Australia’s oldest exhibiting Aboriginal fine art gallery is expanding to a new Sydney location.
By Ben Hansen – Concrete Playground.
MARCH 23, 202170Shares .
Australia’s oldest exhibiting Aboriginal fine art gallery is expanding, with Cooee Art opening a new flagship gallery and auction space in Redfern. The organisation has been operating out of its Bondi Beach location since 1981, before opening a Paddington gallery in 2015. Its new gallery will span 480 square metres, and will run a program of monthly exhibitions, public workshops and artist talks.
Cooee Art’s about-to-open site is owned by Ken Done, and was previously used as his art studio and clothing studio. The gallery will welcome in art lovers on Thursday, March 25 with a launch event including a Welcome to Country, plus opening speeches from Done, Cooee Art Director Mirri Leven and artist Djon Mundine. The gallery’s first two exhibitions will be unveiled on the night as well.
On display until Saturday, April 10, group exhibition Cooee: Come Here will feature paintings, bark paintings, video works and sculptures from some of the country’s most renowned First Nations artists. The works will span a 30-year time frame, originating between 1990 and 2020, and will include pieces from the aforementioned Mundine, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, 2020 Archibald Prize-winner Vincent Namatjira and Queenie McKenzie, among other artists.
The second exhibition opening in conjunction with the new gallery, which’ll display over the same period: a solo exhibition of 16 paintings by Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori, which were created for the Mirndiyan Gununa Arts Centre on Mornington Island. Gabori began painting contemporary art in 2005 at the age of 81, and the pieces that’ll be on display explore meaningful sites located on Bentinck Island, her home until her passing in 2015.
“The Redfern location is everything we could have desired. It is large enough to accommodate Cooee Art as it expands into the future,” Cooee Art Founding Director and Senior Art Specialist Adrian Newstead said.
The Redfern gallery will be open to the public 10am–5pm Tuesday–Saturday. The opening of this flagship location will see Cooee’s original Bondi Beach gallery used as a collector’s gallery, with Redfern becoming the organisation’s primary exhibition and auction space. The first auction at the new space is scheduled for Tuesday, June 8 at 7pm.
Cooee Art Redfern will open at will open at 17 Thurlow Street, Redfern on Thursday, March 25 — and operate from 10am–5pm Tuesday–Saturday afterwards.