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JANUARY 20TH, 2010

OP SHOP

Op Shop
By Daniel Rose

I remember the first time I visited Eclectic, a second-hand store specialising in Art

Deco and other vintage goods. It wasn’t long after I’d returned from Auckland, and I

 was in the process of reacquainting myself with Nelson’s CBD. On my return from a

 falafel purchase, it started to drizzle. Luckily, I was wearing my black World rain

jacket (circa-1920s-New-York inspired). ‘Capitalism Coat’ they branded it.

 I realised I wasn’t in the sunny, technicoloured,grey-haired-hippy populated Nelson I

 once knew. This new Nelson was more sophisticated. And entering Eclectic was an

emotive experience. Apparently some people (is it un-PC to say women?) have been

so overcome with emotion that they are brought to tears upon entry. I wasn’t quite

 this weakened, but I do recall forgetting about my hunger… and the falafel.

 I bought a chess set. I don’t know its origin – Bali,perhaps – or how old it is, but

 being intricately handcrafted out of wood, it is more sculpture than board game. I

have yet to play a game on it.

Eclectic is another world. It is vast, yet well organised into pockets of itemised

aesthetic pleasure. Each object has been arranged in a life-sized diorama and is part

of a larger interweaving narrative. The Hardy Street window display could match

those of Madison Avenue in New York City.

Owner Maria Henare clearly has a superior eye for styling. 

“It just happens,” she tells me. 

“It’s in me. I’ve not been trained,it just works. I’ve had a woman fly down from

 Auckland who wanted me to dress her for the Art Deco weekend in Napier.”While 

I’m photographing Maria, an Auckland couple –speak of the Devil(s) – are

 tentatively purchasing and arranging the transport of a 1960s Formica dining suite. 

I can’t help but mention how much more expensive a similar suite would be in

 Auckland.