This is the Goldmark Gallery. A triptych of Lichtenstein paper plates waits in bubblewrap for dispatch, 1940s School Print original lithographs on a plan chest waiting for the framer. That’ll be our framing workshop, two doors down. Nothing goes on behind the scenes here, unless it’s accounts, coffee making or searching the stock rooms for a Chagall etching. We’re not precious, we’ll encourage you to handle the ceramics. And that’s another thing – pots of pots, shelves filled with the latest works by Ken Matsuzaki, Svend Bayer, Lisa Hammond. If they’re the best we’ve got them, all stared at myopically by an Elisabeth Frink sculptured head or two.
A batch of fresh screenprints suddenly blows in, so fresh that you realise they must have been produced as locally as the famous Baines’ Battenburg around the corner. And so they have, down on the old Uppingham station yard at the Goldmark Atelier. Overlooking the trees of the railway embankment a master printer masterminds big silkscreen presses, etching tanks and, remarkably, a set of finely-ground lithographic stones. Atelier, framing workshop, gallery, customers. Sometimes the Uppingham traffic gets heavy.
Books remain at the heart of what we do and our art reference library can be found at the heart of the building. You could spend half a day in the A section alone! Only at Goldmark will you find 24 of the best British potters gathering in one place for a book launch. Every one of them having signed 250 copies of Modern British Potters and Their Studios. Or Brian Aldiss being helicoptered in to launch Walcot, a Goldmark book taking its place in a list kicked-off with Iain Sinclair’s first book White Chappell Scarlet Tracings. It’s the one thing leading to another that we look for. John Piper prints on the wall, the launch for Frances Spalding’s biography John Piper Myfanwy Piper: Lives In Art, the DVD documentary John Piper – An Empty Stage (a Goldmark Film of course) culminated in Piper Fest, that had lovers of bright buildings against gloomy skies punching the gallery postcode into their Satnavs.
Sometimes the word ‘gallery’ simply isn’t enough. Yes, it’s the core of a business dedicated to the best in painting, printmaking, sculpture and ceramics. But here the books turn into paintings, the paintings turn into films. A casual visitor sitting down to lunch turns into the catalyst for a new project, chance conversations become exciting new paths into uncharted territories. The patently obvious is never quite what it seems. John Lennon had a notice above the door of his house in Ascot that said, in typical Lennon fashion, ‘It is not here’. The reverse could be said of the Goldmark Gallery. After all, on the wall outside is a sculptured plaque with a pig on it. Flying.
What can we say about Mike that hasn’t already been written by novelists, poets and journalists. Iain Sinclair even dedicated a chapter of his novel ‘Lights out for the Territory’ to the enigma that is the driving force behind Goldmark.
As a new member of staff at Goldmark, one of the first things that Mike will tell you is that if a person walks in to the gallery and they are feeling 5 out of 10 we must try to make sure that they leave us feeling 7 out of 10. Oh, and he loves buying art.
Jay has served a true apprenticeship at Goldmark. From part-time delivery boy in his twenties while pursuing his musical aspirations, to box-maker and gallery junior, fifteen years on has now taken over from Mike as MD. His emerging talent as a photographer was immediately evident in his artist portraits, leading to a commission from A&C Black, and can now be seen in exhibition catalogues.
Jay continues to make music, has released an album of self-penned songs, has appeared on stage at Glastonbury Festival and the Royal Albert Hall, still finds time to play in two diverse bands and composes and performs music for Goldmark Films. He has been instrumental in the conception and design of the new Goldmark website and says if he never sees a computer screen again it will be too soon!
Mike’s longest serving member of staff, Chris has been the company bookkeeper through thick, thin and thinner. Tucked away on the third floor of the building where calmness reigns, Chris is methodical and unflappable.
Chris’ family have farmed the land around Uppingham for generations and she is now a proud grandmother of three.
Roger trained and worked for many years as an architect before opening his own picture framing business in Uppingham. He joined Goldmark as head framer in 1998 and is now our chief designer. All the beautiful catalogues that land on your doorstep and the adverts that you see in magazines like the RA, Tate and Art Quarterly have been lovingly put together by Rog.
A core member of the Goldmark team, Mike relies on Roger’s keen eye and sense of balance and aesthetic in all of our projects from publishing to websites.
Roger is able to deter even the keenest buyer when approached. Please just let him get on with his work when you visit.
Em has been working for Mike since 1997 and managed his second-hand bookshop until 2001.
Now Mike’s PA, she has to utilise many of her widely varying skills. She’s still trying to work out how to use her A Level in Further Maths and her Grade 6 Flute! Em and Jay’s two daughters, Holly and Rosie, couldn’t help but be gallery babies
when they were little and are now to be found in various corners during school holidays.
Em is a qualified yoga teacher and, as well as teaching members of the public, gives a weekly class for the Goldmark staff. Alex says it’s the first time he’s ever been able to touch his toes!
Kate has been working at Goldmark since 1999. She started as one of two framers and is now head of sales and artist liaison. As if bringing up three children and working a full-time job is not enough Kate has also managed to fit in an MA in Fine Art.
Her passion for art and her love of printmaking is always evident. She is
often the first person you will speak to when you call and is more than happy to chat about the art we offer. Kate’s hobbies are not only restricted to the Goldmark Print Club. She has just been awarded her Grade 1 in tap dancing and at Christmas parties has been rumoured to dance on tables.
A trained sculptor, Rupert has been with the gallery for over 10 years and is our experienced Head of Framing. Usually first to arrive, and last to leave, you’ll spot his silhouette behind the shop window of the framing department – just a few doors down from the gallery.
You can always trust Rupert to make you the perfect frame; be it for an original Piper you’ve just purchased, or a preschool sketch you want to upgrade
from the fridge. He has plenty of expertise dealing with things that have both financial and sentimental value.
Rupert is also highly skilled at building stuff. When we needed more space for a display of 78 etchings, Rupert said, ‘no problem’ and pretty soon we were all standing round a 12-foot-high portable wall which became a central feature of the exhibition.
Roger is our non-exec Financial Director. He has many years experience in commerce and industry and also in the accountancy profession. Roger’s connection with the Goldmark group now extends over 30 years, where he has worked closely with us initially as the senior partner of our external accountants and subsequently as a director. Having sold on the
accountancy business he built, Roger now provides financial and business advisory services to selected businesses through his personal consultancy company. Roger’s input at Goldmark is in financial reporting and strategic planning and includes responsibility for our relationships with our bankers and external accountants and for dealing with legal matters.
Jo’s in charge of all of our stock: no mean feat when you consider our current total reaches 50,000. Whilst others would require a map, compass and, in winter, a thermos flask to navigate the labyrinth of stock rooms we have behind the scenes, Jo could tell you where that signed etching (no. 39/100 to be precise) can be
located without much hesitation. Also responsible for uploading all information to our ever-growing database, Jo can reel off a painting’s date, price, provenance, edition size etc, with a speed that defies all logic of memory. It’s sometimes fun to test her, but you know she’ll always get it right.
Vicki has been a familiar voice with our customers for many years, in her previous role as customer liaison. Fortunate enough to have grown up using hand-made pots, she has a particular affinity for ceramics and as our involvement with some of the UK’s
top potters has grown, she now heads up this department.
She is at her most dangerous when on a baking kick – profiterole week still hangs heavy in the memory!
Trained at St Martin’s, Christian has a strong art background. Alongside Kate, he works on our front desk, talking with customers and taking orders. He’s always happy to chat with you on the phone or in person if you visit. Also a photographer, he’s responsible for most of the images that appear in our monthly catalogues and on the website.
His taste in music is notorious. It is rumoured that his current playlist consists entirely of Japanese ambient minimalism, and tone cluster dronescapes (sounds like mosquitos to the rest of us!).
Jonny has an incredible ability of being five different places at one time. Bringing in stock from the warehouse, tidying the main gallery, wrapping up parcels – Jonny remains unflustered by his hectic agenda. What’s more, he’ll always make himself available to our gallery visitors, offering you tea and coffee as you walk through the door and taking the time to tell you about the latest work that’s up on our walls.
Jonny’s your first port of call when it comes to deliveries. He liaises with Sales and Framing, ensuring everything runs smoothly from the moment you click ‘buy’. He’s very happy to discuss delivery times with you so that you receive your chosen piece at your convenience, and always in perfect condition.
You’ll soon be able to follow Jonny’s eventful routine online via our super high-tech JonnyCam™.
Marc is in charge of our touring exhibitions, showing our art in venues across the UK. Churches, schools, university colleges, Marc and Alli know how to hunt for the best locations, giving you the opportunity to study our stock up close from further afield.
Marc likes a challenge and last year ran the London Marathon with no training and just a few cigarettes for sustenance. He has just applied to be a fireman in his spare time.
Alli arranges our external exhibitions, loaning out selected works to public and private galleries. She is able to curate a show for your venue, choosing from some of the biggest names in 20th century art that we hold in stock.
Also working with husband Marc, she helps take our work out on the road with frequent touring exhibitions. Alli has organised many successful events up in Yorkshire, including a big David Hockney show, after which she was lucky enough to share a smoke with the man himself.
Ian began his career as an artist and exhibited his paintings and prints in several mixed and solo exhibitions. In 1993 he joined the renowned Curwen Studio where he worked alongside the master printer Stanley Jones. He then worked at the Gresham Press.
Mike had always wanted to open a print studio in Uppingham and a chance encounter with Ian and his wife Jan was the catalyst for this new venture. In 2006
the Goldmark Print Atelier in Uppingham was born. Ian and Jan have printed for Paula Rego, Eduardo Paolozzi, Elisabeth Frink and now many of the contemporary Urban artists.
Ian is renowned for encouraging artists to push the boundaries of printmaking. He also has the strangest taste in music, including yodeller Mary Schneider and rap/poet Bingo Gazingo.
Jan has worked alongside her husband, Ian, for many years. Jan and Ian have printed for Paula Rego, Eduardo Paolozzi, Elisabeth Frink and now many of the contemporary Urban artists. Her in depth knowledge of the printing processes combined with her warmth
and hospitality has made her a hit with all the artists who visit the atelier.
Jan runs a weekly print club for members of Goldmark staff, freely giving her time and expertise to encourage the craft of printmaking.
It’s rumoured that Babs has lived in (almost) every house in Uppingham and as such is a real local character and a favourite with our nearby customers. Babs has been framing with us for around 10 years and enjoys the non-stop activity that goes on in the workshop.
Having trained as a nurse in the past,
you know you’re in good hands with Babs – especially if you have some tired old frames that need restoring back to health.
Babs is the proud owner of a brood of chickens and often brings delicious fresh eggs to the gallery. They just might make it into a lunch-time frittata.
Karen is our vegetarian gilder who spends most of her time working with materials that used to be alive. Having been trained by one of the best gilders in the country, Karen is confident mixing her rabbit skin glue and using squirrel-hair brushes to delicately lay pieces of gold leaf onto specially prepared frames.
A weigh-in on her way out each day would be interesting, as Karen sometimes manages to get tiny bits of gold stuck to her clothes and even her hair.
She has gilded the Virgin Mary. She would now really like to gild a cake.
Callum is our professional boxer – making sure your artwork and ceramics are delivered safe and sound to your home. We send deliveries all over the world daily, bubble-wrapped and carefully packaged in one of Callum’s made-to-measure shipping boxes. No picture is too big to be boxed!
As the most junior member of the framing team, Callum likes to learn from the others, and is currently Karen’s gilding trainee. He also assists Rupert with the hanging of pictures and has accompanied him to various houses all over the country. With his impressive height and keen eye, Callum will help you get your hanging just right.
Harry is the most recent addition to the framing team and has made a great impact with his long-haired, laidback (but never slack) approach. We often work to very tight deadlines with our exhibitions and Harry knows how to concentrate on the task in hand, getting the job done on time.
He likes a challenge and has enjoyed seeing some of the more unusual items arrive into the shop for framing. Amongst these, a doll, a school cap and once… a stuffed fox. Harry is often in and out of the gallery around exhibition-time, usually helping Rupert to solve spatial solutions or constructing a plinth or two. Or fifty…
Alex is our in-house filmmaker, producing artist documentaries, and videos of goings-on at the gallery. We send him off to film the artists in their natural habitat, from the Baltic coasts of Denmark to the moors of Devon.
Look out for Alex during one of our events: he could be filming an art demonstration, recording an unmissable music gig or even (gently) persuading you to say a few words in front of the
camera on your favourite artwork.
His filming projects are available to watch via GoldmarkTV. He also works on external commissions for local and national organizations.
Alex enjoys the humorous driftwood sculptures of Sid Burnard with whom he was lucky to go on a recent beach-combing expedition, hunting for Neptune’s treasure.