Whilst watching Wim Wender’s wonderful, Oscar nominated Salt of the Earth, about world-renowned photographer Sebastião Salgado, I started to consider whether we should openly criticise any artist’s work.
Surely I’m being an over-protective gallerist: artists are just doing a job like you and I, or? And, as such, shouldn’t they take our criticism as much as they do our praise?
What eventually swung it for me was the difference an artist’s ‘job’ is to many of ours. If an artist is truly giving their best, every piece of work is an inner journey for them – and I’m referring to emotional art here rather than intellectual art.
Artists look into themselves and use what they find to improve and hone their craft. Many criticise themselves whilst painting, and yet still offer that final result up to a harsh world’s scrutiny like a child would bear their heart… an exceptionally brave thing to do by any adult, knowing how cruel the world can be.
Art has a unique way of moving us all. Sometimes for the better – in which case I say immerse yourself in that beauty and let the magic wash over you – and sometimes for the worse, in a negative way (although I imagine maybe the worse reaction an artists can endure from their public is indifference).
So if a piece of art conjures up a negative emotion, my feeling is we shouldn’t say anything. Reacting negatively is just inviting hate into the world. But moreover, isn’t that piece of art, like most things in life, simply reflecting back to us our own personalities and being a mirror into our on misgivings? And if we want to really get value out of life, maybe we should ask ourselves what it is in that piece of art that is stirring up such strong emotions, rather than criticise the reflection?
OK, first up, thanks so much to all those who’ve bought our first book. They’ve flown off the shelf so I hope you’ve all had your deliveries by now. And thanks, too, to all those who’ve taken the time to give me such lovely feedback… a humbling experience to say the least!
So let’s kick off the month with the vivacious Claire Henley, eh? Her prints of the Hidden Hut continue to be a phenomenon and this incredible new piece – one of the biggest we’ve ever had from her – has brightened up the gallery so much, I’ll be hard pressed to part with it… possibly!
This month’s Rachael Mia Allen exhibition was a delight and if you haven’t seen the works she bought in, you should get over there now before they’re all gone! And that clever Stephen Higton sent us an absolute corker of Porthcurnick this month as well. Just gorge, with more on their way!
Mike Hindle topped us up with two newbies this month and the first sold in minutes. So if you’re a Hindle fan, skirt over to his page rapido, so you can get a glimpse of them as they come in. And that splendid Andrew Tozer has been doing great guns with some of his most exciting works selling and new ones coming in all the time. What a dynamo that boy is!
If, like me, you loved Jill Hudson’s rough-sea-scapes, she’s just sent us another in this genre of a pilot cutter battling the waves around Gull Rock. Quite sublime. And Jenny Aitken’s use of light on the water never ceases to amaze both her avid Social Media fans and me. Just check out the one that came in last week. ‘ansome, me ‘earties.
We’ll have some new Peter Wileman’s in very soon and the interest here in the gallery and online of Andrew Thomas’ fine sculptures has been exciting to say the least. And with Robin Mason astonishing the Gods with some of his most incredible works to date and Ilric Shetland about to spring another large seascape on us any day, I’m all a twitter for the first few weeks of October.
Oh and how can I finish a newsletter without mentioning our awesome pallet-knife boys, Ben Taffinder and Joe Armstrong. Ben has been kicking it out the ball-park again this month and Joe Armstrong keeps sending some wonderfully vibrant pieces in for the website… I can hardly keep up with them both!
So there it is, folks. Some VERY exciting news to share with you next month… yes, I know, I say that every month! But it’s true! So watch the website as all the best news arrives there first, and in the mean time, have an incredible October.
Missing you already!
In the past few weeks, I’ve experienced some exceptionally steep curves in my life. On the one hand, THG has had two of the best months in its history and I’ve been blessed by hearing my newest screenplay has attracted some world-class talent to make it. On the other, news of an illness that one of the closest in my family has been diagnosed with has rocked my core foundations somewhat.
That I have been able to take these huge emotional s-bends in my life when approaching them at such heady speeds, though, I can only put down to the traction that my relationship with my wife, Susanne, gives me… read more.