Although I have emailed the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham requesting more information of how galleries work, I am going to return to speak to someone in person.
Until such a time, on the website I came across a page of how to get work exhibited:
How do I exhibit my artwork at Ikon?
Ikon has a proposal procedure which artists are asked to follow. The gallery welcomes exhibition proposals at any time and reviews take place each quarter. Artists wishing to submit an exhibition proposal should follow the guidelines below.
Please note that Ikon cannot acknowledge the receipt of proposals and will only contact artists after the work has been considered and a decision has been reached. Material will only be returned if a stamped self-addressed envelope is provided with the proposal and email submissions will not be considered.
It is clear that a professional gallery is looking for a professional interface with a lot of experience. Therefore, it is in my best interests to get my work recognised by other photographers and artists.