Explore Indie Cambridge - The Darryl Nantais Gallery

Karl Backhurst at The Darryl Nantais Gallery

With the help of Indie Cambridge - the community of ‘real’ Cambridge - Cambridge Network continues its exploration of the best independent businesses, people, shops, cafés, restaurants, venues and events in Cambridge and the surrounding area. This week: The Darryl Nantais Gallery.

Art galleries can be intimidating places, stark white walls displaying meticulously-mounted paintings, floorboards that creak unforgivingly, 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 a friend’s sitting room, 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 , best-selling artist Brian Seymour’s wild and windswept landscapes and Ophelia Redpath’s delightfully whimsical pieces.

There’s Katie Lynn’s quirky ‘Molten Wonky’ fused glass gifts, Peter Blake’s distinctive pop art, Bex Burston’s retro glass coasters, and John Glover’s incredibly life-like portraiture and expressive landscapes. The list goes on – and Karl counts all his artists as friends.

Keen to showcase the gallery’s talent to a wider audience, Karl – and wife Trina – regularly exhibit at the country’s best art fairs, including the prestigious Affordable Art Fair. This year, the team, constituting Karl, Trina and their equally-artistic daughter and son, launched a ‘travelling name’ for the gallery, Linton59, a contemporary and memorable moniker to attract new interest at shows.

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.

The Darryl Nantais Gallery
59 High Street
CB21 4HS
Tel: 01223 891289


Run by long-term residents with a true passion for Cambridge and the independent scene, Indie Cambridge is the only organisation and website dedicated solely to supporting and promoting indie businesses in the city – and beyond. Their site features hundreds of traders and tradespeople, artists and makers, producers, venues and events – all of which play a part in the real life of the city and local area. Packed with valuable insider knowledge, it also features a list of indie businesses offering online shopping, click and collect and local delivery.   

Read the latest issue of The Indie magazine or click here for places where you can pick up a free copy. Alternatively, have it delivered direct to your door by joining IndieClub - just £12 for three issues a year, then sit back, relax and enjoy a most civilised read.


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