A pig shed on a working farm in the Cotswolds is an unlikely yet striking setting for a serious contemporary art gallery. Recent exhibitions and a lively summer show at Merriscourt Gallery are attracting art collectors from all over the country.
The gallery is run by Nick Clements, a specialist picture- framer, and Hermione Owen, a painter. "We're unconventional types who wanted to show paintings that we admired but felt were not being shown - and we wanted to do so in a rather different way," explains Nick.
The display of abstract and representational art looks entirely worthy of a Cork Street gallery in London. Huge, energetic oils by Julian Bailey and intensely coloured Indian scenes by Susan-Jayne Hocking are among the paintings currently on show. The bolder the better, as far as Nick is concerned. "I like it when they slap the paint on, being a bit wild about it, and really enjoy themselves," he says. The gallery is a relaxed, unpretentious place where visitors can feel at home. Walkers pop in leaving rows of muddy boots on the doorstep; dogs and children play in the courtyard around Paul Grellier's cast-iron Toll Tower. …