Friday night (May 20th) was the opening night of the new contemporary art gallery Kunst on Campbell Street, Belper.
Situated in ‘The Old Nail Shed’, the well-attended launch featured live music from local funk band Moon Bullet and psychedelic jazz player Dave Sturt.
Kunst (the Danish word for art) has a minimalist Scandinavian design to the building, with the shop front window using bold, vibrant colours set against a black wooden background. Inside you will find challenging and evocative pieces that will shock and please the senses in equal measure.
The collection ranges from the raw work of artists such as Macclesfield’s Ralph McGaul to wider known rebels of the art scene like Billy Childish – a prolific giant of abstract art, whose body of work spans music, poetry, photography and creative writing. It’s an eclectic and powerful mix of paintings, prints, furniture and rare posters from the Derbyshire music scene.
Speaking with owner and curator Johnny Thompson, it is clear they intend for the gallery to be a catalyst for the arts community and a place where artists are supported. When asked about why he opened the gallery he said: “Belper is on the cusp of moving forwards in the arts community.”
“The stables at the back are going to be used as an exhibition space to start creating some new experimental work…we’re interested in more artists getting involved.”
It was in this large space that the live music event was held, offering up a sharp contrast to the intimacy of the main gallery at street level. In the future they hope to continue to hold performances there.
The gallery is a chance to see some stimulating pieces from talents that are not often celebrated in the area. Opening times and more information can be found at their Facebook page here.
Additional photos taken courtesy of Rachel Ormsby-Ashworth