Art Local Artists

Authentic Art at The Ivy Box

Written by Margo Berryman

From an avant-garde start to life as an artist through to the establishment of her own gallery Lynda Hensman has never been one to follow the pack.

“I have a passion for art and a strong affinity with artwork that stimulates the senses from a unique perspective,” says Lynda. “The Ivy Box is home to authentic art that sits outside the square and is a drawcard for those seeking a fresh angle on contemporary works including my own.”

The gallery recently re-opened after a two-year closure as Lynda undertook a significant redevelopment and restoration of the historic Park Street site.

“I was adamant I wanted to save this quaint little two storied building that was seriously deteriorating. My vision was for a dynamic and modern art space with the addition of contemporary, stylised apartment living on land behind the building.”

Lynda worked alongside architect Thom Ibbotson of Yoke Architecture, Carmen Hubber of Hubber Design and Just Build It on the project. The original stone façade was retained while interior spaces were completely reinterpreted including the addition of a new upstairs artist studio with sweeping views across Lake Wakatipu.

“The building stood up remarkably well and it’s resilience echoes the journey we all took to complete the conversion. I am thrilled with the results and its lovely to see our famous ivy and Virginia Creeper starting to re-emerge on the exterior walls. I expect it will be blooming all summer long.”

As artist in residence Lynda’s new body of fine artworks are on display including her latest series entitled Neon Rave and Stable and Stability.

“In some ways this new work reflects my own artistic discovery with layers slowly built up to create depth, texture and grittiness,” says Lynda “It’s a personal transaction and I’ve found the deeper I resonate with my true self the more authentic the work becomes.”

“The intent is always to evoke an emotion for the viewer be it the whimsical fun of the bright colourful Neon Rave pieces through to the more contemplative depth of the Stable and Stability works. Achieving this artistic level of freedom in a way finally reflects who I really am, unapologetically, on the canvas.”

The Ivy Box represents other contemporary artists including sculpture and jewellery.

“It is hugely important to me that people discover new and interesting artworks in the collection that expands their horizons. We are spending more time in our homes these days and these artworks breathe new life into any space.”

Lynda commissioned a one-of-kind, handwoven, sculptured light by Matakana artist Cherise Thomson specifically for one corner of the gallery.

“It was amazing experience discovering Cherise’s work and she has created a stunning sculptural light from long strands of copper and metal that is so tactile and bounces light off the art on the walls – it’s mesmerising.”

Visit The Ivy Box

Located at 134 Park Street on Queenstown’s waterfront, The Ivy Box is an important destination for art lovers, collectors and anyone who enjoys artistic expression.

Open Thursday to Sunday from 10:00am until 4:00pm with the rest of the week by appointment, Lynda has created a relaxed and friendly vibe ensuring The Ivy Box is a gallery without pretension.

“People pop by all times of the day and our chairs outside the gallery are a popular spot to pause and contemplate life, art and the spectacular views. We love participating in healthy debates about art and other subjects and always make visitors feel welcome.”

The gallery’s lakeside location is just a five-minute drive from downtown Queenstown or a ten-minute stroll along the waterfront. Lynda says current roadworks have created a few curveballs that visitors are taking it in their stride.

“Over summer there is construction happening on the roads leading here and the easiest way to get here is via Park Street or Veint Crescent. While you may come across a few road cones and detour signs along the way – it’s well worth the journey.”

About the author

Margo Berryman