The art in marketing

THE VISION: Dreamspace Gallery founder Peter Harris (left) and Nga Tipu Gallery owner Fiona Bryant (right) plan to combine skills to provide workshops for artists and to develop art marketing skills. They are joined here by Becca Pole who approached Bryant last year.
“I came in to look at the shop and saw the artists wanted sign,” says Pole.

Harris looked at her digital artwork on screen and suggested a way to make it stronger.

The reworked piece, which depicts a young woman holding an outstretched New Zealand flag while she gazes at Te Kuri o Paoa - Young Nick’s Head, has freshness and positivity about it, says Harris.

“It could appeal to ordinary, decent people who are looking for something that makes them feel good.”

Nga Tipu Gallery is on the corner of Glasdstone Road and Lowe Street while Dreamspace can be found at 61 Carnarvon Street. Picture by Liam Clayton

In the late 19th century, Britain’s arts and crafts movement stood for traditional craftsmanship; and advocated economic and social reform. Harris and Bryant see an opportunity to use the movement’s philosophy to keep Nga Tipu going, give Dreamspace more exposure, provide workshops for artists and to develop art marketing skills.

“In the past year or so I’ve had about 20 artists approach me to see if they can put their work in the gallery,” says Bryant.

“We had several workshops last year in which artists did the teaching.”

Harris and Bryant want to combine skills to help Gisborne/ East Coast artists develop their skills and sell their work.

“The simple vision for Nga Tipu is of a place where local artists can showcase their work,” says Bryant.

Nga Tipu mostly exhibits Maori art while Harris’s work is more “Celtic, visionary and romantic with a bit of pointy-headed philosophy”.

The collaboration between the pair is about developing and marketing local arts and crafts.

“This is the year of being it and marketing it,” says Harris.

Sustaining Nga Tipu has been a struggle says Bryant who faced closure, but Harris felt the gallery should stay open “and go to the next level”.

“It could become a hub for an arts and crafts movement in Gisborne. We could make Nga Tipu the marketing umbrella. I got excited about marketing and not being afraid of it.”

Harris believes arts and crafts needs to be promoted, particularly in an age in which people are increasingly engaged with their cellphones, laptops and personal computers.

“We have to promote arts and crafts and cultivate a culture of making in a three-dimensional (3D) world because we’re living more and more in our 2D screens,” he says.

'With social media you lose connection with the 3D world. You live in the Matrix.'

“More and more people are into fun and losing meaning. With social media you lose connection with the 3D world. You live in the Matrix.”

In the 1999 movie of the same name, The Matrix is a simulated reality, an illusion, designed to enslave the human population.

“How can we be economical and create products of quality?” says Harris.

“The vision is not just to make art as beautiful things but as useful things. In Maori culture there was no division between art and useful things.”

Harris and friend Tony Fife applied this principle to a rusted axe-head. The axe-head is not only now restored and resharpened but etched with a flowing Celtic design and fitted to a hand-shaped handle with a carved bone heel (pictured above).

“That’s an example of caring collaboration, restoration and recycling to create what we like to call a ‘working ornament’.”

Shortly before the interview with Bryant and Harris, a friend had given the Dreamspace founder a 1905 soft leather covered edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s book Nature. The book is an essay in which the American philosopher, and poet asserts reality can be understood by studying nature. Another theme of Emerson’s was the aim of the art and craft movement: to counter the dehumanising elements of urbanisation and mass production witnessed during the Industrial Revolution.

“That’s what I’d call synchronicity, meaningful coincidence,” says Harris.

“I’m looking at the revival of the arts and crafts movement. It was a really important movement.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for artists to come out,” says Harris.

Nga Tipu Gallery is located on the corner of Gladstone Road and Lowe Street while Dreamspace can be found at 61 Carnarvon Street.

In the late 19th century, Britain’s arts and crafts movement stood for traditional craftsmanship; and advocated economic and social reform. Harris and Bryant see an opportunity to use the movement’s philosophy to keep Nga Tipu going, give Dreamspace more exposure, provide workshops for artists and to develop art marketing skills.

“In the past year or so I’ve had about 20 artists approach me to see if they can put their work in the gallery,” says Bryant.

“We had several workshops last year in which artists did the teaching.”

Harris and Bryant want to combine skills to help Gisborne/ East Coast artists develop their skills and sell their work.

“The simple vision for Nga Tipu is of a place where local artists can showcase their work,” says Bryant.

Nga Tipu mostly exhibits Maori art while Harris’s work is more “Celtic, visionary and romantic with a bit of pointy-headed philosophy”.

The collaboration between the pair is about developing and marketing local arts and crafts.

“This is the year of being it and marketing it,” says Harris.

Sustaining Nga Tipu has been a struggle says Bryant who faced closure, but Harris felt the gallery should stay open “and go to the next level”.

“It could become a hub for an arts and crafts movement in Gisborne. We could make Nga Tipu the marketing umbrella. I got excited about marketing and not being afraid of it.”

Harris believes arts and crafts needs to be promoted, particularly in an age in which people are increasingly engaged with their cellphones, laptops and personal computers.

“We have to promote arts and crafts and cultivate a culture of making in a three-dimensional (3D) world because we’re living more and more in our 2D screens,” he says.

'With social media you lose connection with the 3D world. You live in the Matrix.'

“More and more people are into fun and losing meaning. With social media you lose connection with the 3D world. You live in the Matrix.”

In the 1999 movie of the same name, The Matrix is a simulated reality, an illusion, designed to enslave the human population.

“How can we be economical and create products of quality?” says Harris.

“The vision is not just to make art as beautiful things but as useful things. In Maori culture there was no division between art and useful things.”

Harris and friend Tony Fife applied this principle to a rusted axe-head. The axe-head is not only now restored and resharpened but etched with a flowing Celtic design and fitted to a hand-shaped handle with a carved bone heel (pictured above).

“That’s an example of caring collaboration, restoration and recycling to create what we like to call a ‘working ornament’.”

Shortly before the interview with Bryant and Harris, a friend had given the Dreamspace founder a 1905 soft leather covered edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s book Nature. The book is an essay in which the American philosopher, and poet asserts reality can be understood by studying nature. Another theme of Emerson’s was the aim of the art and craft movement: to counter the dehumanising elements of urbanisation and mass production witnessed during the Industrial Revolution.

“That’s what I’d call synchronicity, meaningful coincidence,” says Harris.

“I’m looking at the revival of the arts and crafts movement. It was a really important movement.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for artists to come out,” says Harris.

Nga Tipu Gallery is located on the corner of Gladstone Road and Lowe Street while Dreamspace can be found at 61 Carnarvon Street.

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