FUN AT WORK: Lismore-based Bundjalung artist Digby Moran creates a large-scale artwork outside Lismore City Hall as part of Artstate, Lismore.
FUN AT WORK: Lismore-based Bundjalung artist Digby Moran creates a large-scale artwork outside Lismore City Hall as part of Artstate, Lismore. Marc Stapelberg

Lismore Gallery exhibits capture our reach

WHEN gallery staff work towards putting our program together, we try, over the course of 12 months, to present a varied program that reaches as many parts of the community as possible.

As a publicly owned facility, our remit is always to ensure our programs have a broad reach - from the contemporary to the traditional and from the local to the international, and everything in between.

We don't shy away from presenting work by contemporary artists that some viewers may have difficulty with.

The beauty of the new facility is that we are able to schedule a number of concurrent projects that introduce audiences to new ways of artistic practice.

A key example earlier in the year was the alignment, for a period of time, of work by the Lismore Embroidery Guild and work by major contemporary artists such as Anish Kapoor, Wolfgang Tillmans, Urs Fischer, Rudolf Stingel, Dahn Vo, Katharina Groese and many others.

This approach ensures that people who visit for one of these exhibitions may come to understand more about the nature of the other.

While we ensure our program is populated with work by artists from outside the region, we also have an intent to support local artists.

Our downstairs, Jenny Dowell Gallery, is primarily there to develop the careers of local emerging artists.

A current example is Victoria Pitel's exquisite body of work.

Her ceramic sculptures, also using knitted elements, are deftly handled and a joy to behold.

Over the next month or so, in our upstairs galleries we are presenting the work of three longstanding local artists: Digby Moran, Jacklyn Wagner and Peter Derrett, the latter two exhibiting together from September 29.

While these shows are very distinctive, with Digby's large gestural paintings compared to the documentary and portrait photography by Peter and Jacklyn, they both offer a great understanding of the city and region.

Digby's new body of work, while predominantly abstract, references the landscape he's known his entire life.

One work conveys the mood of last year's flood that devastated the artist's studio but also provided a chance to experiment with new ways of working.

Other works imbue the crackling energy of sugarcane fires.

With Jacklyn and Peter, what we experience is a broad portrait of Lismore through the display of 80portraits of people who make up this city.

In this series, which the artists are donating to the gallery's permanent collection, we witness the diversity of Lismore at this point in time.

I am certain audiences will revel in identifying people they know, and getting to know them more through the stories the photographers captured.

In years to come, these works will be an important part of our collective history.

For me, these exhibitions signify the importance of a regional gallery in acknowledging our place in society, bringing people together and witnessing the power of the landscape that holds us here.


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