Canary Gallery was an artist-run initiative based on Karangahape Road in Auckland CBD, New Zealand. It originated in direct response to a shortage of artist-run and alternative spaces to show work in the broader Auckland region at the time.
Tasked with finding a space, we took on the lease of an adequately more affordable premise in a ‘car park arcade’ on K’Road. The space was window rich, with a glass-wrapped exterior façade. The space boasted a high stud, so naturally, we built an office mezzanine accessible by ladder.
Canary Gallery was inaugurated by the late Julian Daspher with the exhibition and collaboration ‘A Portrait of Ben Curnow’. Then, recently remigrated and available Curnow inhabited the space, sitting at a desk facing outward for the exhibition's duration. This spoke to Julian’s use of art historical narratives, referencing Rita Angus’ ‘Portrait of Betty Curnow’, which Rita Angus and Betty Curnow collaborated on.
Co-founded by gretchen geraets, James Wallace, and Paula Booker in 2003. Wallace and Booker continued Canary Gallery through to its final exhibition in 2007.
Bottom: Left, Ben Curnow. Right, Julian Dashper.