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Eye-catching addition adds more display and gallery spaces

by Pan Wendt

The owner of The Dunes, Peter Jansons, stands in the upper level of the new addition to his establishment in Brackley Beach. The lower level is devoted to a new exhibition, entitled Island to Island, which features artwork from Prince Edward Island and Bali.

Sitting down for an interview was a rare opportunity for Peter Jansons to actually throw some pottery. The business of expanding his Dunes Gallery has been occupying all of his time lately. Needless to say, however, within minutes Peter was attending to yet another urgent matter, probably related to the handsome new addition to what is now a labyrinthine indoor/outdoor complex.

The new extension to the Dunes, extending to the left of the previous main building, was formally launched July 8th at an opening featuring a fashion show and juried prizes for artworks from Prince Edward Island and Bali. Designed by Peter Jansons with structural engineering by his father Harry Jansons, the new space accomodates two levels of display and gallery spaces, including a lofty section in the back of the gallery downstairs, meant to give prominent place to large paintings. Most of the displays were designed by Island craftspeople, including Albert Schellen, Boyd MacKenzie and John Atkins, but many of the materials used come from Indonesia, especially including teak and other tropical woods and the elegant tiles on the ground floor.

When asked what prompted the move, Jansons pointed to the need for more gallery space, the desire to devote the original building to Prince Edward Island art, and his interest in displaying his latest furniture designs. “I’ve dabbled in furniture design all my life,” says Jansons, “but until now I’ve only been able to show a few of my day beds.”

More importantly, however, the new building is a place for partner and fashion designer Nash, originally from Indonesia, to show and sell his clothing. Most of the garments Nash sells are made from cotton, linen or silk, and make use of traditional Balinese materials and textile techniques, though in terms of style they are very contemporary and cosmopolitan.

Island to Island, the art exhibition which decorates the walls of much of the new space, captures the theme of the new expanded Dunes, which as Jansons states, “is about the two Islands in my life, [my] principle inspirations….” Half of the paintings in the show are from the island of Bali, Indonesia, and the other half are by Prince Edward Island artists who were invited to present work to jurors Shauna McCabe and Don Stewart for selection. The jurors also assigned $5000 in prizes, divided 50/50 between the Islands, and distributed to the winning painters. Island to Island is on display until early August.

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