THE Coronavirus pandemic may have shut doors on next month’s York Open Studios, but Pyramid Gallery is stepping in to offer an online exhibition to York artists.
What’s more, gallery owner Terry Brett is calling this new service Strange Days, after the song of that title by The Doors. As rather more than one door closes, The Doors open new possibilities for a different form of Pyramid selling.
“This applies to artists who have sold through the gallery either recently or in the past, and we’re extending this invitation to any of 2020’s 144 York Open Studio artists,” says Terry.
“The artists will keep the work that they’re showing at their studio, and between them and the gallery, delivery will be arranged to the purchaser’s address if it is within a YO postcode.”
Terry has run Pyramid Gallery, in Stonegate, since 1994, says: “We need to survive in these Strange Days, and so do our artists. We noticed many posts on social media this week by worried artists who had heard that York Open Studios was cancelled. We wanted to do something positive for them. It has given us an aim and lots of work to do, which is very useful for morale.”
Morale that he believes is under immediate threat from this week’s urgently announced Government financial policies in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. “I am disappointed by the ineffectiveness of government to make sensible and working decisions,” says Terry.
“While other European nations are protecting citizens and employees from economic crisis and worry, our Government seems unable to make the decision to support individuals and freelance workers or self-employed artists.
“These matters are being passed down to the community to resolve. It’s not a good approach. The Government should offer quickly to make payments to everyone, so that we know we can pay rents, employ people and buy essentials.”
Pyramid Gallery is reducing its normal commission to the artist for this event to 20 per cent plus VAT on each sale and is arranging the delivery free of charge to the customer.
“Some artists have already submitted work for the online show, and images are being placed on the website all the time,” says Terry. “The show will continue as long as there is a Coronavirus crisis.”
More details, and the Strange Days lyrics, can be found at https://www.pyramidgallery.com/strange-days-art-behind-the-doors-york-artists-online/.
Pyramid Gallery continues to open its doors, Monday to Saturday, between 10am and 5pm, but will be closed on Sundays. On show until April 26 is Full Sunlight, an exhibition of etchings and paintings by Piers Browne, studio ceramics by Hannah Arnup, figurative sculptures by Helen Martino and glass by Fiaz Elson.
Oh, spoiler alert, here are Jim Morrison’s 1967 lyrics to The Doors’ Strange Days:
Strange days have found us
Strange days have tracked us down
They’re going to destroy
Our casual joys
We shall go on playing
Or find a new town
Strange eyes fill strange rooms
Voices will signal their tired end
The hostess is grinning
Her guests sleep from sinning
Hear me talk of sin
And you know this is it
Strange days have found us
And through their strange hours
We linger alone
As we run from the day
To a strange night of stone
Let’s look forward to the day when Pyramid Gallery can host an exhibition with another of The Doors’ titles, The End, but in a good way, not an Apocalypse Now way.