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The Gallery, Lakeside Thurrock (23/08/2003)

From: Jennifer Tawiah
Category: Exhibitions
Date: 27 August 2003


“Nuffin' to do wiv me luv, it's not our fault.”

That's the 'professional' response I got from The Gallery when I asked for advice about rectifying warped wooden picture frames.

A couple of months ago I decided it was about time I framed my canvas paintings so they could be hung on the wall. I'd been into The Gallery a few times in the past to admire their beautiful pictures, so they were my first choice for stretching and framing my paintings. The two sales women were very helpful, offering advice about frames that would pick out colours in the pictures. Impressed by the good service and agreeing to collect pictures in one week, I happily parted with £200, paying for the service in full. On the sixth day, I received a call informing me that the Framer was inundated with work so my pictures wouldn't be ready for a few more days. Not a problem. Two weeks after dropping off my pictures, I collected them, reasonably content that they looked okay.

But four weeks later, I began to notice that the wooden frames were no longer lying flat against the wall and were bending in at the corners. They were not hanging near any source of heat or in direct sunlight, so I decided to seek professional advice to see if this could be rectified and prevented.

I telephoned The Gallery, but gone was all the free advice I'd received when purchasing the frames, instead I was greeted by the very defensive Framer, who seemed hell bent on blaming the weather. Understandably, I agreed that perhaps such a thing could happen, (I know that when laying wooden floors, the manufacturers suggest appropriate space is allowed for wood expansion and contraction), so I asked him if a similar thing could happen to picture frames and whether they could be loosened. His response was, "there ain't nuffin' I can do luv, what d'ya want me to do, I don't control the wevver, if you were happy wiv the work when you picked 'em up, it ain't nuffin' to do wiv me." Explaining that I wasn't placing blame but was only trying to obtain his professional advice on what I could do to stop the warping (if indeed anything could be done), seemed unfruitful and a waste of time.

I received no offer to reframe the paintings (I'd been willing to pay some money towards getting this done), no offer that he would even take a look at the frames (I was told he didn't guarantee any work), neither did I receive a professional opinion on whether the warping would stop or continue - he was just an uncooperative human wall.

Well, my paintings are still hanging on my walls, more warped than ever. I guess it never did occur to me that a professionally established shop would not guarantee their work and that they would be so unhelpful in the event of a naive customer seeking advice...

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