Otago Daily Times

Gallery life­long dream

BALCLUTHA

- RICHARD DAVISON richard.davison@odt.co.nz Arts · Agriculture · Industries

A SOUTH Otago cou­ple are about to re­alise a long­held dream, by open­ing a bou­tique art gallery this week­end.

Pare­tai hus­band and wife Peter and Beth Lin­klater have har­boured a life­long pas­sion for art but, like many artists, have had to push their cre­ative am­bi­tions aside in the pur­suit of ev­ery­day life.

A farmer and hor­ti­cul­tur­ist, Mr Lin­klater said he had painted land­scapes since he was a young man, as an es­cape from the daily toil.

‘‘I worked most of my life in farm­ing, and did paint­ing part­time in be­tween whiles.

‘‘In the early 1990s, we came to work here at the for­mer Pare­tai Cheese Fac­tory, which was a tulip bulb farm by then.

‘‘Well, af­ter about 10 years, we had a chance to buy the prop­erty, so we did.’’

Since that time, Mrs Lin­klater said, the pair had been cul­ti­vat­ing a her­itage fruit tree or­chard and free range chick­ens, while qui­etly nur­tur­ing am­bi­tions to es­tab­lish a gallery in the fac­tory build­ings, which lie be­side the Clutha River.

‘‘About 15 years ago I went to a mixed me­dia work­shop in Balclutha, and I was im­me­di­ately hooked,’’ Mrs Lin­klater said.

‘‘Since then, we’ve both had the idea in our head we might start a gallery one day.’’

She said when taking lunch in the bulb farm’s smoko room 25 years ago, she had no inkling it would one day be­come an out­let for her and her hus­band’s cre­ations.

‘‘It was a lab­o­ra­tory for the cheese fac­tory, then a smoko room. We have lots of good laughs and nice mem­o­ries from back then, so it’s a real plea­sure to get to share the space with peo­ple as a gallery now.’’

Mrs

Lin­klater

said

the cou­ple did not ex­pect to be­come mil­lion­aires from their new en­deav­our, chris­tened the Art Nuggets Gallery af­ter the noted Catlins land­mark.

‘‘A lot of our art is in­spired by lo­cal land­scapes and nature, from the Catlins north. We just want to get our art out there, and hope oth­ers can ap­pre­ci­ate it as much as we en­joy mak­ing it.

‘‘We want to keep the pas­sion go­ing.’’

The gallery, at 34 Fac­tory Rd, near Balclutha, opens to vis­i­tors on Sun­day, then daily, year round.

 ?? PHOTO: RICHARD DAVISON ?? Craft works . . . For­mer hor­ti­cul­tur­ists Beth and Peter Lin­klater pre­pare for the week­end open­ing of their new art gallery in the for­mer Pare­tai Cheese Fac­tory, near Balclutha, yes­ter­day.
PHOTO: RICHARD DAVISON Craft works . . . For­mer hor­ti­cul­tur­ists Beth and Peter Lin­klater pre­pare for the week­end open­ing of their new art gallery in the for­mer Pare­tai Cheese Fac­tory, near Balclutha, yes­ter­day.

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