In March this year, three Canterbury-based artists; Carol Moffatt, Ruth Reid and Linelle Stacey, opened a temporary gallery for three months in Northland Shopping Centre, Papanui.
Many artists may consider the experience of a busy commercial mall outside the politics and environment of a traditional gallery, but the three artists were heartened by the public response with strong visitor numbers and significant interest in their work. Carol Moffatt maintains that ‘much of the reason we were successful was our accessibility. Many people we spoke to don’t go to art galleries but it doesn’t mean that they are not interested in art. It is more likely due to work and commitments to family, and often time and transport. We encouraged people to bring their children into our gallery space, with their supermarket trollies and we spent time with them. We were the only place in the Mall where people could see original art.’ Moffatt says that because they have other commitments they have not renewed their temporary lease, but ‘it was a really worthwhile venture. The Mall wants us back.’