“WHEN I'm surrounded by art like this, it's just heaven, it's beautiful.”

Those are the words of the manager of a new art gallery,  opened in Winchester city centre.

Castle Fine Art opened in The Square on Thursday, June 27. It has taken over the former Autumn House unit, which closed last summer. Before that it was Dinghams cookshop.

James Earley, gallery manager, said: “Castle Fine Art is a business that started about 20 years ago. It started off at Warwick Castle. The owner of the business had a little stall selling artwork and 37 galleries later, we're here. We're the 37th. 

Castle Fine Art (Image: Newsquest)

“We sell all artists from local people, Bob Dylan, Richard Hambleton and Andy Warhol, so it's a huge scale of artists. We're selling work by Nic Joly who is based in Winchester. 

“What we're trying to do here is for people to come in and enjoy the artwork. If they enjoy it enough and want to take it home with them that's great, but if not I just want them to feel comfortable. That is my aim.

READ MORE: Test Valley council's £600 grant aids new Romsey homeware store

“The owner of the business has been looking for a gallery in Winchester for a long time. Winchester is a beautiful location, people are really nice and very interested in art. But it was the case of finding the right venue. We always wanted a gallery on this road. When this came up, we decided to go for it.”

The gallery is making full use of the unit, with two floors full of paintings and other artwork.

Castle Fine Art (Image: Newsquest)

James added: “I think people need art. Art does so many things to so many people. I find art is very therapeutic, it calms people's minds. When I'm surrounded by art like this, it's just heaven, it's beautiful. 

“People have been very supportive so far. People are really happy there's another gallery in Winchester. There's a real hunger for art and also to not just view a painting, but to know the story. People love stories and our job is to advise the client of the story of the piece. 

“We're open all the time, we would love anyone to come in. I really am passionate about art and about helping people understand it.”