29 August 2014


Tradition dictates that summer business activity is generally quiet and holidays restful.

We left for the Wyoming Rockies the day after Masterpiece London closed and lost our normal daily preoccupations and responsibilities in the sage brush and rivers, under huge blue skies and cotton wool clouds.

Hardly normal in the conventional sense, but excitingly invigorating to wade waist deep in wild waters and to occasionally cover and enjoy the dramatic landscape on horseback, however uncomfortable, stiff, knackered and thirsty it may make you. Certainly it all seems further away even than the thousands of miles that actually separate our everyday lives from there. That is of course the reason we cherish it and feel so privileged and choose to return year after year.

Our time in the West is not relaxed nor restful in the conventional sense. Our days are generally long, hot and dusty punctuated with occasional short dramatic storms, bursts of hail and heavy rain. We start early, are active all day, showered and on our first beer by twilight, sharing stories of spectacular wildlife, reporting on river conditions, productive fishing flies and hatches, together with inevitable tales of fish we caught and the monsters that got away.

No mobile phones, no emails, no queues or traffic. Simply energetic, often humbling outdoor hours, spent in a naturally commanding landscape, rewarding for the dramatic contrast they make with our normal routine existence. Which is why it is so restful and restorative.

Life of course continues as normal at RYA in our absence and the summer weeks of July and August 2014 broke the trend and have been unusually busy Summer months.

The landmark British Folk Art Exhibition has continued to attract thousands of visitors to Tate Britain and has been acclaimed in multiple positive reviews, (we will post many of these on this site in due course). Generally this first National Exhibition has exceeded all expectations and as a result we have received new visitors here, who have been inspired or stimulated by the exhibition. It is wonderful that it will be going on to Compton Verney from 27 September to 14 December 2014 , so more will have a chance to see and enjoy it.

We at RYA have also enjoyed some exciting reviews and coverage in the press and media over the summer and it seems that finally Folk Art has been invited to “come out” into the mainstream art environment and has done so in style.

Masterpiece London 2014, is now confidently established. It has an air of calm assurance in its stylish temporary structure, in its elegant setting on the south lawns of the Royal Hospital Chelsea and attracted more visitors and active business than all the preceding years. It has built on strong foundations and in our eyes is now firmly established as London’s premier commercial art/antiques event. This year we met and conducted business with clients from all over the world and are delighted to have exhibited consistently since the inaugural show in 2010. We hope that those of you who came enjoyed your visits and will be inspired to return again next year.

Curiously visits to us here in Battersea, and to our website have also increased during the course of this year and possibly because of the British Folk Art Exhibition this trend did not slow down during July and August. The RYA website has become increasingly active as a separate “shop front” and selling platform with photographic images becoming increasingly important in our professional lives.

A similar trend has developed in the Wyoming valleys, where sightings of huge bull moose, brown bears, longhorn sheep, mountain lion and massive birds of prey, or tales of great wild fish, caught and released, can no longer be told with hand gestures and descriptions. In any self respecting bar, where fly fishermen and outdoorsmen gather in the gloaming, all stories now need to be supported by photographic evidence and details.

So this is the point where our professional and recreational lives share common ground. Where rarity, great beauty and the exceptional are concerned, seeing is believing.


Gallery Tour