Our anniversary falls on the same night as the Teddington Christmas lights are switched on, and this, our 4th birthday, was one of the busiest and liveliest we have had to date. We were concerned that our invitations had gone out with the wrong date (4 of us proof read the invitations and the wrong one was sent to print!) and that turn-out would be limited, but, happily, that wasn't the case. It may well be due to the Teddington Society's organisation this year and greater involvement from Traders in the area thanks to Teddington Business Community, both of whom are very active in promoting local small businesses. Strength to their arm. If you want to watch their video of Lights Up here's the link - the gallery is shown 26 seconds into the video for about 1 second! Don't blink!.
We've had several excellent exhibitions in the period since we last posted a blog - we have a passionate new Saturday curator, Steve, who started with us in September of last year. He replaced Paul Smith, one of our regular artists who curated on Saturdays for 18 months. Giving up every Saturday, particularly when you have a young family is quite a commitment. Since the birth of his second child and giving up working every Saturday, he is painting again and we look forward to showing his work in the gallery. Have a look at his work here.
This current exhibition has some fantastic works and has sold exceptionally well since opening. It isn't surprising considering the line-up. You can see the current artists for Outlands on our Website.
Outlands is an exhibition that tries to look at the different ways artists view the world around them. Bozena Kaluga's work, for example, is quite extraordinary, using woven fabrics to create imagery. Some of my favourite pieces are the jewel like framed works with stories woven in between two pieces of glass. She uses thread to create images that, close up, look like delicate pieces of fabric, and from a distance the story is clear and yours to interpret. Bozena is already very established and collectable in her native Poland and this is one of the first opportunities to see and collect her work in the UK.
Kaluga's work has resonance with that of John Harrison who uses layers of foam board, to create portraits of the famous. His portraits of the Beatles are fascinatingly abstract when viewed closely, and, again, the image emerges once you step away and is unmistakeable - my favourite being Ringo Star. Harrison is an emerging artist and his technique is relatively unique.
Works that also tell a story and are selling well are those of Orsi Cowell-Lehoczky. The glazed paintings are about a dog that the family had, who was much loved but became jealous of the arrival of a new baby. One of the paintings depicts his departure - he was re-homed with another family with older children - and the painting of his running into the woods is a happy ending for all concerned, missed as he is. Two of these paintings have already sold and we are hoping to get more from Orsi. My favourite is the small nude shown here. This has sold to one of our favourite collectors and long may it be enjoyed.
In early February we are intending to have a reshuffle and invite new artists to show some pieces with us. This will be needed considering how quickly artwork is leaving the walls. We'll e-mail those on our mailing list and if you would like to be added please let us know.
We get asked how we find our artists. Some are recommended, some are artists that we've shown before and new artists approach us all of the time. We receive a mountain of e-mails each month and go through them when we're nearing the end of an exhibition. The best way to approach us is by e-mail - with images and prices of available work. With a great deal of artwork it is essential to see it in the flesh - it can look very different on a pc. Our next exhibition is programmed for the end of March/early April.
If you haven't visited the gallery yet, it's worth popping in. We're friendly, informal, there is always something for everyone, we make a lovely cup of coffee and we let you be so you can view the artwork in peace! Have a look at the world through an artist's eyes.
As Van Gogh said "I dream my painting and I paint my dream."