Andrew Potter Art Gallery grand opening 2019
Charming art gallery in Mallorca's rural plains
Last weekend saw British-born, international artist Andrew Potter host his first art exhibition at his new gallery at Carrer Major 19, Felanitx.
Andrew created quite a name for himself back in the UK, selling his paintings to Hollywood stars, hospital biologists and rock musicians. He lived in the arty town of St Ives for a large portion of his career, where he had his own gallery. A few years ago, Andrew and his wife Denise moved their lives to this humble town in the east of Mallorca where new subjects became his inspiration.
On Saturday, March 16th 2019 was the grand opening of Andrew Potter’s gallery so I made my way from Palma to the traditional town of Felanitx to see his work first hand. I must be honest, this is my first trip to this town and it was a lot bigger than I had imagined. The streets, like in many inland towns on the island, are craggy, yet pretty and peaceful. Arriving outside, the black bold signage adds a contemporary feel to the gallery’s exterior. A live band was playing just at the entrance as guests arrived and crowds of people were congregating around various pieces of art on display. Denise (the artist’s wife) greeted me within seconds, and I was guided inside to be introduced to Andrew and Stefan, another artist who they explained was exhibiting his works at this event. After exchanging pleasantries, I took my time to look around the exhibition.
Many of Andrews pieces are gouache on board and, from a distance, you could mistake some of his paintings for photos. Upon closer inspection – you can see it’s the intricate attention to detail that makes them so vivid. Derelict buildings and shabby doorways around the rustic historic town of Felanitx were a running theme throughout this exhibition. I loved a large piece called 'Black. Framed', a painting of a window featuring the famous Mallorcan shutters, which stood out owing to its vibrant turquoise colour against the dull nude of the crumbling sandstone building.
Another favourite was 'Still Life', a drawing of an old abandoned tractor with a wood mouse creeping across in front of it. The reflection of the sun and the headlights switched on really brings this painting to life. Speaking to Denise about her husband’s work, she explained, 'Mind Where You Step (Sant Elm)' was the piece she was most fond of and I could see why. The way you travel through the painting and out to the sea is very clever indeed. Denise says it can take three weeks for Andrew to create the picture but he can spend months coming up with the idea and composition.
Stefan’s metal sculptures were scattered around the room and added another dimension to the exhibition. The mechanical heart was definitely a talking point amongst the visitors but I was a fan of his giant grasshopper in the entrance. Apparently, he has built quite a reputation for himself in Felanitx. He used to famously exhibit his works on a street in the town.
A little while later, Potter showed me his studio at the back which was set up with food for that particular evening. It was nice to get a feel for where he comes up with his creations. Mixed-medium models lined the wall and the old shell petrol pump caught my eye. He likes to create these alternative works when he is taking a break from the paint brush.
Speaking to Andrew and asking him what he likes to portray the most – he was definitive in his answer – “Abandonment”. And there’s plenty of that in Mallorca. Away from the tourist and coastal hot spots, there are derelict buildings in the nooks and crannies of most streets in inland towns. I love the way he portrays the ‘real’ Mallorca – an alternative beauty and not the commercial picture-postcards settings you find in the tourist shops. Asking Andrew how his work has evolved, he said that it has become more vibrant since moving to the island, especially owing to the blue skies.
To date, he has sold more than 2000 original paintings throughout his career and I am sure he will be selling a few more now. To check out his work, visit his art gallery in Felanitx.
Visit Andrew Potter Gallery
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