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The paradox Colin Jellicoe shared



My best friend was Colin Jellicoe. I visited him countless times over an almost 20 year period, initially as a customer, because he had an art gallery on Portland Street, Manchester.


In the late 1990s, one of the two buses that took me home from work, would pass his address every day. It took me about two years, then something in me meant I had to use a lunchbreak to visit his basement gallery. I've amassed a large art collection since then. It becomes a bug, and I've now met both many dealers and artists alike, whilst always buying further works from Colin too, starting from that first visit.


We became quite close, for example, he would tell me things I can categorically say, he wouldn't generally share. At that time, we'd chat for about 90 minutes. I'd say something like, "I ought to be going", and as if by an unwritten etiquette we'd always enjoy a further 30 minutes or so, talking at the door, before it seemed right to open it, and this happened countless times.


Colin died in 2018. I miss him. He was popular. He shared a wisdom with me. Despite having little money, he kept his gallery going for decades. His wisdom was a paradox, which you could reduce to something like -


"in order to last at something, you must last."


I draw several things from that at once. It's a bit like a Buddhist Koan. I'm leaving it with you.


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