New Dobell Exhibition Grant supports gravity-defying exhibition

Nov 11, 2015 | Dobell Exhibition Grant

Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest receive the inaugural Dobell Exhibition Grant for the development of Gravity (and Wonder).

Curated by Penrith Regional Gallery in collaboration with the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS), Gravity (and Wonder) will explore the history and philosophy of this fundamental law of the universe through contemporary art and related objects, instruments and papers in the MAAS collection.

The exhibition, scheduled for 3 September – 27 November 2016 will introduce audiences to new ways of thinking about the multi-dimensionality of matter, time and space through a range of loaned and newly commissioned sculptural and kinetic works. Over a dozen contemporary artists will participate in the presentation of new and existing works. Contributing artists include, Richard Serra, Timothy Cook, Amy Joy Watson, Sandra Selig, David Haines and Joyce Hinterding.

An array of public programs will accompany the exhibition such as ‘Gravity Geeks’, a symposium with artists, curators and scientists, and collaborations with the Western Sydney University Observatory staff and students, promise to excite visitors with an interest in science and art alike.

Rose Hiscock, Director of MAAS which includes the Powerhouse, the Sydney Observatory and The Discovery Centre in Sydney’s west, comments:

This project is a fantastic opportunity to share resources across cultural and educational organisations, support creative interdisciplinary practice and share historical material in critically engaging ways with audiences across Sydney and NSW.”

The collaborative nature of this exhibition will enrich both institutions and help develop new audiences and long-term strategic relationships, as Dr Lee-Anne Hall, Director, Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest attests:

Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest is excited to be collaborating with MAAS on this project. The exhibition and associated programming will enable Western Sydney audiences to access outstanding contemporary art, and remarkable objects and artefacts in exploration of the wondrous universal law of Gravity.

The $40,000 Dobell Exhibition Grant is the result of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation’s vision and began with a consultative process with arts organisations and institutions in 2014. The Foundation’s goal was to invest in a program that would further their aims to develop audiences and appreciation for the visual arts in NSW. Museums & Galleries of NSW (M&G NSW), an organisation with extensive experience in exhibition touring and grant management, had previously identified a growing need for exhibition development in regional areas, was selected to manage and lead the project.

Karen Wann, Chairman of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation expressed the Foundation’s delight in supporting an exhibition which inspires artistically and simultaneously educates.

Gravity (and Wonder) will be a wonderful launching point for the Dobell Exhibition Grant program in its first year. The Dobell Foundation is thrilled to be involved with this innovative and ambitious new exhibition.

An exhibition like Gravity (and Wonder) is a prime example of the kind of creative programs that needs support” explains M&G NSW CEO, Michael Rolfe, “Thanks to the vision of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation, we are able to deliver vital support to galleries, help them expand their audiences, and diversify their exhibition practice.”

– ENDS –

With a generous gift from the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation, M&G NSW offers $40,000 in funding to one NSW regional gallery per annum. The program will run for up to 6 years, with funding targeted towards the development and delivery of curated exhibitions that significantly support artists, extend public appreciation and engagement with the visual arts and expand curatorial skills and creativity.

The Foundation was formed in 1971 from the artist’s bequest with instructions that “a Foundation be established for the benefit and promotion of art in NSW.”

Since then, the Foundation has sponsored a wide variety of projects and is best known for the Dobell Drawing Prize, which ran for 20 years at the Art Gallery of NSW and evolved into the new Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial in 2014.

The Foundation supports acquisitions to public collections, as well as publications, films and educational programs, including the annual Year 11 student Dobell Drawing School held with the National Art School.

M&G NSW supports the development of galleries, museums and Aboriginal cultural centres in NSW, working with them to build their audiences, programs and capacity.

The organisation runs the largest touring program of contemporary visual art and craft in NSW and has been the NSW representative of the National Exhibition Touring Support (NETS) Australia network since M&G NSW’s inception in 1998.

In the last 3 years, M&G NSW has reached over 542,000 visitors nationwide through 16 exhibitions of contemporary art and craft that toured to 51 separate galleries and museums across 6 states and territories. High-quality publications, educational material, public programs and activities are provided with all exhibitions.

For enquiries and more information, please contact M&G NSW:

Rachel Arndt
Gallery Programs & Touring Exhibitions Manager
02 9339 9906
(Monday, Tuesday & Friday)

Susan Wacher
Gallery Programs & Touring Exhibitions Officer
02 9339 9916
(Monday & Thursday)

Image: Amy Joy Watson, Floating Sequence, 2012, balsa wood, watercolour, gouache, polyester thread, lead weights, balloons, helium, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist and Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide.