Talented pair create photo opportunity

Napier gallery brings cameras and canvas together under one roof






Two award-winning Hawke’s Bay photographers have combined their talents to open an art gallery in Napier. Richard Wood, multiple New Zealand Photographer of the Year, and Chris Helliwell, past New Zealand Wildlife Photographer of the Year and owner of Edges Art & Framing, have together opened The Cathedral Gallery, which is photography-focused but also has a strong representation from local Hawke’s Bay painters, as well as national and international artists. Richard, who has just become a new dad to a daughter born last Wednesday, says his studio was on the same set of stairs as the gallery. “I always admired the Art Deco skylights when I walked past it — I really loved the space,” he said. “So I decided to talk to Chris about sharing the space, and he said ‘let’s do it’. I love the look of it now. We have lots of beautiful art, including Josh Lancaster. We also have lots of smaller, affordable art, something for everyone really. Chris and I are both photographers, so it’s natural for us to embrace photography which crosses to art.” He says everyone has a decent camera in their pocket these days, but it’s not just a matter of pointing and shooting. “Photograph something that resounds with you — it has to have a connection with the viewer, and it should be relevant and new.” Chris, who has an Edges Art & Framing shop in Havelock North and a large workshop in Hastings, is really pleased to now have a presence in Napier. “The Napier store is pick-up/dropoff. All framing is done in the Hasting workshop,” Chris said. “This helps with the supply issues many people are experiencing at the moment. “The workshop is so large it means I can store more stock. That also means our turnaround is one to two weeks. If we didn’t have stock on hand it could be up to eight weeks.” He says he has always wanted to have a shop that goes hand-in-hand with his passion for photography. “This collaboration with Richard fits nicely with that. The space is beautiful and it’s great to have photography — along with other art— displayed on the walls.” He says there is a nice art hub with eight or nine galleries in the area. “It’s drawcard for the area.” They are both happy with how things are going. “It’s the middle of winter and things are ticking along nicely,” Chris said. He says framing should add to the artwork so when you look at it, you see it as one piece, rather than a picture and a frame. “They should unite and become one — make a statement. One should not overpower the other. Sometimes it can be challenging to make it work, but I love working on unique and creative designs.” The Cathedral Gallery is upstairs at 16 Hastings St, Napier. Hours are Tuesday to Friday from 11am to 4pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm.