Inaugural Dobell Exhibition Grant recipient announced

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.

Earlier in the year we called for applicants for the new $40,000 Dobell Exhibition Grant for regional galleries.

The Exhibition Grant came into existence through a consultative process between the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation and arts organisations in 2014. The Foundation’s vision was to invest in a program that would further their aims to develop audiences and appreciation for the visual arts in NSW. 

As a result, M&G NSW was selected to manage the grant given our experience in regional exhibition touring and grant management, so the good news is that each year for six years we will offer $40,000 for a high-quality exhibition that draws new audiences, engages artists and the local community and provides strong public and education programs.

The first round of applications has been assessed and we are pleased to announce that Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest has been selected as the recipient for the 2016 inaugural grant.

The opportunity appealed to many organisations and we received nine applications from regional galleries throughout the state. The Assessment Report contains a summary of the panel’s comments and is worth reviewing if you are thinking of applying next year.

... we are pleased to announce that Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest has been selected as the recipient for the 2016 inaugural grant.

Working in collaboration with the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS), Penrith Regional Gallery’s nominated project Gravity (and Wonder) will explore the history and philosophy of this universal law through contemporary art and selected objects, instruments and papers in the MAAS collection.

The exhibition, scheduled to run from late August to November 2016, will feature loaned and newly commissioned sculptural and kinetic works by more than a dozen contemporary artists. So far contributing artists include, Richard Serra, Timothy Cook, Amy Joy Watson, Sandra Selig, and David Haines and Joyce Hinterding who features in our touring exhibition Objects & Energies and who exhibited at the MCA earlier in the year.

Visitors can look forward to a range of public programs accompanying the exhibition such as Gravity Geeks, a symposium with artists, curators and scientists, as well as a collaboration with staff and students from the Western Sydney University Observatory.

 “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”, said Rose Hiscock, Director of MAAS.

Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest Director, Lee-Anne Hall commented that the gallery “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.” 

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” she said.

Read more about the Dobell Exhibition Grant



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.




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