Neville Parker never thought he would open another art gallery in Nelson.
After 20 years of sharing art, he gave it up in 2016. But he couldn’t keep away.
The former owner of Parker Gallery and creator of ICON Gallery in Upper Moutere has just opened ‘Origin On Hardy’ – a collective of local and national art.
“I tried to retire after Parker Gallery – I thought I’d done my work. But the sharing part of art I’ve done for so long. I come to work surrounded by beautiful things,” says Neville.
“I also recognised that when South Street Gallery closed, it left a big hole in Nelson.”
Neville says he doesn’t really see his new space at 123 Hardy St as a ‘traditional gallery’.
“It’s more of an arts and crafts shop – although that often brings to mind crochet booties. We’re looking at the fine end of the arts and crafts movement.”
Pottery, woodwork, jewellery, glass, framed artwork and Neville’s signature metal work are all featured in the former Little Beehive Co-op space.
He also plans on adding outdoor sculptures in the back courtyard.
“We want it to be as much as a place for locals to come and get a soup bowl, as for visitors to come to get a memento.”
Neville moved to Nelson from Blenheim 13 years ago and over the years he has represented more than 300 artists.
He says he is always keen to help celebrate local creatives.
“Locals will always get first placement, but we’ve also got work from Marlborough, Christchurch and Whangarei.
“I look for the pieces that have magic to them – that tell the true story of the artist.”
Neville says he has been “absolutely blown away” by the interest so far.
“Retail wise, there is nothing quite like this in Nelson at the moment. We have a unique take on things.
“People are hungry for what we’ve got.”