It has been fascinating to observe how businesses have responded to the recent and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic shut-down. The amount of creative thinking that has gone on, sometimes almost overnight, and against all the odds, to re-launch a business model that could operate and remain viable within the restrictions recently imposed has been inspiring.
Galleries seem to be equally divided into two categories - those who simply closed their doors for the duration; and those who immediately developed their online presence and carried on trading- in some cases easing their way fairly rapidly into a new and highly successful marketplace. Communication is vital in either case. Most artists work largely in isolation and rely largely on galleries to showcase their work. I know of one well-known artist who was due to stage a huge solo exhibition over the summer in a prestigious venue which then closed back in March giving no communication of any kind to their prospective client. There was no contingency plan and no appreciation of the preparation that the artist had already made before 'lockdown' came along.
Artworks Aberdyfi on the other hand, a small friendly gallery on the Merioneth coast, kept in constant touch with all their regular artists and clientele, regularly sending out information, Newsletters and videos and promoting on-line sales. Consequently their business kept going throughout and their artists felt both included and encouraged by the owners. Suffice to say the clientele kept buying and the business stayed buoyant.
As so many more of us have become practised in using the internet as a shop window during 'lockdown', it is possible that the future of privately owned galleries and shops as we have known them is in jeopardy. We’ll have to wait and see . Meanwhile l have decided to promote my work online as well as setting up a small gallery of my own work here at Gelli Dywyll . The main hall way in the house provides a natural and spacious area with plenty of wall-space for hanging. So watch this space!
Here are a few images of recent work: