Posts Tagged ‘McLeavey’

About two years ago I asked “I wonder if we’d see this happening these days?”

This week “Jeffrey Harris: 5 large Paintings from 1980-81” closed at the Brett McDowell Gallery, Dunedin. I enquired and even though Harris’s studio is quite close to the gallery, Brett assured me there was a truck involved in moving the artworks.

Which was almost disappointing.

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I had a rather surreal experience recently. Last Saturday morning I had the pleasure of sitting in a dealer gallery going through ‘a bunch’* of artworks, happily working out titles and discussing writing for a proposed catalogue for a show. A few people wandered in and almost warily checked out the current show (Martin Thompson) and scuttled off again.

Even a year ago I was too scared to enter a dealer gallery. When I lived in the Wellington region I really wanted to go to Peter McLeavey’s but just couldn’t make myself climb those stairs. Is there such a thing as a phobia of dealer galleries??? I did force myself into Milford Galleries to see a Nigel Brown show because, unfashionable though it may be, I like his work. It was worth it. The scariest part was the desk right by the door manned by “an older gentleman” who have to say was rather frosty looking. I guess he knew I don’t have the money to buy a Brown. The same blog post I noted how I really wanted to go into Brett McDowell’s but scurried past, intimidated by the Hoteres.

Times change….

I guess my point is that I encourage people just to get into the galleries – public or dealer. Once you are over the threshold, its great. I don’t imagine everyone is as paranoid as I am but to the “outsider” these places can be very intimidating.  I guess there are a lot of tyre kickers, but you know, an interest in art today might develop into buying later in life.

I suppose I was being a bit vampiritic, having to be asked in to these places but it has been so worth it. Maybe some galleries are more welcoming to others. I was talking to a ‘dealer’ recently who said apart from selling art he felt he had a responsibility just to promote art in general. I thought that was pretty enlightened :-)

For the sake of an image – I am very fond of this Don Driver that lurks in the backroom of Brett McDowell’s

Babysnatcher – Don Driver

*Is there a collective noun for art? If there is a ‘real’ one please comment and if not I will give out a real life prize to the most inventive one in comments.

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I have been quietly obsessing about this move all day. Until the documents are signed, nothing is set in concrete, so you know, there is still a chance it may not go ahead but I am making plans anyway.

The thing that has occured to me most is that I don’t feel done with Wellington (or the Lower North Island) yet. I am compiling a list of things to do before I leave, but there are also people I would have liked to talk to in real life more – or even just meet. Oh well – I’ll just have to make a bigger effort over the next 10 weeks or so.

One of the top things on my “To Do” list is visit Peter McLeavey’s. I know its terrible that I’ve never been there. I’d been thinking it might be a more worthwhile visit with an introduction, but I’ll just go on in anyway. This hilarious photo (well I think it is) is from a Toss Wollaston book I have. I wonder if we’d see this happening these days.

I am also determined to go to Manky Chops – I’d like to see the Decked Out  show on just now. And then maybe I’ll start a new Dunedin list

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