The paradox Colin Jellicoe shared
Updated: Feb 1
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 got 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 gets a bug, and I've now met both many other dealers and artists, whilst always buying from Colin too, and starting on that first visit.
We became quite close, and he would tell me things I can categorically say, he wouldn't generally share. At that time, we always chatted for about 90 minutes. I'd say, "I ought to be going", or something, 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 shared a wisdom with me. He was popular. He had little money though, but he kept his gallery going for decades. His wisdom was essentially 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.