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, 9 December 2010

As I have mentioned before artists, like all of us come in many different shapes, forms and guises, and of course with the odd sprinkle of ego now and then.
This is normal of course but as you may have realised by now there is only "one" ego that is allowed free rein in this gallery.
Yep! That's mine. [It's too large to fit this page].

So, whats this all about?

The whole pleasure of having the gallery is to show beautiful things, objects of all forms that fill that" little hole" of need that exists inside all of us.
As I have been told in the past "people don't need what you are selling".
Very true, you certainly can't eat it, or fill your car with it, but, part of you certainly needs it, and like everyone else I certainly need "a fix" of living with beautiful things.
They touch your heart.
No, they lift your heart and spirit and in these troubled times we all need something that does that from time to time.

So. back to artists.
I have always maintained and experienced that the bigger the artist, the more humble and generous the person is.
I have frequently been astonished by the generosity of "big name artists" who reply to my requests to show their work.
Many times I have had replies such as "of course you can" or "thank you for your kind words, how soon do you need it", or "when would you like it sent" "what a lovely gallery you have".
This sometimes from artists that make me feel "we are not worthy".
But instead, they have the ability make us feel special.

Then, every now and again you have an artist of some description that we have "championed"
who has gone on to have a sniff of fame. "A legend in their own mind".
Wow! They are gone.
"Can't do that now I'm very heavily committed", or "I regret that I have no new work as I sent it to the Broom Cupboard gallery in New York".
America, New York?
I suppose a village like Long Melford can't compete with that.
Well it can, but not with the inflated ego's, after all the locals are still trying to come to terms with mine.

This is starting to sound a little bitter so perhaps I had better explain.

No, named artist commits to an exhibition that they can't fulfill, or at the very least they ask for a long "lead up" time so that they have the time to put special pieces aside during the course of their normal year.
Yes, you do have a long wait but you are assured that the end result will be worth while, and that your time and money spent in promotion is not wasted.
"At the end of the day", the public decides, and as a gallery owner you can only hope that what you promise is delivered.
As they say the rest is in the "lap of the Gods".
So when I try to prepare a year in advance it is reassuring to know that artists offer to do the same and make the same commitment.
But, that is not always the case as sometimes artists who don't have a reputation to lose
don't prepare until the last few weeks and as a result submit "OK" art for their exhibition,
then wonder or blame the gallery their art doesn't sell.

So it is with these thoughts at the back of my mind that this morning I decided that I would concentrate on trying to get a few outstanding artists that I really admire to commit for future exhibitions.
By this I mean artists that I have had dialogue with but who won't commit to a date until they know that their calender is free enough to let them give proper justice and representation to their own art.
At times they are allusive, but they never let you down once they have said "yes".

As I sat at the computer preparing to write long letters detailing the advantages of showing with us I was surprised by the arrival of a mail from a sculptor that I have been pursuing for a long time.
Jan Morgan.
Result! We will be getting his work, but only when he has fulfilled current commitments.
"This is more like it, I can live with those sort of things", someone is being honest.

I don't care how long I have to wait for Jan's work, in a way the anticipation is half the pleasure.
"No", I'm lying there, having them here and seeing and touching them will be the pleasure.

The sculptures are so exciting, not only are they so well made but the also tell a story.
The display of them is everything, it is so much more than just the sculpting, there is such a clever mind behind them.

So, having been fulfilled in only a few short minutes of the day I decided to "go for broke", and approach yet again one of my favourite sculptors.
Tricia Cline.
Tricia has told me in the past that she will let 'Imagine' have some of her art, but only when she could fit it in.
I can live with that as I know we will get the work sometime and I won't be messed around with
false promises.
As I now know professional artists never promise then not deliver, and I have the work of many of them here to prove it.
They have made my job a pleasure, it's the others that are causing the ulcers.

Above are two of the sculptures by Jan Morgan followed by a couple of haunting pieces by Tricia Cline.

Hey! Did anyone suspect anywhere back there that I was annoyed, I hope not.
After all I'm professional.


  1. Tricia Cline's sculptures are very intriguing. I look forward to seeing more of her work.

  2. I love that you are honest. I am really enjoying reading your blog. As an artist, it is hard to see the world from a gallery owners point of view. It is nice to hear how much you respect the artists whose work you are showing.

    I personally love galleries that book artists ahead of times. It upsets me when a gallery wants an artwork in 2-3 weeks because I don't have a stockpile sitting here to pick from. I also don't like creating artwork at the last second in a rush, so more often then that I'll have to decline.

    Keep up the posts!! I'd love to read more about the day to day runnings of the gallery, and openings etc.

  3. You finally got a Tricia! Excellent :)

  4. Wow... haunting's the word alright!! Those pieces are so beautiful. I adore them. <3