Seven new and reopened gallery spaces to visit


From new spaces for contemporary art to a printmaking institution, not to mention reinvigorated regional art hubs, these seven new (and re-opened) galleries represent compelling beginnings in Australian arts. Across both metropolitan and country areas, from Melbourne to Sydney to Bega to Maryborough, we’ve curated recent gallery openings to explore.

New works by painter Susie Dureau and ceramicist Aleisa Miksad on display at Curatorial+Co.

Sydney: Curatorial+Co

Gallery and consultancy Curatorial+Co has relocated to Woolloomooloo, sitting among the growing coterie of ambitious contemporary art galleries in this pocket of Sydney (COMA, Chalk Horse, Jericho Contemporary and King Street Gallery, among others). The gallery, which began as an online enterprise in founder Sophie Vander’s dining room in 2015, had previously been housed in Redfern, and now enjoys a 150-square-metre exhibition space on William Street. The new space is currently hosting shows from painter Susie Dureau and ceramicist Aleisa Miksad. Exhibitions from Morgan Stokes, Katrina O’Brien, Ingrid Daniell and Belinda Street will also appear before winter is out.

Installation view, ‘Ross Laurie: Mountains to Sea’ at MAGMA Galleries, Melbourne.

Melbourne: MAGMA Galleries

MAGMA’s move to a new space will see the gallery stay in Collingwood, moving into a new double-storey warehouse space. Dubbed “the white house”, it will offer one large exhibition area as well as more compact rooms for smaller shows. MAGMA are currently renovating the building, which is already architecturally notable having been designed as a home by architect Tom Kovacs in the early 2000s. The new MAGMA Galleries space will open in October with an exhibition showcasing its represented artists.

Central Goldfields Gallery. Image courtesy of Central Goldfields Gallery.

Maryborough: Central Goldfields Gallery

This important regional gallery closed its doors in 2021 for a major redevelopment of its historic site—a fire station built in 1861—and reopened in March 2023 to reveal a revitalised exhibition space intended to provide scope for more, and larger, exhibitions. Currently on display is a show by sculptor Dean Bowen, and coming soon are the ANZAC portraits of Clayton Tremlett and a group exhibition dedicated to contemporary quilting. The gallery’s redevelopment also includes the design and installation of the Indigenous Interpretive Garden, which acknowledges the local Dja Dja Wurrung People.

PCA Gallery. Image courtesy of PCA Gallery.

Melbourne: PCA Gallery

PCA Gallery is a brand new, and much-needed, space dedicated to the art of printmaking in Australia. Overseen by the Print Council of Australia (PCA), the gallery, which is located at the Melbourne Arts Precinct at Southbank, opened with a historical survey exhibition, From the Archives 1967 – 2022: Prints From the PCA Collection, which included works by John Olsen, Fred Williams and Barbara Hanrahan, as well as modern practitioners David Fairbairn, Rona Green and Lotus Jones, among many others. Future exhibitions are likely to feature contemporary makers, straddling both traditional and experimental modes of printmaking, artist books, and more.

Architectural render of SECCA. Image courtesy of SECCA.

Bega: South East Centre For Contemporary Art (SECCA)

The closure of Bega Regional Gallery in June 2021 left a large hole in the cultural life of the NSW Far South Coast. The site’s reopening—complete with a new name, the South East Centre For Contemporary Art (SECCA)—is significant for Bega and surrounds, which sits roughly halfway between Melbourne and Sydney. The $3.5 million redevelopment has transformed the gallery, reflected in its first exhibitions. Perforated Sovereignty is a large group show that explores “divergence and dialogue” across the Australasia region. After that, Some Like It Hot is an exhibition of works by Northern Territory artists Franck Gohier and Therese Ritchie interrogating issues of gender in northern Australia. Other notable shows before the end of the year come from Ari Bayuaj, Jess MacNeil and Bonita Ely. SECCA will open this winter, with an official date to be announced soon.

Installation view at Wonderground Barossa featuring work by Kirsty Kingsley (foreground) and Renee de Saxe.

Barossa Valley: Wonderground

In the stunning Barossa Valley, a region known for its wine, is Wonderground, a contemporary art platform centered on showing the works of regional South Australian artists. It launched in August 2022, established by artists Kirsty Kingsley and Renee de Saxe. With a current exhibition Biome spanning a variety of mediums, the gallery’s fifth exhibition will open in June. Titled A Conflict of Green, the show considers the colour green in emotional and symbolic ways, from paintings of abstraction to trees, to freshly manicured lawns.

Faux Gallery. Image courtesy of Faux Gallery.

Melbourne: Faux Gallery

Faux Gallery, an artist-run space on Lygon Street in Brunswick East, Melbourne, opened its doors at the end of 2022. It began with a show from the gallery’s owner, abstract painter Francis Blair, and continues this autumn with Outlines of an Island from Asha Maria Madge. The exhibition presents large-scale oil paintings inspired by the artist’s first visit to the Sri Lankan island of Karainagar, the birthplace of her mother and grandparents. The works address personal history and the experience of cultural duality, in the wake of Madge’s childhood being split between east and west.

Feature Words by Barnaby Smith