John Rastall at Harlequin Gallery 68 Greenwich High Road, London SE10 8LF has recently sent me the following notice:
It is with regret that I am writing to inform you that the Harlequin Gallery will be closing for business at 68 Greenwich High Road from 29th March 2009. This closing date has been brought forward from the end of 2009, as Trevor Coldrey feels that he needs to convert the ground floor into living accommodation as he is having increasing difficulty in dealing with the current arrangement that sees him living in the basement and upper two floors.
When taking over the gallery in February 1999 I did not think that the agreement we had would last this long and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Trevor for allowing me to continue for 10 happy years. Without his understanding and his decision to charge what is a very reasonable rent the gallery would not have been a viable proposition and, although I never started it with the intention of making my fortune, is has always been necessary for it to make a profit.
With this in mind it is very unlikely that I will be able to find alternative premises that would have a rent low enough to allow me to continue in the way that I have, although in an ideal world I would wish to do so. However, I am making every effort to continue to trade in some form and am currently trying to arrange several exhibitions for later in 2009 at other venues.
I will continue to keep you informed of further developments and if any of you have suggestions please let me know.
Thank you all for your support and, hopefully, continuing support over the coming months.
I will be very sorry to see Harlequin close, as they have had and continue to have some great pottery exhibitions. If anyone feels they can suggest possible alternative premises for John, please let him or me know as soon as possible.
John’s current show – full details on the website is from 5 October to 26 October and features: Deirdre Burnett, Yuriko Hill and Ursula Mommens (now a centenarian) – or as my mother was recently called (she is 101 now – a centurion!)