2019 Gallery Director Foundation Annual Report



Thank you to the Foundation Board for inviting me to report on the Gallery’s annual achievements. It is wonderful to be here surrounded by the beautiful WISH YOU WERE HERE exhibition featuring 21 works of art from our substantial collection that span more than 200 years from 1813 through to 2018. The exhibition includes 4 local artists and works gifted through the Foundation: Ryan Hoffmann’s Murdering Gully, Glenrock’, Mandy Martin’s ‘Folly’, Philip Wolfhagen’s ‘View to the past’ and a very recent acquisition - Margaret Olley’s ‘Kind Edward Park’.

Since January our annual attendance has continued to increase, this reflects the diversity and strength of our exhibitions and the 154 targeted audience programs delivered by the Gallery team. The high-quality exhibitions this year again drew heavily from the Gallery's collection and showcased local, national and international artists. Now just to refresh our memories - we presented:FLORIBUNDA: from the collection, SODEISHA: connected to Australia,VIRGINIA CUPPAIDGE: the nature of abstraction, JAMES DRINKWATER: the sea calls me by name, KILGOUR PRIZE 2019, INTRODUCING: from the collection, ROBERT DICKERSON: off the canvas, WISH YOU WERE HERE: Landscapes from the collection

We are currently installing upstairs our summer exhibition BETWEEN TWO WORLDS which celebrates Australian artists with Chinese heritage. I hope you can join us this Saturday for the opening weekend panel discussion with guest curator, Catherine Croll and 3 of the exhibiting artists.

With the ongoing support of the City of Newcastle, the Art Gallery Foundation, Art Gallery Society, Volunteer Guides, our donors and lenders, the Gallery has been able to acquire some outstanding acquisitions for the city’s art collection.

Since January we have secured 96 works of art by artists Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Toby Cedar, Tamara Dean, Takashi Hinoda, Satoru Hoshino, Robert Jacks, Helen Johnson, George Johnson, Jennifer Keeler-Milne, Deborah Kelly, Roger Kemp, Rokubei Kiyomizu, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Kenji Kusaka, Alun Leach-Jones, Owen Leong, Glen Mackie, Dani Marti, Billy Missi, Wentja Morgan Napaltjarri, Margaret Olley, Louise Olsen, Stephen Ormandy, Rodney Pople, Dick Roughsey, David Serisier, Lezlie Tilley, Alick Tipoti, Barbara Tribe, Kenji Uranishi, John R Walker and Patricia Wilson-Adams.

Through the Foundation’s administration of the Gil Docking Drawing Fund - 4 works on paper by female artists Kirrily Hammond, Margaret Olley and Lezlie Tilley were also purchased for the collection.

The Gallery’s active external loans program continues to share our collection with institutions across the nation. In the past year - 46 works of art have been loaned to 7 institutions for 9 exhibitions including GOMA’s recent major Jon Molvig and Margaret Olley surveys - further testament to the breadth and significance of Newcastle’s collection.

As Director of the Gallery I am extremely proud of the quality of our ambitious exhibitions, programs and events that we continue to successfully deliver for our community working within the constraints of a 42year old building - just think what we could do in an expanded modern facility!


Thank you again to the Foundation and to you all for your continued advocacy and support of our Gallery and finally none of this year’s achievements would have been possible without the ongoing dedication and professionalism of the talented Art Gallery team.


Lauretta Morton Director