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  • Writer's pictureAmy Couling

Chambers Gallery: The Opening Night

The opening night of my group exhibition at Chambers Gallery was on Wednesday 18th January - and it was the first show of the new year! This was a group show I was invited to be in by the gallery with two other local artists Magdelane Clare and David Woodings.

This was my first time to be represented by a dealer gallery, which was very exciting for me.

Chambers Gallery makes a point of supporting graduates and emerging artists as well as established artists, which I am very grateful for because the same cannot be said about other dealer galleries. The majority of them only support the big names and already established artists, and sadly end up being the gatekeepers of artists entering the professional art world in Aotearoa New Zealand.

It was a great feeling to be able to drop my paintings off at the gallery on install day and have everything taken care of. I’ve gotten so used to curating and running my own shows, and installing all of the works myself that it was quite a relief to have someone else doing everything!

The marketing and installation process was all taken care of by the gallery, and apart from a delivery mishap with the frames that I ordered a few weeks before the show, it was all smooth sailing.

The opening night itself had a great turn out and it was so much fun to see so many familiar faces. Friends, family, former tutors, classmates and coworkers made it on the night and I was blown away by their support.

It was nice to not have to worry about the food and drinks side of the opening too as that was all handled by Chambers!

My Mum and I wore kimono of course, which has become our tradition for every opening night of my shows and I love it so much. We wore summer hitoe (one layer) kimono but it was still very hot at the gallery and I was melting on the inside, but very happy to be wearing it. We even wore them out to dinner afterwards which was really fun!

It was also an extra special night because my family was reunited with my brother who had come back from overseas after two years away. He made a secret trip back without telling anyone so that he could surprise all of us for my Mum’s birthday in early January.

I never thought that he would be here for my exhibition opening either, so it was a huge bonus that we could all enjoy it together!

Thank you to everyone that turned up on the opening night and to everyone that has visited the gallery since. Don’t worry if you’ve missed out though, because the show is still on until 4th February!

I also want to extend my gratitude to Julie and Ron at Chambers Gallery for their unwavering support of my work. Their gallery space is so light and beautiful to have works in!

The only downside to having a dealer run show is of course the costs - unlike running my own show, I can’t keep all of the profit that I make off sold works. There’s the cost of having the show in the gallery itself and the gallery commission taken off any works that sell.

An average gallery commission rate can be up to fifty percent. If you’ve ever wondered why artworks in dealer galleries seem so expensive, it’s probably because the artist is only receiving half the price tag!

Check out the rest of the opening night photos below and see if you can spot yourself in them! And please let me know what you thought of the exhibition once you’ve visited!

18 March - 4 February 2023 Chambers Gallery

80 Durham Street South

Ōtautahi Christchurch

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