Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Shops that pass in the night 4

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With Three Second Goldfish seemingly gone for no longer than the alleged attention span of its aquatic eponym, the space at 57 Ghuznee St is about to open for business again. As announced by a few tiny postcards in the windows, this Friday it will reopen as Popup gallery.

Popup Gallery logoSo far, the gallery's web site is singularly uninformative to the casual reader, displaying little more than the logo and a Flash countdown to the opening. A quick View Source, however, unearths some useful metadata that describes the gallery as "speciali[sing] in the lowbrow, surreal and subversive; retailing limited edition prints and t-shirts, urban toys and other cool stuff". The keywords are even more specific, revealing a list of artists that includes Mark Ryden, Kozyndan, Kathie Olivas, Jordan Crane, Critterbox and David Horvath. Such a lineup makes it sound something like a cross between Eyeball Kicks and Good as Gold, with perhaps a bit of Rex Royale thrown in.

It all sounds like a lot of fun, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they'll stock Critterbox's jack-in-the-box based on Drinky Crow, a character that some of you may recognise from Modern Drunkard Magazine. This space has a bit of a history as a temporary gallery space, so I'm not sure whether it's reverting to type or whether Popup will be a more permanent inhabitant.

10 Haining St in happier daysOn a sadder note, 10 Haining St closed down last weekend. At first, I wondered whether this was due to an overly pioneering decision to open so far from the beaten retail track, but a note on the door explains that its parent charity, Art Compass, has wound up due to lack of funding. I hope that the artists find other outlets for their work.


At 5:06 PM, March 21, 2006, Blogger stephen said...

That sucks about Art Compass - they were doing good work. Someone should photo-essay their building in upper-Tory street before it gets re-painted.

At 8:06 AM, March 22, 2006, Blogger Hadyn said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8:10 AM, March 22, 2006, Blogger Hadyn said...

Looks like a good place for the local stencil and graphiti artists to sell stuff. Possibly more mainstream stuff too (posters, stickers, t-shirts etc).

This is assuming that the store is more like Eyeball Kicks and Good as Gold and not like Iko Iko.

Maybe they'll sell some of this stuff as well.

At 8:50 AM, March 22, 2006, Blogger Tom said...

It does look like it'll more like Eyeball Kicks etc than Iko Iko, with their emphasis on prints and so forth. And yes, some of the Pictures on Walls material would seem to be right up their alley.

At 6:31 PM, March 25, 2006, Anonymous Lynsey said...

Gutted about art compass. Our son is one of the artists. As usual in our fine 'inclusive' society, if it hasn't got a work-based outcome that can be measured by accountants, it's not an outcome with value.

I agree with Stephen, it sucks, and yes, a photo essay would be good. I believe Marcel is working on producing a catalogue/book to record the works and the passing.

I think it's sad when any business closes, but even moreso in this case when the artists concerned are very unlikely to get representation in the mainstream. And Art Compass has been so much more than just art representation.

The door that was opening is now closing. Worlds that were brighter will become dull again. A gut wrenching loss for us all.

At 10:47 PM, March 31, 2006, Blogger Marica Sevelj said...

I have just realised that my husband has already posted a comment. However, I would also like to say something from my perspective.

The reality is that for most of those that have been fortunate to attend Art Compass there is no where else to go and nothing else to do. When you're different the options are incredibly small and this was the one thing our son had to look forward to all week.

Now it is going.

Next week it will be gone as Art Compass officially closes. It is very sad and has upset all of us a great deal. I'm sure I speak for all the artists and their families here.

It would appear that caring for those who are different, due to a quirk of nature, is not important and doesn't deserve our attention. Our son, like many of the others, doesn't fit in a nice neat category. He is part of the forgotten ones. He is considered to not be able to contribute to society which is absolutely not true.

Then along comes someone with a vision. He gives his heart and soul. He cares and believes and he is beaten down by the system just like those he wants to help. Marcel's generosity of human spirit, his determination, his belief in those that struggle, and his incredible talents were not enough. Being kind and good has not won through.

However, what Marcel has enabled for each person that has attended Art Compass will never be forgotten.

Thank you for supporting the shop and writing about it. The opening of the shop was an attempt to turn things around on an incredibly limited budget but unfortunately it wasn't enough.


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