Blue Oyster to evolve: director

Blue Oyster Project Art Space director Chloe Geoghegan yesterday at the installation of ''Who Opens the Door'', by Christchurch artists Annie Mackenzie and Dave Marshall, which opens in the gallery today. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Blue Oyster Project Art Space director Chloe Geoghegan yesterday at the installation of ''Who Opens the Door'', by Christchurch artists Annie Mackenzie and Dave Marshall, which opens in the gallery today. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
The Blue Oyster Project Art Space has a new sense of direction.

Wellington artist Chloe Geoghegan has taken over from former director Jamie Hanton, who left Dunedin in February to curate the University of Canterbury art collections for a year.

Ms Geoghegan (27) studied at the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts, before helping set up artist-run gallery Dog Park Project Space.

''I wanted to re-enter a contemporary art dialogue and discussion, that wasn't based around Christchurch disaster experiences,'' she said yesterday.

''There's a great art culture and a lot of support for artists in Dunedin. I'm particularly interested in all the different studio spaces here. There are people setting up interesting exhibitions all over the place.''

The Blue Oyster Arts Trust was established in 1999 to encourage and promote innovative contemporary art projects in Dunedin.

''I've been to the Blue Oyster a lot in the past and I did a bit of carpet-ripping for the opening of the new gallery, here in Dowling St.

"The gallery has been open for 15 years now and it has developed such a strong history, culture and volunteer base in Dunedin,'' Ms Geoghegan said.

Her first programmed exhibition, ''Who Opens the Door'' by Christchurch artists Annie Mackenzie and Dave Marshall, opens in the gallery today and runs until May 3.

''I'm really excited about what's coming up. We have a lot of solo shows and project-based collaborations. I'm keen to experiment and learn and do things that are responsive to the space. The space will evolve.''

A website featuring an exhibition archive of the first 15 years of the gallery will be launched in June.

- nigel.benson@odt.co.nz