Container’s precious ‘cargo’: a pop-up art gallery

Invercargill artist Andrea Sexton at her Little Red Caboose gallery, which is a refurbished ship...
Invercargill artist Andrea Sexton at her Little Red Caboose gallery, which is a refurbished ship container in Orepuki. PHOTO: VALU MAKA
A refurbished shipping container in Orepuki is home to Invercargill artist Andrea Sexton’s gallery.

The idea to remake the vessel into a pop-up gallery, the Little Red Caboose, on her property happened about two years ago, Mrs Sexton said.

"I had always wanted a space to display my art work but we couldn’t afford anything else, so the shipping container was affordable," she said.

"I also know there is a movement with small container houses at the moment, so I thought why not try a shipping container."

Plans for the gallery were made over a few months and the renovations happened within a week, she said.

With the help and support of her husband Mark, she brought her vision to life.

They installed sliding doors at each end of the container to allow visitors to view the surrounding area.

The gallery looks out on Gemstone Beach and Te Waewae Bay.

"It’s kind of an artwork in itself," Mrs Sexton said.

The lights were solar-powered on good days and powered by a car battery the rest of the time, she said.

There were more than 100 pieces featured in the gallery, which told stories about the area and were mostly Mrs Sexton’s work.

It was important to showcase the art of those within the area, she said.

"I think this is a great way for people to realise that you don’t always have to go far to find gems [in] a small place."

About $20,000 had been invested in the project.

"I often sit in the caboose and make art and often people come and bring coffee and we eat and hang out together," she said.

The gallery is on the Tuatapere-Orepuki highway, about 5 minutes out of Orepuki on the way to Waihoaka.

Details about its opening hours are available on social media.

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