New England, Australia

Sunday, January 20, 2019

The changing role of New England's Regional Galleries - a note

Joseph Backler, View of Tenterfield 1861, Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW

Robert Heather, former head of the New England Regional Art Museum and now Director Advancement, Communications and Events at the University of New England, kindly sent me links to paintings with New England connections. This is one of them.

The painter himself was something of a journeyman painter. Convicted of forgery and transported to Australia in 1832, Backler travelled widely across regional NSW and Queensland in search of portrait and landscape commissions. When he arrived in a town, Backler would advertise his services in local papers. He visited Tenterfield in 1860 on his way to Brisbane.

Backler's Tenterfield painting is one of those that the State Library Foundation is seeking sponsorship for to help conservation and preservation. Robert thought that it was a sufficiently important one in local terms that the need should be publicised.

Digging through the paintings presented by the State Library for sponsorship, I realised that I had no idea of the depth of their collection nor of the number of paintings with New England connections. I found over 30 artworks with some connection to the broader New England. This is another example.
Major James Nunn, Australian Mounted Infantry c1840, attributed to Joseph Fowles, State Library of NSW
Now James Winniett Nunn of the NSW Mounted Police is quite an important figure in New England history for his role as officer in charge for the massacre of Aboriginal people at Waterloo Creek in 1838. I had never seen an image of him.

Robert's message came as I was reading Antipodean Perspective: Selected writings of Bernard Smith (edited by Rex Butler and Sheridan Palmer, Monash University Publishing, 2018). Smith, one of Australia's famous art historians, has been a favourite of mine for many years. He was the one who really introduced me to the history of Australian art around 1970, although I had had exposure before that.

Some of the early pieces in the book deal with Smith's views on the role of the art museum. Smith was a bit of an iconoclast, a man of firm views. He was concerned about the way that special exhibitions detracted from the gallery's primary collections. To his mind, a key role of the curator was to document and understand existing collections, to place them in context so that they became more broadly accessible. A policy that combined a focus on a limited number of special pieces with special exhibitions meant that the total collection gathered dust.

While Smith compared the failings of Australian state galleries with some of their London compatriots, he was not blind to the practical difficulties involved. The careful examination of individual works, the establishment of their provenance, their placement in an historical context, all took money which was in sort supply. Galleries had to make judgments, to satisfy funders public and private, people and organisations who did not always see the value of careful long term work.

Frances Cory (Mrs Edward Gostwyck), artist unknown, c1820. State Library of NSW.
The Corys arrived as free settlers in 1823 and, in 1828, were raising cattle and horses on a large holding at Paterson, in the lower Hunter district. This rare early colonial likeness shows Frances ‘Fanny’ Cory at about 28 years of age. She is dressed in the fashions of the late 1820s which saw the addition of fussy Elizabethan-style ornamentation to the previously uncluttered Empire line.
 Smith believed, too, that public galleries should combine exhibitions of work by current artists with displays from the collection. He also had a reasonably broad view of what constitutes art. Finally, he was a great supporter of the broad education role that he believed galleries should play.

While reading Smith, I was thinking about the role of regional galleries across the broader New England. Added force was given to those thoughts by the identification of yet more colonial paintings with New England connections. Before going on, I note that the regional or bigger public galleries are are only part of New England art history and current cultural life. There are smaller local public and private galleries, a multiplicity of artists and a range of private collectors.

While I have traced some of the history of the museum movement across the North, I haven't properly tracked the public galleries themselves. There is a problem here, for most galleries emphasise the date they received their first collection rather than the date the gallery opened for the first time. This was often in temporary premises and could be years after the first donation. Then there could be another long delay until permanent premises were acquired or constructed. The relatively large regional galleries that we know today are all relatively recent in historical terms. Their collections are also quite varied since the core reflects the varying interests of those who donated the collections.

On Smith's measurements, I think they do a pretty good job in terms of presenting the collections, in education services and in their displays by living artists. They do so despite limited resources with funding dependent especially on councils and on sporadic often project based NSW Government grants. There is some sponsorship, but the local pool of funds is relatively smaller than it was in the past and more hotly contested. This places the galleries in competition with each other and with other cultural institutions.

Recognising the constraints as well as just how well many are doing, I would argue that current approaches suffer from two weaknesses. In arguing this, I want to return to Bernard Smith.
Tom Roberts, Edward D S Ogilvie 1894-95, State Library of NSW. Edward Ogilvie commissioned Roberts to paint this accomplished, richly coloured portrait at Ogilvie’s extensive Clarence River property, Yulgilbar, north of Grafton. 
An art historian, Smith argued strongly that Australian painting had to be seen in its European context. To his mind, that provided a richer. deeper understanding of individual works. However, in then writing about Australian art he created an historical and visual framework that became a living entity in its own right. But, with exceptions largely linked to Sydney and Melbourne, he did not discuss regional variations in Australian painting.

This leads me to my two weaknesses as I see them The regional galleries may place certain paintings or artists in a broader context, they may point to certain local links, but they generally do not provide any picture of the total oeuvre of New England related work nor of the ways those paintings fit into New England history. This story remains untold.

Tom Roberts, On the Timbarra - Reek's and Allen's sluicing claim c1894, Art Gallery of  NSW. This painting probably dates from the same trip in which Roberts began the Ogilvie painting.      
The second related weakness, at least as I see it, is that while the galleries show current work, they do not really put that into any context. Of course they say something about the artist and the nature of the work, but it tends to be very one dimensional.

Like Bernard, I am an historian, although I make no claim to be either an art historian or critic. But I am conscious of the way in which I see patterns in art especially linked to area and style.

Julia Griffin, Rain on the Uralla Road
Back in 2009 I tries my hand at a photo essay, The Colours of New England, looking at the way colours changed across the North. In writing, I used a combination of paintings and photos with dashes of poetry. In the nine or so years since then I have added films, more paintings, more photos, more poetry and prose to deepen the picture that I had in my mind.

It would be nice to think that over the next decade our larger galleries might broaden their focus to make part of this story more accessible to New England audiences. There is a considerable story to be told. 

Monday, January 07, 2019

The year begins in Australia's New England

This morning I went into a bookshop at Sydney's Bondi Junction to use a book voucher I had been given for Christmas. As I always do, I was looking for books with a New England connection, something that I could use to explain elements of our life and history.

Harry Hartog's is a good bookshop. I worked my way along the various sections. History? nah. Poetry? nah! And so it went on. There were plenty of books by people like Richard Glover and Peter Fitzsimons, well known Sydney figures who seem to manage a new book a year. Finally, I found a book by someone who had moved to Byron Bay for alternative life styles. That was it. Sparse pickings all round.

I know that many books connected with New England or by New England writers have been published but they are generally only available locally.

I'm not making any firm promises for this blog, I continue to struggle with priorities, but I do hope to do a little better.

There will be more history, of course, both here and on the New England history blog. My first history column for the year in the Armidale ExpressHistory Matters: Reflections of Christmas past, is in fact already on line

Apart from making real progress on some of my main writing projects, I would like to deepen and consolidate some of my writing and reporting. Returning to my complaint about the books at Harry Hartog's, remarkably little is written about the broader New England that shows our history as a whole, the linkages and differences, that reflects upon and makes accessible that broader past.

I do hope to do more reporting on current events, today's life, bringing out the depth and texture. Sadly, the firewalls went up last year across most of the Fairfax press within the broader New England, limiting free access to five stories a month. And if you bookmark and come back, that's two stories!

It's a real pain. I can no longer go to a paper, do a check back over a month's stories, select two that I think are good and then give you a line or two with the link so that you can follow up if interested. More importantly, the arrangement continues the fragmentation of the North that I have so often complained about. Fairfax assumes that people are all localised, only interested in their own little area, not recognising that many of us like to skim broadly. It puts another barrier in the way of promotion of the broader New England as an entity, something worthy of interest in its own right. It also cuts the papers of from the broader New England diaspora even from their own local area.

I haven't worked out how to handle all this. It adds to the importance of broader New England reporting or commentary but makes it harder to do.

As always,  the stories will reflect my varying interests. I will also try to pull together some of my past writing to make it more accessible to those interested.

Finally, may we all have a successful and happy new year. That's not always possible of course, so where troubles strike may we manage them as best we can.

Monday, December 24, 2018

A happy Christmas to you all

This will be my last post for 2018. I am shutting down fully until the new year to recharge my batteries.

For those who celebrate this festive season, may I wish you a very happy Christmas? For those who are alone, and that can be just so hard, tomorrow is a time to remember our blessings no matter how few they seem.

We will continue our discussions and sharing in the new year. There is a lot to talk about. For much of 2018 I have been tied up in other writing. I hope but do not promise to be more active here in 2019. There is so much to say and report. 

Monday, December 17, 2018

The grab for cash that affected New England exporters - short backgrounder on the sales of Ports Botany and Port Kembla

Container Ship entering Newcastle Harbour. A Sydney grab for cash imposed costs on New England exporters that are only now emerging. 

On 10 December 2018,  the ACCC (Australian Competition & Consumer Commission) announced that had instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against NSW Ports Operations Hold Co Pty Ltd and its subsidiaries Port Botany Operations Pty Ltd and Port Kembla Operations Pty Ltd for making agreements with the State of New South Wales that the ACCC alleges had an anti-competitive purpose and effect.

“We are alleging that making these agreements containing provisions which would effectively compensate Port Kembla and Port Botany if the Port of Newcastle developed a container terminal, is anti-competitive and illegal,” said ACCC Chair Rod Sims.

The following day, 11 December 2018, the Port of Newcastle released a commissioned report on the economic impact of a container terminal at the Port of Newcastle. This suggested (among other things) that a modern container terminal would cut land transport costs for northern NSW businesses by $2.8 billion by 2050. This would, according to Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody, increase exports from from Northern NSW including the Hunter by $1 billion by 2050

"Businesses in Newcastle, Singleton, Tamworth, Gunnedah, Port Macquarie, Kempsey, Liverpool Plains and Narrabri can look forward to savings of more than $500 per standard container, if they shipped their goods through Newcastle rather than Port Botany or Port of Brisbane," Mr Carmody said.

With these actions, the originally secret agreements preventing the Port of Newcastle competing against Port Botany and Port Kembla in the container trade finally entered full public gaze. It had been some time coming.


In April 2013, then NSW Treasurer Mike Baird announced that a consortium, NSW Ports, had agreed to pay $4.31 billion for for a 99-year lease over Port Botany with a further $760 million for a similar lease over Port Kembla. After net debt was repaid, the net proceeds of $4.3 billion would be funneled into the state government's investment fund, Restart NSW. There would  lso be an annual lease payment of $5 million to the government.

Mr Baird said that the transaction meant the government's $1.8 billion commitment to the $10 billion WestConnex motorway between the M4 and Port Botany was funded. In addition it would provide $400 million for the Pacific Highway, $170 million for the Berry bypass on the Princes Highway, $135 million for the ''Bridges for the Bush'' program and a further $100 million for projects in the Illawarra region.

What was not said at the time, was that a commercial agreement provided that the State Government would provide a financial reimbursement to NSW Ports should container traffic at the Port of Newcastle pass a certain trigger point.

Just over twelve months later, now Premier Baird announced that a 98 year lease over the Port of Newcastle, the world's biggest coal port, had been sold for $1.75 billion. Of this amount, $340 million would go to Newcastle projects to aid the city's revitalisation.

The sale agreement included a clause that the new owners would have to reimburse the NSW Government should container traffic trigger the compensation clauses under the original agreement for the sale of Ports Botany and Kembla. The effect was to make a new container terminal un-economic.


The original agreement would appear a restraint of trade designed to maximise the sale value of the southern ports. I know of no evidence to suggest that the potential adverse effects on exporters across the broader New England were even identified, let alone discussed in the context of the sale. It is only now that we are starting to get the data to assess the economic costs to the North of Sydney's decisions.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Current State and Federal policies may rip New England apart beyond repair

My slow posting reflects my personal preoccupations. The problem is that while I have been preoccupied, issues have arisen, decisions are being made, that will adversely affect New England. In each case the adverse affects come from the simple fact that people don't recognise our existence. To illustrate this, I thought that I would simply list a few examples without great detail.

A few things to remember in considering the examples I will be citing:
  • The broader new England does have its own identity and geographic validity. But because we don't exist, no statistics are collected, we don't appear as an entity in policy making.
  • In economic and geographic terms, New England is being ripped apart by the growth of the South-east Queensland conurbation in the north, the growth of Sydney and Canberra with its spillover affects in the south. 
  • The definitions used for policy making and statistical terms, regional is an example, act to smash our attempts to create identity and to overcome long term structural decline. 
  • The longer this process goes on, the harder it is to recover.
Now for my brief points. I will give links later.

When you look at the Commonwealth Government's regional university initiative, it is concentrated in the outer metro rim and South Eastern NSW. There is almost nothing for New England.

When you look at the the NSW Government's regional development and tourism strategies, they have a bias towards Southern NSW.

When you consider the discussion on infrastructure, the focus is on metros or links between the metros. There is very little that will benefit New England

When you consider the new discussion on migration and decentralisation policy, not only is there little recognition of the history decentralisation policy, but the discussion focuses on growing the metro rim to abosrb more people. They talk about state based migration policies, but that won't help us because me have no state. The question of achieving better population balance within New England does not come up because New England does not exist.

While I have been absorbed on other things, the policy discussion has taken off in ways that will leave us worse off.        

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Glen Innes tartan

Did you know Glen Innes has its very own tartan? I did not until the Glen Innes Highlands Facebook page told me so.

The five colours represent:
  • Light blue, the clear day time skies of the New England.
  • Royal blue, for our famous sapphires.
  • Dark blue, our clear night skies.
  • Red, the Celtic blood links to Glen Innes people. 
  • White, fidelity with Celtic pasts and traditions. 
Glen Innes is very proud of its Scottish heritage and has been turning it into a considerable attraction.

The tartan is available to buy in many forms at the Visitor Information Centre.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Maitland City Council's new museum plan and the city's historical significance

West Maitland 1890s

Very few people even perhaps in Maitland realise just how historic the city is. Maitland was established in 1820. Melbourne was established in 1835. By then, Maitland and its river port at Morpeth had begun to develop as entrepot for the European settlers now spreading north. It would be decades before the small settlement at Newcastle passed Maitland in population.

I mention this now because Maitland City Council has unanimously backed an action plan to establish a new and revolutionised model for museums in the city.  (Meg Francis, Maitland Council back report on revolutionising city's historical collections, Maitland Mercury, 28 October 2018).

While I have not read the report on which the decision is based, the idea of the creation of an over-arching museum structure that will link together all of Maitland's museums and historical collections strikes me as a good one.

I do get annoyed because so many people fail to recognise Maitland's historic role. not just as an entrepot but as a centre of professional and broader commercial services for New England over many decades. The Maitland Mercury itself was a key journal of record, while Maitland's professionals including lawyers and architects played an important role in the development of New England life including the built landscape.

I hope that the Maitland Council will recognise that and build it into its visitor promotion.  


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

New England architecture and architects feature in this year's NSW 2018 NSW Country Architecture Awards

Armidale - Refuge/Prospect, Armidale, by Virginia Wong-See architecture@altitude. Winner of the Award for Small Project Architecture. Photo by Brett Boardman.
This year's 2018 NSW Country Architecture Awards featured architecture and architects from across the broader New England.

Byron Bay architects Dominic Finlay Jones Architects took out no less than five awards and three commendations. These honours included the award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing presented for the Habitat Live Work project, which provides a new building prototype featuring basic, good-quality, lower-cost housing with articulated home-office workspaces and is set within a sustainable development encouraging collective creativity.

The jury said: ‘This is an excellent prototype development, which is imaginatively conceived and beautifully executed, and deserving of a multiple housing award.’

Kingscliff architects Aspect Architecture’s Elanora House, a flexible beach home suitable for multi-generational living, was crowned winner of the Residential Architecture – Houses (New) category, with the jury noting the project ‘does a number of small but significant things very well’.

Armidale's Virginia Wong-See of architecture@altitude took out the Small Project Award and Termimesh Timber Award for her ‘small and perfectly formed’ Armidale – Refuge/Prospect garden pavilion.

I really loved this one. Ms Wong-See describes it in this way: "The concept for Armidale Refuge/Prospect began as a simple place of refuge from strong westerly winds, transforming an ordinary place into one that continues to delight through foggy mornings, moonlit nights, fireside conversations and enjoyment of the surrounding trees and the birds that come to rest there."

The Armidale Express story on this particular award provides more details and a broader range of photos. Have a look and you will get a feel for why I really like this is a truly imaginative work.

The award for Urban Design went to Coffs Harbour’s Jetty4Shores Revitalisation project by Fisher Design and Architecture (Bellingen) with Mackenzie Pronk Architects (Sydney) and Coffs Harbour City Council. ‘The project effectively communicates the spirit of place and the genuine community affection for this site,’ the jury noted. ‘The cultural and environmental meanings of the site have been enshrined within the design.’

The final award in the program, the People’s Choice Award, was also announced at the Awards presentation night, held at the NSW Regional Architecture Conference on Thursday 4 October. This year the honour went to a project in the newly introduced Interior category: the Byron Shire Council Foyer, Mullumbimby, by Byron Bay architects SPACEstudio.

NSW Chapter President, Andrew Nimmo, congratulated all of this year’s award winners and noted the important contribution the profession as a whole was making to deliver more sustainable, cohesive communities.

‘Architects apply design thinking to everything they do in order to do more with less and help clients realise opportunities that they did not know existed,’ said Mr Nimmo. ‘This is just part of the value we describe when we speak of the design dividend, and each year we see the bar raised when it comes to the innovative design solutions and practices architects are implementing across regional NSW.’

If you would like to see photos of all the ward winners you can find them on the Australian Institute of Architects Facebook page.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Cultural Tourism: telling the story of New England's Aboriginal past

I have long been frustrated about what I see as neglect of the opportunities offered by Aboriginal cultural tourism in Northern NSW, the broader New England that I write about. 
A number of things contributed to that sense of frustration. One was the absence of material and supporting infrastructure to attract, interest and hold visitors, A second was the way that Aboriginal cultural and historical tourism in the broader New England was fragmented and submerged by tourism promotion that focused on the Sydney basin. Essentially, you had Sydney and a then series of small dot points scattered across the rest of the state. A third frustration lay in the way that disputes and disagreements in and between Aboriginal communities made it difficult to tell stories and to take action.
I accept that there has been great improvement since I first looked at the matter when I was chair of Tourism Armidale in the mid nineties. Historical research has provided more information. Aboriginal communities have begun to organise, collecting material and making that and their stories accessible to a broader audience. However, problems of fragmentation remain. 
Against this background, I was pleased to see a story by Steve Evans in the Glen Innes Examiner ( Tourists want to see Aboriginal cultural sites so more skilled people needed) that TAFE colleges in Armidale, Glen Innes and Inverell have launched a course on Aboriginal cultural tourism to upskill local Aboriginal people. I was also pleased to read this quote from Tom Briggs, CEO Armidale Local Aboriginal Land Council:  “There are many spectacular tourism sites and traditional walking trails across the Northern Tablelands that we as Aboriginals want to explore and make available for our Members and the broader community.”  
Problems of fragmentation remain. The remarkable story of Aboriginal New England is not just localities or even language groups, but of a complex pattern of cultural, economic and political interactions over space and time. This story has still to be properly told and integrated into tourism. Once this is done, both locals and visitors will then be able to properly appreciate and enjoy the story of Aboriginal New England. In the meantime, the new course is a small step forward.  

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

A busy October 2018 at the NERAM - the New England Regional Art Museum

October is shaping up as a busy month at Armidale's New England Regional Art Museum.

NERAM's Lounge Room Collector Series

Behind the doors of private homes in New England you will find a variety of diverse and expansive private art collections.

These 'lounge room collectors' have differing interests and approaches in developing their collections. Some are motivated to collect to continue a family tradition, others for investment, or to provide ongoing support for practising artists. Some are driven purely by their love of art. Collections may have a dedicated and specific area of focus, while others are eclectic and influenced by changing tastes and whims. Each collection captures a unique view of our cultural heritage outside of the strict collecting policies of public art institutions.  

NERAM's Lounge Room Collection Series explores the extraordinary, eclectic and sometimes surprising private collections of the New England Region. This series begins with local collector Glenda Kupczyk-Romanczuk. The exhibition will present a selection of artworks from her collection focusing on her involvement with Packsaddle to show how attending and organising the annual Packsaddle Exhibition has inspired her exuberant collection.
Date: 12th October -  2nd December

Opening: Friday 12th October, 6.00pm  (opening will include the announcement of the 2018 Helen Dangar Memorial Bursary Recipient)
Venue: New England Regional Art Museum

My Terrain - Rita Winiger

Image: Rita Winiger Det äne am Bergli 2018

Armidale artist, Rita Winiger depicts landscape terrains in paintings interpreted through, and overlayed with, emotional resonance. The mountainous scenery and memories of trekking in Switzerland, where Winiger spent the first thirty years of her life, inform her work, and the landscapes that emerge capture her experiences of that time and place.      

Date: 12th October -  2nd December

Opening: Friday 12th October, 6.00pm (opening will include the announcement of the 2018 Helen Dangar Memorial Bursary Recipient)
Venue: New England Regional Art Museum

October School Holiday Workshops

Looking for something fun for the kids or grandkids these school holidays? Come to NERAM!

In this Working with Clay Workshop with Honey Greenwood (Armidale Pottery Club), children/teens will explore creating different forms and textures out of clay using a range of techniques such as pinching, rolling and coiling.  Children/Teens will have the opportunity to create their own pinched pot, small sculpture and hanging mobile.

The workshop will be held over two sessions.  The first session will focus on building the pieces which then need to be left to dry in readiness for painting and decorating.  The drying takes between one-two days. Children will then return for the second part of the workshop to paint, decorate and finish their pieces.

5-12 year old:

Date: Tuesday 9th October
Time: 10am – 12pm  Clay Working Session #1

Date:Thursday 11th October
Time: 10am – 11:30pm Painting your Creations Session #2
Book here: https:

12-16 year old:

Date: Tuesday 9th October
Time: 1:30pm – 3:30pm   Clay Working Session #1

Date: Thursday 11th October
Time: 1:30pm – 3:00pm   Painting your Creations Session #2

 Book here: Book now! Only 10 spaces per age group!

Cost: $40 Friends of NERAM/ $45 General
Venue: Packsaddle Studio – located downstairs behind NERAM

Concert: Goldheist & James Needham

Musician GOLDHEIST (aka Hester Fraser) and visual artist James Needham come together to present REALM, a collaborative performance project exploring the spirit of place.

Combining their respective artistic practices, Needham will paint landscape, as inspired by tour locations, whilst GOLDHEIST provides the soundtrack, fusing her narrative songs with electro-acoustic soundscape. Simultaneously curated and improvisational, this spatially motivated one hour performance will explore the spirit of place, and the different ways our surroundings can inspire and impact on us. read more.

Date: 20 October
Time: 1.00 - 3.00pm
Venue: New England regional Art Museum
Tickets: $35 Adult / $30 Concession / Under18 FREE

Concert (live art and music) + Q&A with the artists

Book Now!

This performance is part of a regional tour by the performers. New England venues:

  • BARRABA: The Playhouse Hotel Theatre - Fri. 12 Oct.
  • TAMWORTH: Tamworth Regional Gallery - Sat. 13 Oct.
  • MOREE: Bank Art Museum Moree - Fri. 19 Oct.
  • ARMIDALE: New England Regional Art Museum - Sat. 20 Oct.
  • WALCHA: Walcha Mountain Festival - Sun. 21 Oct.

Printmaking Workshop with Basil Hall

Basil Hall is returning once more to Armidale to run one of his popular workshops for experienced and beginner printmakers alike on 20th/21st October 2018.

This workshop is ideally suited to regulars at NERAM workshops, but enthusiastic beginners will be able to join in and make a plate themselves, whilst watching the more experienced work on theirs.

This year Basil is proposing to offer his expertise as a custom printer of 35 years standing. Participants are encouraged to bring existing etching plates they have been working on and Basil will offer suggestions as to how they might be resolved or further developed. He will demonstrate how to print them up in a variety of ways including a la poupee wiping, using large rollers, colour blends, stencils and applying colour to the back of rice paper prints.

Copper etching plates and printmaking papers will be available for sale at cost, if required, and lunch will be provided.

Date: Saturday & Sunday, 20th/21st October 2018
Time: 9am - 4pm
Venue: Packsaddle Studio, NERAM
Cost: $330 General/$300 Friends of NERAM/Black Gully Printmakers

BOOK NOW! Only 5 spots left

Packsaddle is coming soon!

It is that time of year again when NERAM gets ready for the annual Packsaddle Exhibition. The Packsaddlers have been visiting artists and galleries to select a diverse range of contemporary artworks to include in the exhibition, and have been spending time at NERAM framing prints for display. We have been spying and can say with certainty that there are some exceptional works to be presented this year.

The annual Packsaddle Exhibition provides local audiences an opportunity to see and purchase contemporary Australian art, and has for 33 years supported the development of local art collections while fundraising for new acquisitions and special projects at NERAM.

Save The Date: The Packsaddle Exhibition will open on Friday 19th October, viewing starting from 5pm, the bell will ring at 6.15pm!