The Darryl Nantais Gallery
59 High Street, Linton, Cambridgeshire, CB21 4HS
Art galleries can be intimidating places, stark white walls displaying meticulously mounted paintings, floorboards that creak unforgivably, and staff that appear to be surveying the depth of your pockets. Not so at The Darryl Nantais Gallery, housed in a charming, listed building on Linton’s chocolate box High Street. Here, the welcome is warm, down-to-earth proprietor Karl Backhurst likening his gallery to one’s home, albeit one resplendent with wondrous watercolours, atmospheric oil paintings, gorgeous glassware and distinctive jewellery, sourced from local, national and international artists.
Karl, an avid art collector and self-taught painter, who previously worked in investment before becoming a stay-at-home-dad, launched the gallery – named after close friend and artist Darryl – in 2001.
Choosing art inspired by his ‘love of colour, texture and expression’, Karl exhibits a diverse portfolio, including Magdalena Morey’s vibrant evocative paintings, Peter Corr’s wonderful textured atmospheric paintings and gorgeous contemporary still life paintings by Nancy Chambers. There’s Ted Dunmow’s glass like wooden vessels, Elliot Channer’s stunning bronzes and Peter Blake’s distinctive pop art. The list goes on – and Karl counts his artists as friends.
Keen to showcase the gallery’s talent to a wider audience, Karl – with wife Trina, their son Robert and daughter Victoria – regularly exhibit at the country’s best gallery art fairs, under their ‘travelling name’, Linton59.
In June 2019 they opened their second gallery, DNG Contemporary Art, in the lovely town of Auchterarder, Perthshire which is managed by Victoria and is close to the Gleneagles resort.
Aside from displaying desirable art, Karl offers a framing and restoring service, breathing new life into neglected treasures, from paintings to pianos!
Incredibly passionate about his work, whether renovating an ornate frame or unveiling extraordinary talent, Karl is doing an awesome job of making art accessible and enjoyable to all.