Issue 219
Winter 2021/2022


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Nov 27, 2021

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ArtWORK


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Still in the Frame - after 40 plus years

With wife Julie

CAPTURED as a snapshot in time, a picture frame, rather like a photograph, lends a time line to a scene. Finally the painting, photograph, print – has found its place in time –and it is no longer just a figment of the artist's imagination. It is now packaged up and physically enclosed – ready to be sold.

Who makes these decisions and who helps the artist decide on these fundamental four corners, has an increasing relevance and importance to the artist today.

Which makes the time that framer and gallery owner Hugh Goring has been running his famed Perth gallery seem even more prescient.

With daughter Lindsay

For more than 42 years, Hugh has lovingly dedicated his time and skills to helping many artists of Scotland and has built up quite a name for himself in the process.

As a young lad of 24 he and his artist wife Julie pitted their bids on starting a business as picture framers in the centre of Perth.

A cash gift from Julie's father allowed them to make a start in business in 1979. It was either that or have a very flash wedding and a marquee. I asked Hugh if he's thought much of the alternative – how life might have turned out if they had gone for the big wedding instead?

Hugh laughs and says it might have been very different but there's no way he would have given up all the laughs and loves of arts, they have enjoyed over the years.

Now Hugh is looking back on his years in the frame with rose tinted specs, as he looks to selling the business early next year.

It has certainly has been a journey from the first beginnings at the back of a plumber's shop in 1979 to then moving to larger premises in 1991 where they were also able to show the work of many artists, from Marj Bond, Christine Woodside, Madeleine Hand and many more and – importantly – becoming an onlinr pioneer of the art world.

Frames was one of the first galleries in the world to sell their art online. Hugh was even featured on Grampian TV – in 1997 – and quoted as saying at the time, "Hugh is convinced the internet is here to stay." He may possibly have had a point!

He says the art world has changed in myriad ways. Where as at one time the gallerist would go seeking the artist, now they are inundated with artists who approach them daily – looking for places to hang their works.

Hugh has built up reputation as being a superb gallery director and has shown many artists from Elizabeth Blackadder to John Brown, never having to have a formal contract with their artists, always just going on good faith.

He is never put off by the age of an artist, nor whether they have been formally trained or went to art school. One of their most successful artists to be shown is James Fraser, who worked in the civil service for many years before changing careers to become an artist, enrolling at Edinburgh College of Art in 1999 as a mature student.

"My advice to anyone starting out is to look at the kind of galleries you would like to show at, do your research and see what these galleries are showing. Get in touch with them – e-mailing is always a good way. When people turn up and physically show us their actual paintings, it's often quite hard to tell them, especially if you don't want to show them," he said with candour.

Over the years Hugh has garnered a great many friends and contemporaries. One of the highlights has been participating in the Perth Festival of the Arts exhibition, ArTay show, where thousands of people come together to see paintings, everyone from young kids to grandmothers can look.

The past year with the pandemic has been crushing for many businesses but for Hugh at Frames it was a time where they sold dramatically more art online than ever before.

For a chance to see the gallery, visit Frames in Perth at 10 Victoria Street, Perth, PH2 8LW. Or go online to www.framesgallery.co..uk

Interview:
TESSA WILLIAMS


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