30 January 2007

Contemporary Casualty

A little-reported casualty of the chain-store takeover of Central Wellington, and the massive rent rises some retail spaces have faced in the last 18-24 months, has been an exodus of decent art galleries from the Thorndon/Parliament end of town. A few years back we had a plethora in this neighbourhood, covering pretty much the whole market, all within walking distance. Chris Moore and Bowen on the Terrace, Tinakori and Ferner on Featherston, MacGregor Wright (not my cup of tea, but part of the rich tapestry), and others.

Now we have dodgy old Fishers. And the seldom open (it seems) Aaron Lawrence Gallery. Short of a hike down to Hamish McKay's, my lunchtimes just aren't as stimulating as they could be.

The exodus of dealers from the Parliamentary precinct seems inversely proportional to the increased investment in the arts by Central Government over the last 7 years? Maybe it's a good thing - galleries can afford to move away from the political and business hubs and into the consumer hubs... Maybe I'll ask my friendly dealer.

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