October 2012

weathergirlsI had a revelation this month!

Having been in the music industry for many years, writing for well-known chart acts, I have been accused of ‘selling out’ by writing ‘pop’ music. But to be honest, writing pop songs was what I loved doing, so I was simply doing the only thing I knew. Also, when writing my later first novel, ‘Marcello’s Date’, and subsequent award-winning film, ‘Marcello Marcello’, I didn’t set out to write a story about first-love, and how society can pollute it. I just had a heart-warming story I wanted to tell and that theme came through as the backdrop for it… so not much ‘concept’ there either.

ilric_shetland-seacliffsSo what is wrong with commercial art?

I truly believe that unless you really know what you’re doing, you should think hard before buying art for its investment potential. When I took over the gallery I decided I would only have work in I loved; that was either awe-inspiring, beautiful or that moved me. This was the andrew_tozer-hotsunshineportscathoonly way I could rely on my instincts: Live and die by the sword,so to speak. So if I fail in making a living from my choices, then at least I know I shouldn’t be a gallery owner! So, now, when someone comes in and buys something I love, there’s a really great feeling about that on both sides… perfect!

ben_taffinder-belowtresantonI want everyone to have something of beauty in their home; it’s the reason I do staged payments and have created Contribution Buying; to help us all have something of beauty in our homes. After all, we pay the gasman £100 a month to keep our outer bodies warm, so why not give £100 for a few short months towards something that makes us feel warm inside, too…? for a lifetime?

robin_masonSo, no, in my book there’s nothing wrong with commercial art. In truth, nothing wrong with conceptual art, too, and it’s arguable that artist like Ilric Shetland (who’s just bought in some stunning new work in) and Andrew Tozer, et al, have a conceptual side to them. But the reason I have their work on my walls is because they give me the feeling of melted chocolate running through my veins every time I look at them… and I reckon there’s nothing wrong with that! (Did I ever say I love my job?!)

neil_boltonSo how do you get new artists in? you may ask. Well, I’m lucky enough to be approached by new ones all the time and this month alone we’ve had three brilliant artists join us.

Kicking off with Ben Taffinder, I’m delighted to have him showing with us now, not least because his studio is within spitting distance of the gallery, so I can nab all his best work before anyone else does! We’ve got five in now and I sold the first within 10 hours of it in the the gallery… take heed, Taffiner fans!

david_gray-augustsunshineThen I had a contact from a really talented painter, Robin Mason. Although he’s not as local as some of our artists, he spends a lot of time here and as his work’s so exciting (and he’s given us exclusivity in the area, too… lurvely!)
I felt I wanted to run with it to see what you all think of it… and I’ve sold one already! Looking forward to your views. They’ll physically be in the gallery on Friday but there’s a sneak preview above anyway.

hilary_stockWe’ve taken on work from both David Gray (no, not the popstar!) and Neil Bolton this month, too (David’s of which we’ve already sold half of what we have and Neil’s have sold out!) and I can now announce that the lovely, and super talented Rachael Mia Allen (daughter of our own fabulous Mary Allen, who we send all congratulations on her wedding this last weekend) will be showing with us in October… where do we find the room!

So there it is, folks. Another month packed full with news, events and activity in your all time favourite gallery (probably).

Here’s to a great month ahead and please have a little patience with this month’s Podcast. Due to illness it will go live a little later in the week. Hope you enjoy it!

Best wishes,

Mark

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September 2012

katarinawittYou know, when I decided to take over the gallery, one of the things I was most worried about was all that ‘down-time’ I’d have when people wouldn’t be browsing. I needn’t have. There’s hardly a dull moment here… read more