The Harbour Gallery reopens
The Harbour Gallery is the largest exhibiting and working gallery in the Channel Islands, featuring the work of over 100 local artists and craft workers.
The gallery recently re-opened to the public, two and a half months after a devastating fire forced the doors to close. The blaze damaged The Harbour Gallery and destroyed the Gallichan Marine building as well as causing minor explosions in the area.
Original artwork and several rooms at the gallery suffered smoke, fire and water damage during the incident in December 2015. Following the fire, workmen, staff and volunteers worked to restore the gallery for its re-opening with the gallery being chemically cleaned, repainted and repaired with a new floor.
Pat Robson, Director at The Harbour Gallery said: “We have had to have the whole gallery chemically cleaned by a company called Chemdry, who were fantastic. Then some small repairs had to be undertaken, as well as repainting and reflooring. We then discovered that two of the alcoves were filled with wood panels and because they went back into Gallichan Marine and people could get into us through Gallichan Marine, we had to have some concrete block walls put in place.”
Following the fire, it was feared that The Harbour Gallery would not rise from the ashes.
Pat said: “We honestly thought for the first couple of weeks, we weren’t going to have a gallery again because it was so black and horrible. Chemdry were absolutely brilliant and once they started in one room and you could see the black coming off of the walls, we thought perhaps we will get back. Come January we had quite a lot of white walls. We also had big dehumidifiers working because we had one room under a foot of water and one room were everything was black and every single item was lost.”
Located over the Bay of St.Hellier and nestling within the picturesque, charming harbour of St Aubin, The Harbour Gallery was set up 14 years ago to support local artists and craft workers. The Harbour Gallery is part of the Art in the Frame Foundation charity and as well as providing space for local artists, the gallery provides space for young children during half term, space for MENCAP workshops and space for GCSE and A Level art, design and textiles students. The gallery also sells paintings, photographs, ceramics and jewellery items made by local artists supporting Jersey.
Following the work, the gallery re-opened to the delight of the general public and exhibitors on Wednesday 17 February 2016.
Pat added: “The opening was fantastic and we had a full house on the opening evening. It was literally standing room only in the gallery and the café was full. It was the most fabulous evening and really made us feel that everything was really worth while.”