Murray Clode, also known as MAC, is a local artist who has recently opened a pop-up gallery in Tauranga CBD. I went to the Macandmor Art Gallery in the Goddard Centre on Devonport Road to check it out and chat with Murray about his new space…
Murray is interviewed by Creative Tauranga Gallery Curator, Millie Newitt
Tell us about the Macandmor Gallery, how did the idea for the space come about and what’s your vision for it?
I heard about the space becoming available and just thought what an amazing opportunity it could be to show local artists work in a public space. The artwork is not just on display, the main purpose is to sell the work. It’s also to give people an opportunity to see the quality of artwork that is being produced locally.
Will you change the exhibitions over time?
Yes. Not everything is up just now. I’ll be moving the artwork around, I’d like to have periods of time when a particular artist is featured.
Who are the exhibiting artists?
Right now we have Julie Allen, Stella Clark, Christie Cramer, Jackie Gray, Myself, Simone Anderson, John Christensen, Kristian Lomath, Jo Pedersen and soon Nick Clegg and Doreen McNeill.
Is there opportunity for artists to approach you to show their work?
Definitely. It can be difficult for an artist to find the courage to do that, approach a gallery, but I encourage artists to come here with their work. I would need to decide whether it fits with the rest of the artwork and look at its potential to sell.
You are now working as a full-time artist yourself, will you show work in the gallery here?
Yes, this needs to be a vehicle to sell for me as well. The standard of work in here is amazing, I don’t even think mine is up there!
I hear you plan to use it as a studio space to create work too?
I’m going to set up in the corner and paint. I’ve never really painted with people looking over my shoulder before. I wanted to add further interest though, we’ll see how that goes!
Can you tell me about your artwork, what themes do you pursue?
The themes I have pursued in the past are different to what I plan to work on. I’ll be focussing on painting and developing my technique. I want to paint more challenging subjects.
Just as a side, I want to create a space here for a notice board, telling people about what’s on in the area. The gallery here is a collaborative space, lots of artists working together and helping enthusiastically. It’s a collective. A community notice board would further this collaborative approach by promoting other organisations and events.
What memorable responses have you had to your work and the Macandmor Gallery? A lot of people say how fantastic it is to have the gallery here. I’ve noticed that even people who don’t like something, for example an abstract work, they will still come in and look at it for a long time, really taking it in. Even if they don’t like it, it’s great to see people engaging and appreciating the artwork.
With my work I’ve had people love for example the buzzy bees around the Mount, it’s like their imagination has come to life in the painting. Childhood memories and adulthood come together for a moment.
What has your journey been to get where you are now as an artist? How did you start out in Tauranga?
I was first encouraged by Tracey Rudduck-Gudsell. I had a solo exhibition at Creative Tauranga in 2014. It was then that I realised people actually really liked my work. So I decided to jump in the deep end and take up painting full-time. I’ve changed career paths a lot over the years, I wanted to try something this time that I knew nothing about. I also thought to myself, what would I regret not doing one day. I knew I had to try this path and I’m having so much fun, learning a lot, mostly about myself.
Do you have any other projects coming up?
I’m learning how to use watercolour and we will have another Art of Technology exhibition in 2017. I really want to focus on my painting this year.
When is Macandmor Gallery open? Will you have an opening night celebration?
I haven’t planned an opening at this stage. But it is something the collective wants to do. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday, 9am – 2:30pm.
Macandmor Art Space, Goddard Centre, Tauranga
Cellphone: 027 214 5255
This article was written by Creative Tauranga Gallery Curator Millie Newitt and was first published by Creative Tauranga in its regular creative email., It is reprinted by ARTbop with the permission of Creative Tauranga. It does not contain the art work image included in the original publication.
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Located in Tauranga’s CBD, Creative Tauranga is a community gallery and arts hub. As well as showing a range of exhibitions by local artists, the team at Creative Tauranga delivers various events and supports community arts and cultural events so ensure the Western Bay of Plenty delivers and experiences a wide range of activity within the community.
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