The changing role of the gallery

The other day I had an exchange of views with one of my galleries which got me thinking about their changing role. The gallery in question had asked most of their artists a while ago to collect their work in order that they could “stock take”. Then this week I had a call saying someone wanted to buy one of my prints and could I send one out to the gallery.

This put me in an interesting position. I am actually a great supporter of the gallery system and my view is that I pay my commission in order that they stock my work, display it and promote it to would-be buyers and then handle the sale and any logistics. That seems to me a fair bargain.
For the same reason, I have never been keen on internet gallery sites as it seems to me they do very little to earn their commission and I can just as easily sell off my own site as off their’s.
So it was interesting when a conventional gallery asked me to take back my prints, but wants to keep me on their “database” so they can sell my work if the opportunity occurs. To my mind, this is an unwelcome development. Galleries should stick to their role promoting artists and their work and in return can expect the loyalty of their artists. Moving in the internet selling direction risks undermining this relationship of trust.

London Bridge Station

Starting a new print today, of London Bridge station – the side to the right, with its huge iron canopy – and it’s therefore likely to be quite complex.
I did a lot of quick drawings standing halfway up the walkway steps, that take you through to the other platforms, and that angle has provided me with an amazing panorama.
Although the finished work will be 70cms x 40 cms, large for a linocut, a lot of the detail will still need to be simplified, or even discarded all together.
I also want a crowd of passengers to be milling around on the main platform, which will bring its own problems – that sort of detail is difficult with the lino as it is generally thought more suitable for broad swathes of colour with simple blocks of composition. Still, a train station with no people has no life so I’m giving it a go.
Anyway, watch this space….

Oxo gallery

A view of the main wall as you enter the gallery- the show, featuring almost all of the current members of Greenwich printmakers, has finished now but was a great success. Sales were very good and we had a steady stream of visitors, both locals and tourists.


Just got back from Blackheath after collecting a dozen new framed pieces from my very good framer Meg Jones. She does a beautiful job, using a hand-finished ash, stained black, with a mount in exactly the same shade as the printing paper.
I used to frame my own work but they have to put up with a lot of manhandling in their life with me and I’ve found it pays to have the best quality I can afford.
I have to deliver them to various galleries in the next couple of weeks, which is a bit of a trial as they are surprisingly heavy to carry around. Either I use a trolley which is really, really awkward on the tube, or I throw caution and expense to the wind and hop in a taxi.
This is definitely my least favourite job, I’m thinking now (until the next least favourite one comes along, of course…. )

Last Week at Oxo

It’s the last seven days for the Oxo show this week. It comes down on Sunday at 6 o’clock so it’s your last chance! I’m doing a sitting at the Oxo tower this Friday (7th August), so come along and say hello.

The address for Oxo Tower Wharf is: Bargehouse Street

(Free entry.)