Six new galleries to know about


As the Australian art world continues to recover from a tumultuous couple of years, new galleries and art spaces are popping up regularly across the country, in both metropolitan and regional areas. We’ve selected six new galleries with compelling exhibitions coming up over the next few months, that are certainly worth a visit as the colder weather moves in.

1301SW, gallery currently under construction.

Melbourne: 1301SW

Located in South Melbourne, 1301SW is a new contemporary art gallery that aims to strike an even balance between exhibiting both Australian and international artists. This commitment to home and abroad is perhaps born of the international make-up of its founders: Brian Butler is behind Los Angeles gallery 1301pe, while Dominic Feuchs helms Starkwhite in Auckland. The director is Jack Willett who, in partnership with artist Jonny Niesche, has curated the gallery’s debut show, An eeriness on the plain. The exhibition explores the concept of ‘eeriness’ via a number of abstract or minimalist works, from figures such as the renowned Belgian artist Ann Veronica Janssens as well as Rebecca Baumann, Gerald Miller, Mikala Dwyer, Alicia Frankovich and various others. An eeriness on the Plain runs from 7 May to 11 June.


Lightworx Gallery + Max Patté installation view, 2022.

Sydney: Max Patte + Lightworx Gallery

Another new gallery with New Zealand links, this space in the heart of Darlinghurst is the latest project from Max Patte, a British-born multimedia artist who has worked out of a studio in Wellington since 2014. Patte has opened the gallery in partnership with New Zealand curator and gallery director Pauline Bianchi. The pop-up gallery is designed to showcase Patte’s work to Sydney audiences, including sculptures, wall-hanging light works, and paintings of various styles and moods. Patte has long held an interest in utilising state-of-the-art design and construction technology, something reflected in the works on show here. The gallery will also host Patte’s new series, Cluster, a selection of works made from stainless steel that resemble ‘clusters’ of balloons, finished with various colours. The exhibition is open until 25 July.


Boyd Gallery, image courtesy of Boyd Gallery.

Brisbane: Boyd Gallery

Boyd Gallery in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley sees contemporary art collide with interior design. The gallery is a new venture from Shelley Boyd, who has specialised in selling interiors for over two decades, through her Boyd Blue outlet. The first exhibition is Encounter, which features three Australian artists: Marilyn Reeman, Pascale Bardos and Romy Bennie. The show presents paintings, sculpture and installation, with a common theme between the artists being the use of organic materials—rock, wood, clay, metals and sand. Boyd Gallery is part of the Boyd Blue showroom, and the exhibition will run until 12 May.


HAKE House of Art. Image courtesy of HAKE House of Art.

Sydney: HAKE House of Art

Sitting tranquilly on the Northern Beaches is this community-focused, inclusive new creative space from Ash Holmes and Jack Elliott. HAKE House of Art seeks to foster an aesthetic informed by minimalism and Japanese craft culture. The gallery will present a mix of group and solo shows, with Holmes herself, an emerging painter and HAKE’s artist in residence, having her own show that runs for 10 days from 29 May. Holmes’s abstract paintings are the result of an autodidactic approach to painting and creativity, informed by American colour field painting of the mid-20th century. Following that, painter and printmaker Lucinda Jones will host a solo exhibition that runs for 10 days from 22 July.


Installation view of NAP Contemporary’s inaugural show The Origin of the World, 2022.

Mildura: NAP Contemporary

NAP Contemporary’s new gallery space in Mildura comes courtesy of Riley Davison and Erica Tarquinio, who bring a wealth of experience from working with Indigenous art centres in Central Australia—and indeed this gallery retains strong links with artists from the desert. NAP Contemporary aims to foster and present work by both Indigenous and non-indigenous artists, and this is reflected in the gallery’s inaugural exhibition, The Origin of the World. This group show features renowned Filipino artist Manuel Ocampo (whose work gives the exhibition its title) as well as Australians such as George Egerton-Warburton, Irene Hanenbergh, George Tjungurrayi and the late Nyapanyapa Yunupingu. The Origin of the Worldruns until 19 May.


Wester Gallery, currently under construction.

Newcastle: Wester Gallery

Wester Gallery, situated in Newcastle West, will hold its first official opening night on 1 July, launching the new show from established Novocastrian artist Luke O’Donnell. The exhibition is a multi-disciplinary affair incorporating photography and installations—some with a playful interactive element. Wester Gallery has a firm commitment to fostering a vibrant art community in the Newcastle surrounds, its mission being to showcase the full spectrum of artists based in the Hunter region, and to bring innovation and originality from elsewhere to local audiences. The O’Donnell show runs until 23 July, with the gallery open from Wednesday to Saturday.

Feature Words by Barnaby Smith