Representing some of the best contemporary artists in the region and beyond, Parker Gallery has been the go-to for statement artworks since it opened in January 2016. Initially the brainchild of Neville Parker, it changed hands in November 2016 and has been owned since by former arts writer and gallery manager, Leonie Allen. Leonie says that while the gallery has remained a diverse space as it was originally incepted, she has chosen to work with artists who work in more contemporary styles to suit the needs of her clientele.
“The artists at Parker Gallery each have their own unique voice within their art practices, with work that takes them beyond the expectations of a regional gallery. I always look for a level of mastery that is achieved through consistent and prolonged effort, by artists who have taken the time to overcome inevitable creative obstacles.”
Detail and finishing are also essential, as she says most of her customers are ‘house-proud’ individuals who have spent considerable time and expense creating beautiful, immaculately finished homes. Therefore, they also expect their artworks to reflect their discerning levels of presentation.
“If I had one piece of advice for artists, it would be to invest in your materials and framing. The expectation of any purchaser of an original artwork is that it will stand the test of time. As an artist, you need to back yourself, honour the hours that have gone into creating the work and then present it to the highest standard possible… I’ve seen far too many good paintings ruined by lightweight supports that warp as soon as there is a change in climate. Buy cheap, buy twice.”
Parker Gallery isn’t all about painting, though. In fact, sculpture and more three-dimensional artworks are among the gallery’s best-sellers. Sculptural artworks, Leonie says, add layers of necessary texture and depth to interiors. Where customers may have historically favoured painting over other artforms, nowadays the trend is more towards collections of visually different yet complimentary artworks.
She also points out that even within a contemporary context, there is still a place for landscape, despite the genre being generally deemed a flooded market. Landscape-based artworks continue to create the broadest appeal from her clients, although tastes seem to have moved away from more literal landscapes towards more abstract interpretations.
An upcoming exhibition will focus on exactly that – a selection of landscape-inspired works by a group of artists currently represented at Parker Gallery. The exhibition, titled The L Word, will feature new works by a strong line-up of respected local and national artists, including Jason Hale Tillman, Juliet Best, Caroline Bellamy, Tania Bostock, Natchez Hudson, Dean Raybould, David Carson, Lynn Price, Nicholas Duval-Smith & Bruce Stilwell (with others to be confirmed).
The L Word exhibition opens Thursday 13th September at 5.30pm and runs until 15th October, all welcome. Parker gallery is located at 90 Achilles Avenue, Wakatu Square (beside Bowater Honda).