"When one door closes, another door opens..."

I owned the Cedar House Gallery in Ripley for eight years, and when I closed the door in 2008 to move to the Welsh Marches, I never dreamt I would open a new door to a new gallery in the centre of Hay-on-Wye in the Spring of 2016.

The Table, at 43 Lion Street, sandwiched between Richard Booth's Bookshop and Chop Suey House, is a beautiful space created by myself and several local craftsmen to exhibit only those works of art that speak to me and that I would be 'happy to hang at home'.

When I hang an exhibition, or paintings in my own home, it is essential that the paintings 'talk' to each other. Different mediums, abstracted or not, framed or unframed, mean nothing if their common parlance does not resonate upon my walls.

With this gallery my intention has been to design a harmonious, creative, and holistic space which encourages people to come through the door to look at the paintings. They may sit awhile at the table enjoying the exhibition; art books nestle under a window seat, doodle pads and pens are available to all, strangers sit comfortably beside one another on benches. There is nothing that cannot be brought to The Table.

28.3.16

 
 

Three years later and I have exhibitions signed up for at least the next two years … sales to make a mockery of any mythical ‘business plan’ and a choice of career to make my heart sing for the next twenty years … I am curating an extraordinary space for artists and loving it!

Indeed an artist emailed recently “I remember peering through the window of The Table in Hay a while back.  It wasn't open but there was an interesting vibe.  Your shows are looking really interesting to me.”

My response …

“Indeed you are correct that I have an interesting vibe going on ... unusual I believe in this day ... in so much as I prefer to work with one or two artists together for a show, lasting a month, where once we have started a dialogue I curate for over a year with them. From initial selection of work, to encouraging additional work to complete the hang, often accompanying them to their framers or my framers ... so by the time the work arrives in the gallery it is very known and the show just hangs itself. This then presents a cohesive body of work to my clients and I have a thorough understanding of the artist and their process ... what you might call a win .. win ... win!”

10.3.19

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Val Harris