Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I visited a new gallery in Cardiff – Magpie Gallery.


It’s up the top of a few flights of stairs with some twists and turns and the first time I went I couldn’t find my way in! This time I did but I got lost coming back down again … I ended up in the kitchen of the Club below!

It’s a nice place, though (the Gallery, not the kitchen) – light and airy. There is a fairly big exhibition space, and in the front section is a shop selling cool crafts, small pieces and, well, ‘stuff’.

Usual thing, though … nobody spoke to me or tried to sell me anything. I don’t want pushy sales type people (nobody does) but it would be nice to have someone offer to show me round and give me some background to the art and the artist.
Shame, too, that their website’s not up and running.

Still, a cool place to visit if you’re in the city.

In contrast, on Saturday I went to an exhibition organised by three local amateur artists. It was in a church hall just off the city centre. The work was, mostly, great with each artist having their own distinctive style. They also had their sketchbooks around for people to look through – and I love that! It’s a bit like having a sneaky peek at someone’s diary.

But the best thing was that the artists were there and chatting enthusiastically to people. No hard sell, but a genuine desire to share their work and the background to it. It made me appreciate the work all the more as I heard their personal stories. In fact, it made me want to buy from them – not only because the pictures were good – but to support their endeavours and to enable them to carry on working and bringing art into the world.

I like that idea of having the sketchbooks around. Maybe for the next exhibit I arrange at our church I'll do something like that. Hmmm...

I love the energy of opening receptions for that very reason - you get to really feel the passion that motivates the artists. I did have one opening at a university where people were afraid to talk to me at first because I was "the artist". That was a little odd, and very disappointing. When someone finally got up the courage to talk to me, it was a great conversation.
I've had the same experience! Someone said ... "I didn't think you were allowed to talk to the artist"!
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