Artist finds way to contain exhibition

Invercargill artist Andrea Sexton at her Little Red Caboose art gallery, which is a refurbished shipping container at Orepuki.

A REFURBISHED shipping container at Orepuki houses the gallery of Invercargill artist Andrea Sexton.

The idea to remake the vessel into a pop-up exhibition happened about two years ago, Sexton said.

“I had always wanted a space to display my artwork but we couldn’t afford anything else, so the shipping container was affordable.

“I also know there is a movement with small container houses at the moment, so I thought why not try a shipping container?”

Plans for the art gallery were made over a few months and the renovations happened within a week, she said.

With the help and support of her husband Mark, the couple set up the art exhibition.

They installed separate sliding doors at each end of the container to allow visitors to view the surrounding area.

“The view looks out to Gemstone beach and Te Waewae bay. It’s kind of an artwork in itself.”

The vessel was run by solar power lights on good days and by car battery on the other days, she said.

About $20,000 was invested to renovate the container and to buy Sexton’s art studio, The Little Red Caboose

“I often sit in the caboose and make art and often people come and bring coffee and we eat and hang out together,” she said.

More than 100 artworks featured in the gallery which told stories about the area and were mostly works from Sexton.

Feedback from visitors had always been positive, she said.

“Everyone who comes here loves it and people are very kind and supportive of what we are doing.”

It was important to showcase the art of those within the area, she said.

“I think this is a great way for people to realise that you don’t always have to go far to find gems within a small place.”

The art gallery is on the Tuatapere-Orepuki highway, about five minutes out of Orepuki.

The gallery’s opening hours could be found via social media.

“So I’m a teacher in Invercargill which means I’m not always open out here but when I’m open there is a red sign which depicts the red caboose.”