Rodney Bowen has collected art since he was a child.

But, the 89-year-old man, who has lived in Devonport on and off since 1947, will no longer have room for his collection when he moves into a two-bedroom retirement home.

While Bowen will keep some of his art, and children and grandchildren have claimed other pieces, there is more to get rid of.

But with op shops overflowing with donations, what do you do with unwanted art?


For some it might be a painting that's hung on the living room wall for years or perhaps a ceramic work that once took pride of place on a shelf. Whatever art it is, you've looked at it, held it and it no longer sparks joy.

So, following the advice of Japanese organising consultant, author and now Netflix ratings winner Marie Kondo you're decluttering and stripping back what's around you to be minimalist.

Devonport community gallery Depot Artspace this weekend unveils an exhibition which has provided a solution to that dilemma for some. Pre-Loved Re-Loved includes paintings, prints and objects that art lovers are on-selling in a "respectful way" while also supporting calls for Artist Resale Royalties legislation.

Bowen, who has donated 12 pieces, says he couldn't think of a better way to see much-loved pieces find new homes where they'll be appreciated.

Most of the art he has collected has been produced by Devonport locals and friends, like Hillary Cleary, photographer John Mayne and Philippa Bentley.

"The art I have really is a timeline of my life," he says.

Bowen also thinks advocating for artist resale royalties is a good cause and he's happy to assist. Like other sellers, Bowen has paid a $10 "seller's entry" and supports a 15 per cent commission, including GST, on works sold under $1000, a 15 per cent commission on works sold over $1000 as well as an additional 5 per cent commission which will go to the artist or their estate.

Artist Resale Royalties entitle artists to receive a royalty payment – usually a percentage of the sale price – from sales of their artwork on the secondary market. Some 81 countries, including Australia, have some form of royalty rights that apply to the secondary market.

The legislation is one of the most contentious issues in the visual arts in this country.

The scheme was first mooted here in 2007; a bill was put to Parliament in 2009 but, following a change in government and a select committee majority recommendation, it was dropped.

Of those who had made submissions to the select committee, 62 per cent wanted the establishment of a mandatory resale royalty in New Zealand. They said it would provide visual artists with "a right to an economic return that was comparable to copyright benefits available to writers and composers".

Had a 5 per cent royalty resale been in force in New Zealand when, for example, Colin McCahon's The Canoe Tainui was sold for the record-breaking price of $1,350,000 in 2016, his estate would have received $67,500.

However, some argue administrative costs make it unworkable and others say when an artwork is sold, the artist surrenders ownership rights to it.

Depot Artspace's creative co-ordinator Linda Blincko says given the fast-rising value of the country's secondary art market and changes to copyright laws, the scheme needs to be looked at again and she hopes the exhibition will reinvigorate the conversation.

To help, it's also put out a booklet, Artist Resale Royalties Aotearoa: An introduction to the campaign for visual artists 5% resale royalties in Aotearoa, New Zealand. It puts the case for resale royalties and looks at what happens elsewhere around the world.

Gallery manager Tracey Kitchingman says art lovers and collectors who have donated work to Pre-Loved Re-Loved certainly support what Depot is doing. It's received about 90 works, some by prominent New Zealand artists such as Mark Braunias, Dean Buchanan, Ida Carey, Louise Henderson, Stanley Palmer and John Pule.

Kitchingman says the gallery only accepted work of a high standard and has been delighted with the amount and variety of what's been submitted by people like Bowen.

Blincko says the 15 per cent commissions will fund continuing community art programmes and exhibitions at Depot.

• The Pre-Loved, Re-Loved exhibition and sale runs at Depot Artspace, 28 Clarence Street, Devonport until Wednesday, February 27.