Funky new Nelson art gallery Saligia already has a reputation for being a little naughty or inappropriate at times … a fact that’s underlined in its very name.
Saligia is an acronym coined by the Roman Catholic church a couple of centuries ago. It stands for the first letters, in Latin, of the seven deadly sins.
And while we don’t claim to indulge in all of them, especially during gallery hours, ‘sin’ in its various guises does inform a number of our artworks.
As part of a general introduction to what we do at the gallery, we thought we might work our way over the next few weeks through these theological no-nos.
First up, then, is Superbia, or pride.
The accompanying painting, Constantine, is a tribute, of sorts, to the Roman emperor credited with kickstarting Christianity, circa 311 AD.
The obelisk covering his man-parts was erected outside the Vatican in 1586, to celebrate the triumph of the Church over paganism and heresy.
Viewers can make up their own minds about the painting’s message.
However, we’re just back from a four-week trip to Europe and found the array of vast architectural monuments to pride, ego, hypocrisy and unimaginable wealth quite overwhelming. None more so than those designed ostensibly for religious purposes but more truthfully designed to exercise and illustrate power and control.
Ironically, these historical indulgences have left incredible legacies of true beauty and power, despite the circumstances in which they must have been created.
But enough of all that.
Saligia is open 10-4 Tuesday-Saturday though we are off to the New Zealand Art Fair in Wellington for a day or two each side of Queen’s Birthday Weekend.
We’re right opposite Trafalgar Park’s main entrance on Trafalgar St in a neat old 1880s building – once a fruit and vege shop, then a floral artist – and love it when people call in to see what we’re up too.
We’re not just about sin of course, though everything we do celebrates creativity.