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The Refinery ArtSpace – showcasing creativity in our CBD

It’s been a few years since we last caught up with Refinery ArtSpace.

Refinery ArtSpace has certainly become a central component of our arts culture in the Nelson region. The gallery hosts events as well as exhibitions, with the clean white walls and lighting making it easy to transform the space from an exhibition to a drawing class, to a theatre.

Our mission is to promote, initiate and support projects and activities that stimulate and strengthen the artistic and cultural life of our communities.

On now is the RAW23 exhibition featuring artists from around the country who have had no formal art training. As you walk in the space, the vibrant range of colours and textures is incredible.

The age-old questions are asked. “Can art be taught? Is it a science or a mystery? Why do some people have the gift and others don’t?”

As you will see by just a few of the images, there is a lot of natural talent. There’s something pure about a drawing that’s not influenced by what “should” be.

To illustrate my point; two children may draw a house. One has a chimney and four evenly spaced windows. The other a wash of colour with an abstract feel. Which one is correct?

This is a great question to ask young ones when you visit the space. Good art evokes a question or helps set up an interesting conversation. Engaging in these conversations helps build appreciation for Art.

Coming up from April 13 – April 23 is Nelson Jewellery Week. The Refinery is hosting three collaborative exhibitions. HSDCTC collaboration, three Jewellery artists’ groups from New Zealand, United Kingdom and Australia join forces to explore the ‘Containments/Uncontained’, reflected by the relationships between jewellery objects and themes of freedoms and restrictions.

Whenua – A group show by 5 artists who whakapapa Ngai Tahu connects us to Papatūānuku: “we are all children of her womb. Whenua binds us to our place in the world. Because we are from and of the whenua, we belong. As Ngāi Tahu object-based artists, we have a powerful attachment to our whenua; it nourishes and validates our mana, mauri and wairua”

Occupation Artist – Reflect It’s ten years since Occupation: Artist a collective of Wellington based makers opened their workshop-in-a-shopping-mall and started presenting quick-fire exhibitions and performance pieces for bewildered commuters. Come and visit their open studio/exhibition space based in The Refinery and see some of the things they’ve made over the time

Visit the website for more information

Visitors are loving the space with feedback like this one:

“ACN is the region’s go to organisation for a wealth of Arts happenings, including listings & info, liaison & networking, support & funding and the Refinery ArtSpace. Good people passionate about the local Arts scene.” – John DuFour

Team member Janja Heathfield started at Refinery just before the move to Hardy Street. As gallery manager her enthusiasm for each exhibition is obvious in the pride she takes in showing anyone around the gallery.

It’s well worth making the time to became a regular visitor to Refinery Artspace – and maybe challenge yourself to take someone new with you every time.

Located at 114, Hardy St, Nelson



Explore the Virtual Tour at Refinery ArtSpace


Click here to find out more…

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