EXCLUSIVE: Here We Go – The lowdown on Oxford Meakin + Parsons’ new art gallery at North Parade


Ben Parsons, Lucy Meakin and Hannah Payne outside the new Meakin + Parsons art gallery on North Parade. Picture by oxinabox.co.uk

A huge pink and orange minimalist abstract painting by Darroch Ham greets you when you first enter a new art gallery Meakin + Parsons to North Parade.

It takes pride of place in the huge whitewashed space surrounded by equally spectacular contemporary and modern art, all part of the opening exhibition Here we are.

Featuring major artists such as world famous Brigitte Riley, Christopher Brooks and Barbara Nichols alongside exciting emerging names like Charles Peters and Emily WolfeHere we are certainly provides the perfect introduction to Meakin + Parsons and what it hopes to accomplish.

Installation views, Here We Go, exhibition at Meakin + Parsons, Oxford in collaboration with Hannah Payne. Photography: Damian Griffiths

The brainchild of an art dealer Ben Parson and his artistic adviser wife Lucy Meakinboth respected experts in the art world, alongside partner Hannah Paynefervent defender of emerging artists, Meakin + Parsons opens on Friday.

So why North Parade and why now? “We really felt there was an appetite for this Meakin + Parsons wants to bring to Oxford. It’s just the right time,” Ben said.

“It’s also the prettiest street in Oxford,” Hannah remarks, “and North Parade has such a great community. It’s so atmospheric with great footfall, markets, shops and restaurants, so we can’t wait to open.

Ben Parsons and Lucy Meakin

Lucy adds: “We want people to come and have a chat and a cup of coffee, to become friends. We want to be part of the community, so we’re really looking forward to engaging with people here.

“So while it’s a gamble to open a new gallery, we feel we have the right credentials, while bringing something new to the table and giving exhibiting artists a new space, because Oxford has a such a great artistic community and culture. ”

Either way, Meakin + Parsons seem poised to provide an ideal platform for emerging and established contemporary and modern British artists in Oxford.

Installation views, Here We Go, exhibition at Meakin + Parsons, Oxford in collaboration with Hannah Payne. Photography: Damian Griffiths

And with local artist Emily Wolfe in residency at Meakin + Parsons in March, and other solo exhibitions featuring artists like Brigitte Riley and Darroch Ham expected, Lucy, Ben and Hannah are definitely getting started.

Fortunately, Ben and Lucy have already set foot in the water by opening a gallery at their home in Delly End near Witneymainly for individuals, in 2018, and are therefore confident in their approach.

“The one thing we know is that if you’re trying to convince someone to buy art, you have to believe it yourself, and we’re so committed to all the artists that exhibit here,” Ben said, gesturing around him.

Ben Parsons, Lucy Meakin and Hannah Payne

HERE WE GO takes place at Meakin + Parsons from February 11 to March 11 and features works by Carl Anderson, Dominic Beattie, Christopher Brooks, Ham Darroch, Ann-Marie James, Jillian Knipe, Anna Liber Lewis, Zanny Mellor, Barbara Nicholls, Charley Peters, Bridget Riley, Toby Twiss, Robin Walden, Eleanor May Watson and Emilie Wolfe.

Go to https://www.mandp.art for more details

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