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.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

An Unexpected Break

This summer was not the one I had anticipated it to be, I had been hoping to take a few days off
 but instead I had a long and unexpected break, and not a good one.
In the words of John Lennon,"Life happens while we are busy making other plans".
As I explained in my previous post I had been busy preparing for our next exhibition,
it had been scheduled a long time ago and although there was still a few months to go I was becoming
increasingly excited at the prospect and there was still a lot of planning to do.
However, I didn't plan on having a major stroke.
That was something that came as an unpleasant surprise,
and as a result most of my summer was spent in a hospital.

The stroke happened on what would have been a normal day in the gallery,
but now I appreciate that I will never have another "normal" day again.
I lost the use of one side of my body.
It was told by a doctor that I had had "a life changing experience".
And that is true
I had lost the use of one side of my body,
I couldn't walk, move my arm hand or fingers, but I was very lucky I could still talk.
So for a long all that I did do is talk as I started on the long road of learning how to use my body again.
Fortunately I had a fantastic team of physiotherapist's who worked with me each day,
they taught me how to stand, to move my leg and after a month how to take a step.
With each day that passed my constant goal was to be back at the gallery for the opening of the new exhibition.
While I was away the family had become a team and they were running the gallery.
In fact I think it has now become "our" gallery instead of "my" gallery,
so perhaps some good has come from my experience.
Of course the fact that I am writing this means I am "back at work",
I am still learning to use my body again and that will take time, but I am back.

I did achieve my goal of returning for the exhibition, in fact the opening day was my first full day
back at the gallery. 
It was tiring but what a great day to be back.
It was to be our busiest most attended exhibition ever, with hundreds of people visiting during the course of the day.
The opening coincided with the 40th anniversary of Marc Bolan's death,
as a result the walls contained many of the artworks that George Underwood had created of him during his short lifetime.

Along with portraits the album covers were also exhibited.
The one shown below is from the 1976 album 'Futuristic Dragon'.
What made this of special interest is that George was able to give us a copy of the original concept sketch for the cover drawn and given to him by Marc Bolan.

This along with a drawing by David Bowie for the 'Space Oddity' album gave the exhibition a greater dimension. It really brought the art to life and explained some of the history of George's relationship with these two iconic musicians.

Of course they were not the only "stars" that he has painted and worked with, the exhibition covers
some 50 years of music history.

'George Underwood
Rock and Roll'
is the title we chose for the exhibition and that explains everything.
Below is a very small sample of the art on show.

Here is a picture of the artist himself, taken just after he signed the banner outside the gallery.
 In fact signing is something that George had to do for the duration of the day as it seemed that
everybody wanted to take home evidence that they had met the great man. 
Here are a few pics of the day

You might be forgiven for thinking that this is a picture of George Underwood and Marc Bolan.
In fact it is Danielz the singer with the band T. Rextasy who played a live acoustic show for us at the opening. 

After my long break I couldn't have had a better return to both the gallery and life itself.


  1. Well, you look good. I am so sorry. What a terrible thing to happen and yet you are back working so you must have a strong countenance and work ethic. It is hopeful to see you are able to go back to work already. Take care. I always love reading a post about the art world and your gallery.

    1. Hello Donna, it's good to hear from you again.

      "I look good"!
      You must be confusing the pictures of George Underwood with me, as there is no sign of me in any of the pics.

      I'm not sure if I have a strong countenance, but I did have a great determination/need to be back at the gallery.
      I had a feeling that being back would help with the healing process.
      It has certainly made me feel more contented, although there are a great many tasks I still can't do,it will take a long time to be "back to normal" but at least a start has been made.

  2. Sorry to hear you have had such a shock illness. It is good your family gathered to fill your shoes and that you were able to be there for the opening. Please do not overdo things. Maybe if you schedule planned rests, you can spend the time telling us about artists and artwork!
    Sandy in Bracknell

    1. Hi Sandy
      I have my family to thank for a great deal.
      Together they not only kept the gallery running but also played the major role in putting me back together again.
      They would spend hours with me each day at the hospital and since I have been home I have been waited upon "hand and foot".
      I confess that so far this is the only aspect of my illness that I have enjoyed.
      I certainly won't be overdoing things as I am stopped and am constantly reminded that I must not do too much"little and often", I am constantly told.
      I do intend to tell you a little more about artists and their artworks as I have a list of post's that I should have done.
      But all in time.

  3. SO shocked to hear all this John. Do take it easier now John. Hope you make a full recovery and remember to take that holiday!

    1. Thanks Margaret.
      I must admit I was a little shocked myself. Mainly because of the extent that it affected my body. But I am greatly improved and with constant exercise I should get back to normal, although I have been told
      that perhaps it may take a year.
      The big changes have happened, now I have to work at refining my movements, but it will happen as my determination has not been affected.
      However a holiday is a long way off as I am not allowed to drive
      at the moment, so I can't even visit ceramic shows.
      I hope things are well with you.

  4. I'm so pleased you are doing so well after a life changing event. Stay well and stay positive.

    1. Thanks Scott
      Perhaps now I might be able to tell/show people about your sculpture.

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  6. (((John))) let's hope 2018 is a much better year for you & your Imagine Gallery!