Being an artist-run gallery PG enterprise is a little different from other galleries.
The business is owned by Marian Maguire who has been working professionally in the arts since 1987. Maguire received her BFA from Canterbury University under the tutelage of Barry Cleavin. In 1984, while still at art school, she printed the work of Ralph Hotere – this began a working relationship which continued until 2008. During 1986, Maguire trained further at the Tamarind Institute of Lithography, Albuquerque, USA, and on her return to Christchurch established Limeworks with her then partner, Stephen Gleeson. Limeworks, which operated as a print studio from 1987 to 1994, began its life in Stephen and Marian’s home in Truman Rd, Bryndwyr, but was shifted to a rented studio in Selwyn St, Addington, in 1988. In 1991 they moved the workshop again, this time to Moorhouse Avenue. During the Limeworks years, as well as making her own work, Maguire worked on collaborative printmaking projects with significant New Zealand artists including Ralph Hotere, Dick Frizzell, Fatu Feu’u, Bill Culbert, Philippa Blair, Alexis Hunter, Robert Ellis, John Reynolds and Euan Macleod.
From 1995 to 2000 Maguire worked mainly on her own prints and paintings but also continued printing for others – Ralph Hotere, Gretchen Albrecht, John Pule, Richard Killeen, Bill Hammond – in a house/studio renamed Marian Maguire Print Studio which was in Edward Avenue, St Albans. Nigel Buxton, started working with her during this period. Nigel, had previously directed CoCA and had earlier worked in auction houses in London where he went to art school. Despite Marian’s experience as a master lithographer and Nigel’s as a gallery director, they both decided that the central focus of their lives should be their own work as artists. The result of this has been that the business has morphed and changed over the years around their needs and interests. During 1998 they decided to expand the business to include a website with the PaperGraphica domain name, to promote the work being produced in the studio. This resulted in a flow of visitors and pressure to establish a gallery. About original prints
The move to 192 Bealey Avenue was made in the year 2000 and PaperGraphica gallery and studio was opened in May of 2001. The Bealey Ave site provided a perfect mix of working and display spaces. The gallery was housed in the front of the villa and down the back of the property a printmaking studio with lithography, etching and woodcut facilities as well as a picture framing workshop was custom-built.
While the core of PaperGraphica’s exhibiting programme from 2001 to 2005 was the limited-edition handmade prints coming from the printmaking studio, over time the emphasis changed. More exhibitions have come directly from artists and they were not all works on paper. PaperGraphica evolved into a gallery representing a range of artists. This change also corresponded with a desire by Marian to let go the demanding role of master printer and put her energy into her own work.
After the February 2011 earthquake Marian and Nigel continued to host regular exhibitions in the poor old cracked and slopey villa. But two years of difficult conditions forced a decision to reduce activity during 2013, awaiting the repair. After extensive renovations, the gallery was re-invented, renamed and reopened in March 2015 as PG gallery192
Art businesses and galleries are like an artist’s work – always subject to change and development. Change being necessary for vitality. Although PG has a 30-year history behind it, it is still a work in progress, and no doubt its form will continue to evolve.