Photographers open new art gallery

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Hawke’s Bay award-winning photographers Richard Wood and Chris Helliwell have opened an art gallery in Napier. Photo / Provided

Two award-winning photographers from Hawke’s Bay have joined forces to open an art gallery in Napier.

Richard Wood, multiple New Zealand Photographer of the Year, and Chris Helliwell, former New Zealand Wildlife Photographer of the Year and owner of Havelock North’s Edges Framing, have together opened The Cathedral Gallery, which is focused on photography but has also a strong representation of the Hawke’s Bay Painters, as well as national and international artists.

Richard, who has just become the new father of a daughter born last Wednesday, says his studio is on the same staircase as the gallery.

“I’ve always admired the art deco skylights when I’ve walked past – I absolutely loved the space,” he said.

“So I decided to talk to Chris about sharing the space, and he said ‘let’s go.’ I love his look now. We have a lot of great artwork, including Josh Lancaster.

“We also have a lot of smaller, affordable artwork, something for everyone.

“Chris and I are both photographers, so it’s natural for us to embrace photography as it transitions into art.”

He says everyone has a decent camera in their pocket these days, but it’s not just about pointing and shooting.

“Shoot something that resonates with you – it has to relate to the viewer, and it has to be relevant and new.”

Chris, who has an Edges Framing store in Havelock North and a large workshop in Hastings, is really happy to now have a presence in Napier.

“The Napier store is a pick up and drop off service. All framing is done in the workshop in Hasting. This helps with the sourcing issues that a lot of people are having at the moment. The workshop is so big that I can stock more stock. This also means our lead time is one to two weeks. If we didn’t have stock available, it could take up to eight weeks,” Chris said.

He says he always wanted to have a shop that went hand in hand with his passion for photography.

“This collaboration with Richard fits in well with that. The space is beautiful and it’s great to have photographs – as well as other artworks – displayed on the walls.”

He says there’s a nice art center with eight or nine galleries in the area.

“It’s a business card for the region.”

They are both happy with the way things are going.

“It’s the middle of winter and things are going well,” Chris said.

He says framing should add to the artwork, so that when you look at it, you see it as one piece, rather than a picture and a frame.

“They should come together and become one – make a statement. One should not dominate the other.

“Sometimes it can be hard to make it work, but I love working on unique and creative designs.”

The Cathedral Gallery is upstairs at 16 Hastings Street, Napier.
Hours are Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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