LETTER: Council’s ‘obstructive attitude’ has made exhibiting in Ely very difficult and uncomfortable for me

The Babylon Gallery in Ely is offering people another chance to “re-enter the absurd world of Mack M

The Babylon Gallery in Ely is offering people another chance to “re-enter the absurd world of Mack Mathod Cereal Absurdist” – and entry is free. - Credit: Archant

I am presently exhibiting work at the Babylon Gallery, Ely, a gem of a gallery run mainly by volunteers.

The launch and first two weeks have been a delight with some very positive comments about my work and local radio noting it as one of the most unusual exhibitions of the year.

Recently, the gallery has received notice from the council that they cannot display A frame advertisements outside the gallery, despite these being safely placed in a secluded garden area.

The gallery was understandably disappointed but I’m afraid the final straw has been reached when I, as an exhibiting artist, have been also banned from exhibiting a poster for my exhibition on the railings outside the gallery.

Apparently, the council rule is that no poster advertising like this can occur.

I have been an exhibiting artist for over 50 years and have worked all over the country, in every major city and never, NEVER, have I ever been forbidden from advertising my exhibitions.

I assumed that the issue was a rule which applied all over Ely but, on walking around I have counted over 50 A frames and 10 posters affixed to railings advertising everything from concerts to fudge.

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I am very angry that an official has singled out a beautiful, yet vulnerable little gallery like the Babylon, which caters for a wide range of people and activities, and not more robust organisations in the town.

I really do despair at officialdom that is supposed to upkeep the quality of life in Ely but by their counter-productive actions can only damage the community and tourist experience that they claim to protect.

I am afraid that this kind of obstructive attitude by the council has made exhibiting in this city very difficult and uncomfortable for me and I will certainly think twice about exhibiting in the city again.

I am refusing to take down my posters and upon threats from the council to prosecute I am residing in the Ecuadorian Embassy so come and get me!

Mack Mathod