Altrincham art gallery to close as artist brings down curtain on five-month “experience”

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An Altrincham art gallery will close down this month, but for once the decline of the high street will not be to blame.

The Little Gallery on Shaws Road has simply come to the end of its five-month lease, with artist Patricia Cottew-Snook ready to put her feet up again after an Indian summer on the high street that she and husband Jim – both in their late 70s – have thoroughly enjoyed.

“It’s been an experience,” she told Altrincham Today. “We ummed and aahed a bit beforehand, but we knew that if we didn’t, we’d regret it. We’ve really enjoyed it.”

The opportunity to rent the space – formerly a ladies’ boutique and before that a Sayers bakery – arrived earlier this year.

An artist of some repute who has exhibited at the Mall Gallery in London and across Spain, Cottew-Snook was originally due to exhibit her oil and pastel paintings at the space now occupied by the Altrincham Forward offices.

But when the exhibition space became full-time office space, attempts to find another suitable space for her work were unsuccessful.

Fortuitously for her, however, the space next to Caffe Nero was available. Although it had been let to somebody else, the lease was not due to begin for a while, so Cottew-Snook agreed a five-month lease.

Alongside her every step of the way was husband Jim, whom she met at an exhibition in 2007 and married two years ago. A mother of five from an earlier marriage to a Spaniard, she has spent much of the time since the 60s living in Spain. Most recently she was living in Estapona on the Costa del Sol, but has now returned to England to be with Jim, who lives in Bowdon.

So how has she found Altrincham? “We’ve had a really good reception and have been surprised by how many we’ve sold,” she says. “The most heartening thing has been seeing the interest of the children, who have often been the ones persuading their parents to come in.”

Trade has been particularly brisk for the work of her son Ben Duarri, a professional artist who has exhibited his screen prints (he’s been commissioned previously by Grace Jones and Jay-Z) alongside his mother’s paintings.

But once the gallery closes on September 27th, the plan is to relax – and spend more time on the golf course at Ringway. After five months of six-day weeks, Cottew-Snook has earned a rest.

Patricia’s work can still be bought via her website

Below: Patricia Cottew-Snook in The Little Gallery

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