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 10 February 2015

Head in the Clouds

I confess that I am a dreamer.
Often my mind and thoughts are anywhere than where they should be
Which can be fun and often leads me down good roads but........
It doesn't get things done.

So while I have been scheming and planning and telling you of events that I might have one day in the future
Perhaps I have not talked about or made mention of
Events that really will be happening very soon in the not so distant future.
So to start with.

It is often the case that artists who we are going to exhibit are so concentrating on their art
They forget that we may have a deadline for promoting their event
I have long ceased to worry about that.

Perhaps that is why I talk of other things, because I am waiting and don't want to hinder them

It is the nature of artists to get lost and absorbed with their work, they don't need to be absorbed
With crap like advertising and promoting events.
Indeed why should they?
But it is a two way street and as a gallery it is hard to promote, when there is nothing to show.

So, to have an individual artist understand that we need their assistance well in advance of an event
Is a very rare thing and greatly appreciated.
Which is why I talking about the ceramic sculptor
Blandine Anderson

I have been aware of Blandine's sculptures for many many years
They are beautiful, thought provoking and so very well crafted.
Unfortunately, because she is a "home grown" sculptor many other galleries are aware of her
To say that she is in great demand would be an understatement.
I had all but given up the hope of ever exhibiting her work.

But, never say never [well James Bond did]
At last
Later this year we will be holding a full solo exhibition of her ceramics.

When she agreed I was thrilled but totally unprepared with how professional she is.
Here was an artist who truly understood that it only worked if you work together
Sooner rather than later.

Once the date had been decided upon, she immediately sent me images to be used for
'in house' promotion.

Since then we have talked about a theme and a title for the exhibition.
Both being things that are of great importance to me
How an exhibition is perceived beforehand in the public mind makes so much difference.

I might know what to expect but how do our clients?
A title makes a great difference, together with images it paints a picture of what to anticipate.

I am a bully and most times try to bend artists thoughts towards my own ideas and imagination
Many times this helps
Simply because I am aware of what "our audience" will respond to.

This time there was no need to even think about such a thing
From a few emails Blandine's mind had locked into where we are situated
What I like, what she likes
And what we both think others will like.

I am really looking forward to this exhibition.
Meanwhile here a few pictures that she has sent of her recent work.
Of course
Her exhibition here will be totally different  again, an exhibition tailored to our corner of England.
I will tell and show more as it progresses
Meanwhile, it is a lovely to feel that I am working with the artist on a joint project

Perhaps she would like my help to create them, I have lots of idea's and......................
Perhaps not.

Saturday 7 February 2015

Night on the Town!

Yesterday, was a strange day for me and has left me with many mixed emotions
 I had to visit London
It was that bad.

Let me explain in a a little more detail.

After spend so many years of my life [since the age of sixteen] working in London
It has become a place I would be happy never to see again, for me it holds none of
the magic and charm that it does for visitors
It is a place where I grew from being an innocent boy to a cynical man.

However it is also the town where I was first introduced to and then taught to appreciate art
Thanks to guidence of one man [who I have mentioned before].
I admit that the places, galleries / museums and shops he intoduced me to still seem magical.
Even last night, walking past the old building where we first worked together had my heart beating faster.
London, I love it hate it.

The reason I had to make a very unexpected trip there yesterday is this.
I have been writing to the incredible American artist
Daniel Merriam.

That is nothing special as I often write and correspond with artists that I admire.
Of course, always in the hope that we might agree upon a partnership of some kind, simply because I would love to one day exhibit their work.
It is like sifting for gold, sometimes you strike it rich.

So it was that Daniel replied to me and we had the early start of a relationship.
A few days ago he asked "do you want to meet up in person"?
He was stopping at London for the weekend before tavelling with his wife to Venice
"for a proper [belated] honeymoon".

Of course I had to give this a great deal of consideration.

"Tell me where and when and I will meet you there"

A few more mails passed between us until I realised that his travel [from San Fransico] was immenent
and I still had no idea where he was staying.
He and his wife were in the depature lounge at the airport when they recieved my "where" question.
"The Ritz".
If I wasn't already nervous enough this information pushed me over the edge.
I wasn't sure what frightened me more
Meeting this world renowned artist or visiting this iconic hotel.
On reflection I think I was more in awe of the hotel.

I was right to be in awe of the hotel.
Daniel could not have been more normal, unassuming and unretensious than I could have hoped for.
He is an artist that only takes his craft seriously, not himself.

I walked into the Ritz and recognised him instantly
Let's just say if his art ever lets him down he could always turn to acting,
Would you believe he makes Bradd Pitt look ugly? 

Both he and his equally beautiful wife instantly took me "under their wing".
[weren't they meant to be the tourists]!
They lead me off to a night club 
It was themed on "Around the World in 80 Days'.
For me the non tourist it spelt "rip you off in 80 seconds", plus it was far to loud
Which is saying something for a partially deaf person.
We decided to move on and find somewhere with less noise so that we could talk.

We did talk, in fact we talked a lot.
We talked of different artists, our gallery, Daniels Gallery, Daniels art.....
in fact we talked of many many things
But none in a private place
We talked as I lead them around the area's of central London and Soho that I could remember,
In fact for me their was a lot of nostalgia involved,
Although enjoying myself I was astounded at how London had changed in ten years
Every "genuine" old pub and restaurant I lead them towards had closed or drastically changed.
What did I expect, this is London.

So, eventually we settled on a pizza.
When you are hungry at least you know your are safe with what you are eating.
A far cry from the 'RITZ'
But I don't think I was being judged, we just enjoyed ourselves.

For me I can't remember such an enjoyable evening/night for a long time
Every now and again I had to remind myself that this was a famous artist who kept asking me
"do you want a slice of my pepporoni"?

The evening was as unusual as Daniels paintings, but with "added toppings".

I hope you both enjoy Venice.