by Insiders Dunedin

'Shadows' by Craig Freeborn. 

Art galleries can be intimidating spaces for some people, all white walls and hushed reverence and turtle neck sweaters and oblique strategies. I'm not knocking it, in the right frame of mind I love all of those things, but I am aware that that environment doesn't work for everyone, and not all art requires it. In light of this, it is worth noting the value of a vibrant cafe scene in the exhibition and sale of new works by up and coming young artists. 

Taste Merchants is an adjunct of the exceptional beer & wine supplier Castle MacAdam, on Lower Stuart Street, and has been the base of many and varied enterprises since Darren & Al moved in next door. Taste Merchants was open occasionally for various reasons, hosting - among other things - live music by Bill Direen & Tiny Ruins, art exhibitions by Danny Brisbane & Flynn Morris-Clarke, a Record Fair, a Vintage Clothing Market and an American Beer Tasting. Since the beginning of the year, under Troy Butler and his team, they've been keeping more regular hours as the latest addition to the Dunedin cafe scene. The coffee is good, and their access to the bottle shop next door has its obvious advantages. Now, they are also establishing themselves as Dunedin's newest exhibition space.


'Costumed II' by Craig Freeborn.

Yesterday, a series of Paintings by James Colin Bellaney came down from the walls of the Taste Merchants Art Project to make way for Welcome To The Jungle, a new body of work from Craig Freeborn. A native of Timaru, Freeborn has spent the best part of the last five years as part of our local creative community, based out of the famed Dowling St Studios. The narrative of a lot of this work will feel very familiar to anyone who has spent time in the North End of the City (Is that the Hyde Street Keg Race? A former OUSA President in Black Face?), warped by the disfiguring and dehumanising of its subjects as handed down since Bacon. 


'Partners' by Craig Freeborn.

Craig Freeborn's Welcome To The Jungle opens at Taste Merchants tonight (Friday May 31st) at 5.30pm, so head down for a cheeky beer. Otherwise, go grab a coffee and check it out during the coffee time cafe hours Monday-Saturday until June 30. Keep up with future Taste Merchants Art Project events by stalking them on Facebook & Twitter

Post Submitted by Aaron Hawkins


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