IT HAS BEEN a strange year with much political uncertainty which we feel has translated into uncertainty for people thinking of buying art. Many have held back but we have been very busy in the last few weeks so we hope people are beginning to feel confident again.
We began the year saying farewell to Gladys, the bronze goat by Mo Farquharson, which we looked after for more than twenty years. It was lovely to see her go to a good home but she has certainly been missed, we have had many people asking about her.
Not sure if she's happy about her move or not in this photo. She was well settled at Tolquhon.
We have had some curious correspondence this year. One email, on first reading, was unintelligible but, with some help, it made sense.
Hello, This will sound like an odd request, but here goes... ... I am making a mod for the game xxxx. If I'm happy with it the mod will be uploaded to the Nexus website for people to download and play.
The mod is a player home including a children's bedroom and whilst searching for Brown hare images I saw an image, Brown Hare, Winter, on your web page. It would look stunning, I'm sure. I would like to know if the artist would permit me to use the image for such a purpose?
So this wonderful hare may turn up in a computer game sometime soon.
Another surprising email was from DHL couriers. We sent some paintings to the USA a few months ago and received this correspondence.
Dear Sir / Madam,
I write regarding the shipment sent to xxx on the 23rd September 2019, which was transported by us under the above referenced Waybill number. Our DHL colleagues in the USA have contacted us to advise that the local customs department are experiencing difficulties in concluding the clearance and delivery of your shipment and require a better description of the goods to be able to classify for US Customs clearance.
Please can you advise what type of frames are being sent (picture frames? bed frames? door frames?) and what they are made of (wood? metal? plastic?).
Failing this information being provided, we would now await a written instruction from yourselves for the return or disposal of this shipment.
We had described the framed paintings clearly on the customs documents so how the crate might contain door frames or bed frames is rather baffling. Conceptual art maybe?
A highlight of the year came in June, when we had a wildly successful solo exhibition by Dr John Lowrie Morrison (Jolomo). We welcomed all sorts of people who would not normally visit a gallery and it is always rewarding to see joy being spread.
Some people feel uneasy about “popular” artists detracting from less well known artists but successful shows help to subsidise exhibitions by artists who do not have the same exposure.
On a personal level, it has been an exciting year as we have welcomed two new grandchildren into the family, just six weeks apart: Luca and Magnus. With Magnus’s sister Rowan, we now have three delightful grandchildren. And our daughter had her first book published: 'The Woman Who Rode A Shark'. It is beautifully illustrated by Amy Blackwell and an inspiring read.
On a more negative note, Danny broke his ankle. We were having a lovely time on holiday in the wilds of Sutherland during our October break, when he slipped on a rock and heard a loud crack. With the nearest X-Ray dept 2 1/2 hours away, it certainly made us appreciate problems faced by isolated communities. Fortunately it was a stable fracture and is now more or less healed.
We find that more and more, we are communicating with people by email or through social media. And people find us through our website but it’s never the same as meeting people in person and looking at art in reality rather than digitally. So do come and see us in 2020, we’ll have a wonderful, varied programme of exhibitions to be enjoyed.
We are open in January and February on Fridays and Saturdays only from 11 am to 4 pm. Then we open full time again in early March. In the meantime, Happy New Year, Lang May Yer Lum Reek!