe even recovery, or the belief in it.
It was such an apt piece of sculpture that I wanted it to be a 'beacon' for the event.
Eve, being the lovely woman she is took no persuading.
So, now some months later it is coming from Winchester to Long Melford where it is to be
put on display in the local Church, not as grand as a Cathedral but still a beautiful setting.
There will be a special opening event, and it is hoped that not only will people be moved enough to make a donation to the charity but that someone may also purchase the sculpture.
It will go on show from Saturday 25th September.
Who knows what will happen? I am just pleased that Eve has allowed it to happen, at least I
will now be able to see this lovely work and take pleasure from it, rather than just looking at the tantalising photographs of it.

Long Melford.
It's a funny old place [very old], too small to be a town and too large to be a village.
It is in fact a one mile long 'high street' set in the country. Standing in the street with constant
stream of cars passing it is at times hard to remember that just a few yards away behind the shops and houses is the countryside. In fact it is 'Constable's' countryside.
After a few minutes walk from the gallery you will find yourself in a landscape that you will recognise from his paintings. Fields, streams, water meadows with cattle standing in the water, Church steeples in the distance, and all set under the most unusual skies.
There is something about a Suffolk sky, it sounds stupid but it is like no other you will find in this country. A look at the works of various Old Masters will show how they all tried to capture the feel of it.

Anyway, I digress [I like to talk about things I love].
This morning I arrived very early as I had a fear that Melford would be closed to traffic.
The 'Tour of Britain' cycle race was arriving here today, with the mile long street being used as a 'sprint' section and I knew that they were trying to discourage people from the local roads.
I needn't have worried, things didn't get closed off for about two hours after I arrived.
So, with it being a beautiful day and being a little early I took a few local pictures,
one of course being the shop,
but after snapping village scenes I headed behind the shop to the stream.
Irene and Rebecca would be out walking the dogs and I hoped to get a few pictures of them.
It seems to me that the only time I use my camera now is to photograph an exhibit or to take a "serious" book cover picture. I have almost forgotten about recording life's enjoyable daily events.
In the words of John Lennon, "Life's what happens while your busy making other plans".
How True.
I missed seeing them going on their walk but did catch them briefly on their return.
It would have been a nice day to have put boots on and to have gone walking with them.

However, two hours later Melford was a different place and memories of the countryside faded.
The street was full of thousands of flag waiving fans, all here to cheer on the cyclists.
I stood at the door and watched it pass, it didn't take long, three minutes in fact.
Thirty minutes later it was once again a peaceful place.

Above, of course is a picture of FAITH, then a few of this mornings snaps including the madness of the bike ride taken from the doorway, plus another that I took as I was closing last night.


  1. I had a clash of things I had to do and so had to miss seeing the cyclists as they whizzed through West Suffolk. I guessed it may be a fleeting experience!!!

    Aren't we lucky being surrounded by such special landscapes just around every corner.


  2. That's a great story, John. Good luck with the event and we hope "Faith" finds a permanent home.

  3. Wow, I must come along and have a look.

  4. Firstly Celia, thanks for your reply.
    I find your own blog very moving and evocative [and a treat to look at].
    You didn't miss much, it was very much a case of "is that it"?.
    At least I didn't lay out hundreds of pounds on bunting and Union Jacks
    in the hope of getting on TV, as some shops did.
    Had I paid to watch the event I would now be demanding a refund.
    Still it was nice anyway, just to take in the excitement of the crowd.

  5. Hollis.
    How strange it was to look at your own blog.
    We are all so similar, it was lovely to read your account of something so ordinary yet important, and to feel the hint of pride you have.
    We are all so alike, if only there wasn't such a distance between.
    Your blog gives me more pleasure than you will ever understand.
    You miserable old git.

  6. Sarah.
    The only person I know of who might be close enough to come.
    5.45pm, Sat 25th. Please be there as I need at least one person to hold my hand.
    I so don't want to let Eve Shepherd down.
    That aside, I would love to talk and look at what you are up to.
    Your Libya inspired work really has something about it, and as for your photographs.
    Can I have them?

  7. Ha! I take that "git" reference in the nicest way possible. Thanks, John.

  8. Your High Street seems to have a very ample width -- especially to be as old as it is -- so many of them don't. Ms. Shepherd's sculpture is breathtaking. Reminds me of a painting by Michael Whelan called "Leap of Faith." -- unfortunately, one doesn't get any idea of scale from the picture -- is it life-size? table top size?
    I think I would do a great deal more walking than I do (very very rarely) if I had such lovely places to walk.