The National is a Jewellery Gallery that showcases and sells both collectible and accessibly priced jewellery by emerging and established artists from around New Zealand, as well as a few international jewelers. It is one of the best places in town to find a truly special wearable piece that will stand out from the crowd.
Located on the fashionable block of High Street, between Lichfield and Tuam, The National rotates about ten exhibitions per year of solo or group works. The current exhibition (March 1-27), is by Kay Van Dyk, an Ashburton gal now living in Nelson, who's necklaces make comment on the environmental impact of the farming industry on the Ashburton River and local area. Made of copper, silver, enamel, and found objects, her pieces bear enamel tags making reference to local sayings like "Ashvegas", places, or to birds, fish, and signs of pollution. Other artists works currently on display at The National include those created by Christchurch based jewelery artists Elfi Spiewack, Rob Upritchard, and Jennifer Braithwaite - whose floral leather necktie pieces are visible in the gallery's front window (see the image below).
What makes The National a noteworthy local spot, is the mission and passion with which gallery owner Caroline Billing operates the space. Caroline is dedicated to providing a stage for jewellery artists, and is passionate about educating people about the value of these artists' craft. "It's not an easy decision to make a living as a jewellery artist. I think if people are aware of the amount of time, work, and talent that goes into creating a brooch or necklace by hand, they will appreciate it as a one-off piece of art." Caroline is lucky enough to work closely with these artists in order to communicate the story, meaning, and technique behind each artists' pieces to gallery browsers and customers.
To learn more about the artists currently or previously featured go to The National's website.
Make sure to pop though The National before March 27 to browse the current exhibition.
158 High Street, City Centre, Christchurch
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 10.30 – 5pm, Sat 10.30 – 4pm