New Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf set to open

Image: left to right: Kate Howard, Remnants; St Brigid’s building pre-renovation, James Horan, 2019 and Stuart Mclachlan, Cardinal Sins

Sydney’s newest public art gallery, Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf will open to the public on Thursday 4 November 2021, housed within the architecturally reworked 122-year-old St Brigid’s building overlooking Sydney Harbour in Double Bay.

The gallery’s revised opening date follows the NSW Government’s announcement that museums and galleries will be permitted to reopen after the state passes the 70 per cent double vaccination target, and will comply with public health requirements.

Launching with an inaugural exhibition featuring the finalists of the 20th Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize, Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf will be the heart of a new cultural precinct, including the Council Chambers built in 1863, the picturesque Blackburn Gardens, Murray Rose Pool, Redleaf Beach and kiosk, presenting a year-round program of contemporary art exhibitions, artist residencies and public programs.

The exhibition program for Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf will be led by respected curator Sebastian Goldspink in his role as Gallery Coordinator. A proud descendant of the Burramattagal people of Western Sydney, Sebastian is also the curator of the 2022 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art and was a co-founder of ALASKA Projects in Kings Cross.

The heritage building that houses the new Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf has been restored and reinvented by Tanner Kibble Denton Architects to create four high calibre exhibition spaces while keeping all of the original details including crown moulding, arched windows and original wooden flooring. Spread across two levels, the gallery will also include spaces for community activity and for digital and new media art practice, including a podcast room.

The downstairs cultural hub situated below the gallery will become the new home for the established Woollahra Artist in Residence Program. The program provides rent-free, non-residential unfurnished studios for artists to work in. The first round of artist residencies will feature artists Susan Baird, Penelope Cain, Rox De Luca, Wendy Yu and Sharon Billinge. The cultural hub will run selected Council-led cultural and creative programs available for the community to visit or hire for use.

The gallery will be run by Woollahra Council with a focus on an annual exhibition calendar presenting a diverse range of artists, from emerging to established, procured and programmed through a yearly expressions of interest call out. The exhibition calendar will be bolstered with travelling exhibitions and partnerships as well as the Council’s existing program including the celebrated annual Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize exhibition.

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