VILLAGE Gallery, in Colliergate, York, will reopen on June 15, “subject to government advice not altering”.
Gallery owner Simon Main has taken this decision in line with the relaxation of lockdown measures from that date for “non-essential” shops.
Picking up where he left off, but reopening on a Monday, when normally the gallery runs Tuesday to Saturday, Simon will present the postponed photographic show by Instagrammer Katherine-of-Yorkshire from June 15 to August 2.
The need to make changes to the way the gallery operates in line with Covid-19 social-distancing requirements precludes the possibility of hosting the usual preview for a Village Gallery show.
In his latest newsletter, Simon says: “There’s potentially light at the end of the tunnel enticing us to venture out and reopen. If all continues to go as planned, this will be on Monday 15th June…not a day we are normally open but we can’t wait any longer than necessary to welcome you back.
“However, things will have to change…The shop will have had a deep clean before we reopen and will be regularly cleaned throughout each day.”
Here comes the most significant change: “We are only a little shop, so to conform as far as possible to social distancing, it will only be possible to have one person/family-friendly group in at a time.
“Even if you cannot see anyone in the shop when you arrive, please shout out to check it’s OK, as there may be people upstairs. And if you have to wait, please queue responsibly outside, maintaining that essential two-metre separation,” advises Simon.
More details on shop etiquette in these lockdown-easement-but-still Coronavirus times can be found at the Village Gallery website, but among more changes the newsletter highlights, one relates to personal service.
“As our shop relies on personal service – we will serve/assist standing alongside you, rather than face to face, and will wear a mask at all times,” Simon says. “Note, if you need to be able to lip-read, let us know as we have alternative masks available.”
What about the comeback exhibition by Instagrammer Katherine-of-Yorkshire, you ask? “Katherine regularly posts photographs on Instagram, mainly of York, and usually in black and white. She only uses the camera on her phone to take photos, and apart from occasional cropping, and selecting which filter to use, there is no other manipulation or photoshopping of the images,” says Simon.
“Her preference is to photograph in black and white because she finds the result more timeless than using colour. From our perspective though, in addition to this, we see that she has a seemingly natural talent and eye for composition, and she manages to convey a deep feeling of peace, even when documenting the major floods in York that happen all too regularly, as well as showing a different perspective of well-known places.”
On a housekeeping note, “Katherine’s show will start upstairs but, at some point, will move downstairs so will be around for a little while. Downstairs, what was our current showing will continue for a little while longer, featuring York College artist-in-residence Kate Buckley and Jean Luce,” says Simon. “Kate’s work involves porcelain, sculpted to express the delicacy of folded paper; Jean’s work is mainly seascapes.”
Looking at his 2020 diary, Simon says: “The exhibition schedule has been thrown into complete disarray, but with the help of – and our thanks to – the artists who have all been affected too, we will be rearranging every promised show as soon as we can.
“But we guess it will be quite some time before we are able to hold previews. We still mail ahead of any new showing to keep you informed.”
Finishing on a philosophical note, Simon muses: “Normality will return…whatever the new normal turns out to be.”
.Village Gallery, Colliergate, York, is normally open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm.