What is a successful artist? Would you rather sell all your work to nameless punters or be lauded by fellow artists whose work you respect. This is the same dilemma for me as a gallery owner. Should I research which artists are commercial and hang their work or only have those whose work interests me.
I have gone for the latter and Little Buckland Gallery is increasingly becoming known as a location for artists to meet and discuss their work as well as selling. I find dealing with artists who are only interested in sales increasingly tiresome – particularly as it often seems that as a result of their financial success their work stops developing. Obviously, if you have a family to support and it is your only source of income this is a very difficult issue. I am extremely privileged in that I haven’t had to rent a gallery space in a city, town or village but have converted part of a barn to a fairly basic level. I see one of my primary reasons for having a gallery as being a stepping stone for emerging artists towards success in the future – to support and encourage as much as to sell.“Would you rather sell all your work to nameless punters or be lauded by fellow artists whose work you respect.” Tweet This!
One of the high points of being an artist who owns a gallery is the conversation and interaction with fellow artists as well as the luxury of being in the gallery when it is closed and gleaning so much from engaging and learning from the work. I don’t know how interesting it would be if you weren’t an artist – that maybe why most gallery owners’ essential purpose is to be financially successful.
Although this has been an extremely exciting and fulfilling path for the last eight years I have very recently come to the conclusion that I want to focus more on fulfilling people’s creative development. Two events in the last month have led me to reassess what I would like to achieve with the space at Little Buckland. The first was meeting a remarkable artist who has begun to release horrors from her childhood through her work, the other was John Bell, of the Iona Community who was on Radio 4 on Thought for the Day earlier this week commending the Prime Minister for trying to change the effects of incarceration on prisoners – i.e. to give them a second chance and to enable them to realise their potential rather than just locking them up..
I feel in Gloucestershire at the moment we have a very powerful triumvirate of women – the remarkable first woman Bishop of the Anglican Church, Rachel Treweek, the tireless Lord Lieutenant , Janet Trotter and the steely Chief Constable, Suzette Davenport.
Let’s make the most of the moment and see what we can achieve.
Little Buckland Gallery
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