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.

Monday 12 March 2012

As a total departure from the last post I thought that I would show something totally different.
Well not actually me but some of the things that I do.
For a very long time I have felt very frustrated that I am not creating anything , or contributing anything of my own to the gallery [although in the next few weeks I do intend to play once again with clay].
But this isn't totally true as occasionally I do take photographs, most of the time it is to capture
pictures of different art that is shown in the gallery.
Lots of the time artists supply their own images which makes it a lot easier but every now and again I am told "you're a photographer, can you take pictures for me".
Once a potter even came in with three boxes of pots and said "I want you to photograph these for me as I need good pictures as I am applying to enter the C.P.A.
Why would I want to do that?
They weren't even going to come here to the gallery, plus I hated them.
Finding it hard to say no [don't ask me why] I spent a long time on taking pictures then about two weeks later called the potter to tell her that I had something ready.
Two days later she arrived, looked at them and told me that they weren't good enough.
I politely pointed out that I didn't need to be doing this and had other things that I would
be spending my time on rather [so far I had spent two whole days on these pictures].
" I want them done again", she told me.
I pointed out to her that firstly I wasn't a photographer and secondly she was wasn't paying for them.
"but I thought that this is what you do".

Suffice to say both she and her rubbish pots left the gallery very swiftly.
However she was accepted as a member at the C.P.A. [Crafts person Potters Association].
But as I was told by a "famous" potter.
"They accept anyone now, once it used to mean something".

Anyway, getting back to my photographs and talking about me
[what could be more interesting]?
I do take photograph's and always have done since my childhood.
In fact I remember as a sixteen year old being questioned by my headmaster when I left school,
"tell me Foley what are you going to do with your life"?
"I'm going to be a photographer, Sir".

I'm not and never will be but sometimes I still enjoy taking photographs.
They give me pleasure and I do it "because they make me feel good".
Which is a line made famous by John Voight in one of my favourite films "Midnight Cowboy".

I seem to be getting "off track" a little, but I am enjoying thinking about the past.
So, yes I do take pictures and on occasions I hang one on the wall here.
To my surprise every now and again they sell, which makes me tempted to show more but that would defeat the whole purpose of having a gallery, so maybe about four pictures appear here each year.
I really hope not for ego purposes [but it is hard to be sure] but because I think they might be good enough for inclusion. It is hard to be objective when it is something of your own, but I ask myself the same question I ask others who approach me.
"Do you think that it will work alongside the other work on show"?
Some of my pictures do some don't, but as they were just taken for "me" it doesn't matter when I reject myself.
However, lots of my pictures get used as book covers.
There is absolutely no money in it but it is fun when I visit a supermarket and look through the book section to every now and again see one of my pictures on a cover.
I feel like saying to other shoppers "see that book? I did that".
How shallow can I get? But sometimes it is fun.

So recently I had a call asking
"could you do a cover of a book about Anne Boleyn, if you can could it be quick as there is no time available"?
They mailed me a picture of an old painting with the brief:
to look like this painting, but we want her with lots of pearls, it is to have a dark background including a sinister looking man".
Considering that I was leaving to travel across the country 24 hours later I should have said no,
but ego is a funny old thing [or big thing] so I said yes.

The next day had me dressing up my long suffering daughter in different wigs and costumes,
driving around different locations [churches and Tudor houses] and getting different people to be involved.

Many hours and late at night [four hours before I was due to travel] I had a completed picture.
it wasn't perfect but it fitted the description, so I sent it off.

Next day [and three hundred miles away] I received a mail telling me it was "fantastic".
Now I could look forward to seeing it in a few months time on a bookshelf somewhere.
"That was Fun", were my thoughts.

On returning home I had a call telling me that the publisher now had more time and wanted the picture taken again.
This time could I have a "glamorous" female, after all Anne was beautiful [what about that painting], and this time showing more cleavage, more make up, and forget the dark background lighten it up more cheerful and lose that strange man in the background.

After a long conversation which basically amounted to me saying
"I don't do tits"
the agent and I parted company.
Two days later I received a call from a publisher asking "have you any pictures that we could use for a historical non fiction book about Anne Boleyn"?
Yes! [punching a fist in the air] a result.
One of the "out takes" of Rebecca is now going to be appearing shortly in a shopping mall near you.
If you see it don't bother buying it as we get no money, but it was fun all the same.

So I thought that I would show you a few of my pictures that have created a little interest in the past.
The rejected "unglamorous picture" and the cover that is coming out.
Shown at the bottom.

I'm sorry about this little diversion I will return to the gallery tomorrow.


  1. Well, I think they're stunning! And it sounds like you really need to learn to say 'No', sometimes, *chuckle*!

  2. Love these, there's a great air of mystery about these photos which would make me pick up the book to see what was inside.

  3. these are very wonderful. I wonder why you don't speak up for yourself like you tell the artists whose work you show. Why don't you get paid for having your work on the cover of a book? I know textile artists who have been asked to have their work on a cover of CDs and books. They at least get paid a nominal fee.
    After all, like Linda Starr says, people are picking up the book just because your photos make it mysterious enough to draw people to look closer.
    and at least, you should tell the publisher you have to pay the model(s) even if it they are related.

    anyway, your work is VERY good don't do yourself down. I'd love to see it more often.
    Sandy in Bracknell

  4. I love these images. The light (and dark) you use are wonderful. Yes, please do show more in the Gallery!

  5. I'm glad that you all liked the pictures.
    I wanted them to all tell a story, even if it wasn't the one that was inside the book. It was just fun and appealed to the little boy inside me who loved being told stories at night time.
    The "light and the dark" are important, but I found some time ago that the darker I made them the more the light shone through.
    Since then when people have asked about how I achieve the light I just tell them it's all about how dark they are.
    "Light in dark places", I think that is something Tolkien mentioned,
    and it is very true.

    Mind you, having some willing models helps.