All change at the Ivy Box Art Gallery

2 minutes read
Posted 20 February, 2024
Gemma McCabe Ivy Box new GM

Gemma McCabe, Ivy Box new GM

It’s a changing of the guard at the iconic Ivy Box art gallery on Queenstown’s lakefront.

After a year at the helm, award-winning designer and former gallery manager Sian Gillanders is leaving for new adventures. Long-time local and talented graphic designer Gemma McCabe has stepped in to help gallery visitors find new and exciting contemporary art.

Starting in early February, Gemma says she’s looking forward to welcoming visitors into the unique space and helping people find art that’s their “match made in heaven”.

“I am so excited to be in the gallery,” says Gemma, “I feel that all of our artists bring something different to the gallery, although the collection is cohesive in its storytelling style.

“We’ve got a range of mediums: paintings, sculptures, jewellery – but they all work so well together, and, for me, there’s a nod to Aotearoa’s striking landscapes and cultural heritage in them. Particularly Lake Whakatipu and its different moods, shapes and colours.”

New artworks by Queenstown artists Lynda Hensman and Rachel Harper-Dibley particularly follow this theme with contemporary paintings that are dark and moody in deep blues and greys.

“There’s a tonal palette in this collection of pieces, and I’d say they’re ‘moody’, but they’re also tranquil – they’re peaceful to look at,” explains Gemma.

The gallery also has a new artist, Barbara McAteer, who creates abstract paintings imbued with a strong sense of movement, structure and depth. Light and bright in colour, the artworks again invoke a sense of movement with the application of the brushstrokes.

“I’ve not been here long, but I’m already enjoying meeting people in the gallery and seeing how taken aback they are when they come through the doors.

“I think many people instantly relate to what they’re seeing. The artworks all connect with this place, and people see and feel that right away – it’s wonderful watching people go away inspired or taking a piece home with them to enjoy forever.”

About the Ivy Box art gallery

The Park Street gallery opened in 2015, housed in what was once the town’s butcher’s shop. The ancient walls and a dilapidated 1970s-80s extension were held together by climbing ivy and Virginia Creeper, giving the gallery a distinctive look. Upstairs rooms served as an atelier for gallery owner Lynda Hensman and other local artists.

Lynda embarked on an extensive renovation of the property, preserving its unique characteristics whilst giving the building a new lease on life. It re-opened in Spring 2021, and the climbing plants were encouraged to grow back.

This stunning architecture is now home to a range of contemporary conceptual art by local and New Zealand artists. The collection is curated by Lynda Hensman, guided by the mantra of “art that’s created outside the square”.

134 Park Street, Queenstown
Open Sunday to Thursday, 10am to 2pm
Call Gemma for viewing by appointment 027 334 6861


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