I was lucky enough to be invited to the informal opening of a new Gallery in the recently vacated Shoe Studio premises in Rendezvous Street by local artist, and friend, Johnny Cotter.
I arrived about 7.30pm as always not quite sure if I had got the right day/month/lifetime but could see as I walked up to the gallery that the place was already filled with people checking out the art and discussing the merits of various pieces - one in particular that caught our attention was a picture of David Beckham in his distinctive red shirt - on a crucifix.
There were lots of knowledgeable looking people having serious arty discussions and, thank goodness, some mutual friends to say hello and chat to and I wandered round the gallery, downstairs and then upstairs looking at the various pieces but careful not to display my ignorance too much by getting involved in any of the serious conversations. The exhibition of modern contemporary work mostly by Johnny Cotter himself is full of colour and humour - and even with my lack of arty credentials I found myself warming to many of the pieces and I noted that there was already a 'sold' sign on the David Beckham 'let me listen to me and not them' piece downstairs (bought by DJ and singer, Boy George).
The price tags were very affordable by any standards and I could imagine virtually all of the pieces displayed making a real visual statement in terms of colour, design and humour on most living room walls. And when I have some living room walls again (my downstairs is currently a work in progress with internal walls removed) I have promised myself another visit to the JohnnyCotter Gallery in Rendezvous Street to make my own purchase. Then, proudly carrying my chosen piece and feeling very cultured I will skip the 20 yards or so distance to Googies Art Café where I can relax and drink the best coffee in town whilst I show Keith, Laura, Sue, Steve, and anybody else who looks in my direction, my arty acquisition.
Note: Coming soon to the new Gallery is an exhibition entitled 'Inferential Grin’. (an anagram of triennial fringe). This will feature a collection of art work by 11 local artists and will be part of the triennial fringe event. Artists who would like to have their work (sculptures, 3-D works, paintings and 2-D pieces) on display should contact Johnny Cotter directly by 3rd December latest.
I popped down to Rendezvous Street today (Wed) for a much need coffee and BLT from Googies - and a chance to meet up with friends and read my book - and in popped Johnny Cotter who had read my KentOnLine blog. Noting my comments about lack of artistic understanding he has kindly offered to personally show me round the gallery and tell me something about each piece. What a lovely offer and one too good to miss. Johnny also said in passing that the gallery has gotten off to the brilliant start. He is already having to put new pieces up as ones on display are sold. From today the big canvas with David Beckham on a crucifix will also be hanging out front - that should stop folk in their tracks.