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 31 July 2012

Before I get any further behind with my journal I thought I had better do at least one quick post so that I can start catching up with events.
It feels strange having to record older events when everything since then is so fresh in the mind.
Whatever, here we go.
I deliberately have not recorded anything for a while and part of the reason for this was reflected in the last post, where for the first time I omitted to mention the name of any of the artists whose work was shown.
The reason for this is that I run a gallery, a business, and so far the reason for its success has been because of the variety, and quality of the work the work shown, from various artist/makers from around the world.
All of the time I am searching for different artists whose work I can fall in love with, as a result I am frequently amazed at the quality of the work we are so fortunate to receive.
If I find four or five new artists a year then I consider that a really good result, as I am only searching for the best and of course the best need to be convinced that we are good enough to show their work.
What I had never considered or worried about was that my BLOG and the web site are used as a shopping list for lazy [and I will add money grabbing] gallery owners.
Recently we have had artists that we exhibit approached by another gallery just a few miles away and this has made me aware of the foolishness of showing the art and naming the artists that we are fortunate to have.

So the last time I showed the different pieces of art that we have here I excluded the names of the creators.
For that I apologise to them and anyone who has a serious interest in seeing their creations, but it is something I may continue to do.

However, as with everything in life there are exceptions.
Most galleries take the easy/lazy option so I don't think they will be interested in this artist.
He is a man I met a recent art event, but I will hold the name because I am sure that "Lazy Gallery"
doesn't have it on their radar.
At this event I discovered an incredible 'Calligraphy' artist.
A Calligraphy artist and much more, I can only describe his work as paper sculpture and it is so different to anything I had seen before.
Alongside many other pieces that he had on display there was one piece I coveted.
The one above of course.
Apart from being so clever and beautiful it also carried a poem I remember from childhood.
I just "had" to have it.

I decided after a long deliberation that I would approach him and try and put a reason to him that he
should allow me to leave with this piece of unusual work.
Every time I found courage to approach him I found a queue of people waiting for autograph's so I would walk away with the decision to try later.
As the day turned to evening I eventually joined the line of people waiting to talk with him.
At last my time came.
"What can I do for you young man"?

I won't tell you my exact words but they amounted to,
"can I show that piece in my gallery"?

He looked into my eyes for a few seconds then replied,
"of course you can it will be a pleasure".

We spoke much, much more and I left with for home with the paper sculpture for the gallery plus a glow deep inside for the pleasure of having met such a nice artist and gentleman.

It now hangs in the gallery and is attracting much interest/comments and it is giving pleasure to lots of visitors.

But, unfortunately for "Lazy Gallery" they will have to journey to Australia for this artist.

Dave Woods, a lovely man and a genuine artist.

Sometimes I really do pinch myself to think how fortunate I am.

Friday 6 July 2012

I have just been reading wonderful post by a blogger called Dan Finnegan,
a potter who lives in America.
He has been telling a story about a small part of his life in daily instalments, 
it has been fascinating to read and has really made me think "this is what blogs should be like".

Unfortunately I haven't got anything nearly as interesting to write about.
Usually I have no problem with the writing it is the lack of photographs that stop me from blogging.
I'm one of those people who is still a child and needs pictures to make a good story.
As a little boy I was asked by a teacher "what are you doing with that book, you know you can't read
[I was a very late learner]?
I explained "I'm reading the pictures". That put her in her place.
So it still is with me I love pictures with a story, although now they are mainly in my imagination.
To write a blog I feel that I "must" have a pictures, so many a times I have wanted to write but have put off doing so because there was nothing to show with my words.

Today is the opposite I have pictures but have nothing of great interest to talk about.
My day has consisted of selling a few sculptures and a few ceramics, coupled with a lot of talking with the people who have come in to look at things.
I like it when people come in to look and talk, of course I want to sell different things but sometimes
it is enough to know that people enjoy looking at what we show.
Hearing someone talking about a picture or sculpture sometimes makes me look at things with a different eye, especially if it is something that is open to interpretation, but really I just enjoy having the excuse to talk about artists and their work.
I love the various art and I want others to share that.
I can't count the number of times someone has said "I just love this painting [or whatever]" and it has made me smile and I find that I usually say "I'm glad you said that, so do I".

Of course there are times when people will tell me that they "really don't like this work",
or I am often asked "why do you show this?  I really like these but I can't see how anyone can like that".
What they don't understand that although everything that we show can be really different in style
[eclectic is the word] everything is all connected.
The connection being my own admiration of the work or artist, we all have different facets to our personality and the varied work we show is just a reflection of my personality.
I like everything that we show in equal amounts, I must admit I have days when I love one thing 
above all others but that soon passes and I return to a state of contentment and pride.
Not pride for anything I have done but proud of the clever people we are lucky enough to represent.

Which gives me the perfect excuse for showing these various unrelated pieces that are here today.
They are all very different and you must appreciate that they are shown in different appropriate area's
of the gallery, not side by side as above.
Individually they are beautiful, well crafted and totally unique, but I couldn't tell you about them without a picture.
So until I have something more interesting to talk about, "just read the pictures".

Wednesday 4 July 2012

Well our 'Grand Opening' is well and truly behind us now.
In fact so many things have happened since when I think back upon it now it seems almost a dream.
The opening day passed in a blur, it seems so strange to have put so much work into it [even up to the last hour before opening] that I have no distinct clear memories of what happened on the day.
I suppose it is a little like trying to remember Christmas day as a child, I can still remember the Eve but not the day.
It passed so fast, or seemed to although in reality it lasted for about seven hours.
Many people came, old friends and new [some travelling for hours] plus many of the characters and artists that have become a part of the gallery. Indeed it would seem strange now to imagine a life that they didn't take a part in.
I can remember snatches of conversation with different people which seemed to last for just a few minutes but I can't recall a day's worth.
But it happened and all seemed to be over far too soon.
Unfortunately I forgot to record any of the events on camera, I had promised various people that I would and I even had my camera behind the desk , but it was only when the day was over that I remembered that I hadn't picked it up once, too much was happening.
It is a shame to have no pictures because I don't think that we will be opening many new galleries in our lifetime,  plus I had promised various artists that I would record events and I do regret that I have nothing to show them.

I mention the work that went into opening the gallery, a lot of this work was done by many different artists living and working in locations far from us, and of course without their help, commitment and involvement there would have been no gallery to open.
I suppose thinking back on the day most of the time my thoughts kept returning to them,
in fact it would have been impossible for that not to happen as questions were being asked all of the time about a particular piece of work or the artist who created it.
I wish that they could have been here [some were] to talk about their art, but then again maybe it was best for me to boast of their achievements for them as I know many are far too modest.
Still it would at least given me more time to concentrate on the 'wine tasting'.

There were many pieces that have now left us for new homes, one really unusual piece was sold "twice" by mistake [whoops, my fault] and another was the cause of an argument.
This was the unusual Reliquary with the silver spoon that I posted a little while ago.
A couple came especially to purchase it and couldn't understand why it had sold to someone two hours before, as they explained to me "we came especially to buy that".
What can you say?

Anyway, the following day and all those that followed I knew that I was on borrowed time before someone called and asked "have you any pictures of the opening"?
That day was today.
As I haven't instead I have taken a few pictures of different area's in the gallery as it is today.
With many different pieces being taken away [due to the distance travelled by the purchaser] the 
exhibition pieces have now been spread throughout the gallery, which at the moment is in a constant state of flux as we keep trying different pieces and paintings in different areas, still trying to get a feel for how the place and the work shown will look at its best.
We are getting there but it is still early days.

The pictures are of nothing in particular but of spaces and things that caught my eye this morning.