The 10 new (and reopening) art spaces you need to know about

Every year brings new art platforms and venues. From revamped industrial sites to brand new spaces in Sydney, to openings in Adelaide, Melbourne, Cottesloe and Darwin—across Australia there’s a flurry of new and reopening gallery activity.

A Secondary Eye in Sydney

Installation view, A Secondary Eye Gallery. Featuring artworks L-R_ Three Larraktij poles by Naruwapu Wunungmurra, A Broad Shield by an Unknown Wemba Wemba Artist, Lake Argyle by Rover Thomas, Desert Meeting Place by Rover Thomas.

Amid the arts district of Woollahra in Sydney is the soon-to-be-revealed A Secondary Eye. Established in 2020 in Brisbane, the gallery centres secondary market artworks and collectibles, exhibiting and selling works by artists including Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Queenie McKenzie, John Mawurndjul, Gordon Bennett, Tony Albert, Danie Mellor, Ben Quilty, Sidney Nolan and John Olsen. The new gallery is launching in early May with an exhibition of Rover Thomas works, a revered Wangkajunga and Kukatja artist, known for his paintings and being a founding figure for what became the East Kimberley school of painting.

PALAS in Sydney

PALAS exterior. Photograph by Josh Raymond.

With a much-lauded first exhibition by Marco Fusinato that opened in February this year, new Sydney gallery PALAS was founded by Tania Doropoulos and Matt Glenn with a remit to exhibition artists with long-standing careers. The next show, opening 19 April, is Tamara Henderson’s Eye in the High, which “reveals humanity’s inter­ven­tion in glob­al patterns of decom­po­si­tion, regen­er­a­tion and meta­mor­pho­sis, and how such human inter­ac­tions can accel­er­ate and destabilise the del­i­cate bal­ance required to sus­tain earth­ly life as we know it”.

Sarah Scout Presents reopens in Melbourne

Sarah Scout Presents new Collingwood Gallery exterior view.

Much-beloved Melbourne commercial gallery Sarah Scout Presents closed down its city premises in recent times, and is now reopening in central Collingwood with a new look (and based within the old PBS Radio headquarters). They’ll be launching on Saturday 20 April with an exhibition of new work by Anna Finlayson, Simone Slee and Christian Thompson AO.

SYRUP in Sydney

SYRUP Contemporary Installation view. Image courtesy of SYRUP.

SYRUP Contemporary is a new gallery space in Sydney’s Marrickville that presents art from Australia and South East Asia, focussing on critical artistic practices.The gallery launched its first show in mid-April, featuring work by Brodie Cullen, Emily Ferretti, Alasdair McLuckie, Alexandra Peters, Gevevieve Felix Reynolds and Tara McIntosh. The second show will open in mid-May with works by Alasdair McLuckie and Jake Starr.

Leonard Joel Auction House’s new space in Melbourne

Photography by Prue Ruscoe, Styling by Bea & Co.

Esteemed Sydney and Melbourne-based auction house Leonard Joel is upsizing its Melbourne premises, recently unveiling their new headquarters in Hawthorn. With 2000 square metres of space, there are now larger galleries and auction rooms, allowing Leonard Joel to expand their auction collection. As chairman John Albrecht says, “The vision is to create a fearlessly contemporary space that will allow us to deliver the most dynamic live and virtual auction experience in the country.”

Linton&Kay Galleries in Cottesloe

Linton&Kay Galleries in Cottesloe, exterior view.

One of Western Australia’s longest serving commercial galleries has added a fourth location to their repertoire. Linton and Kay Cottesloe just opened in March, joining the existing spaces in Subiaco, West Perth, and Cherubino Winery. The gallery is part of the new ‘waterfront Cottesloe’ development on Marine Parade, and is promised to house “​​an entirely new curatorial concept”, while still focusing on local, regional and international contemporary artists.

White Bay Power Station in Sydney

Biennale of Sydney, 2024, White Bay Power Station. Photograph: Daniel Boud.

The White Bay Power Station has a storied history. Previously one of the longest-serving coal-fired power stations in Sydney, the 410,000 square foot heritage-listed site has sat idle for many years, with the exception of hosting the occasional blockbuster movie (The Matrix and The Great Gatsby among them). It became the focal point of the New South Wales Government’s Bays Precinct urban renewal project, and is currently serving as a major venue for the 2024 Biennale of Sydney. While plans for the space beyond this have yet to be announced, such an impressive venue is unlikely to stay empty.

Pwerle Gallery relocates in Adelaide

Pwerle Gallery interior. Image supplied.

The Aboriginal family-owned and operated Pwerle Gallery was founded in 2015, but this year has undergone a relocation and transformation. The new space in North Terrace in Adelaide is home to both new, and some of the most-coveted, artwork from the Atnwengerrp community—from Emily Kame Kngwarreye to Charmaine Pwerle. The commercial gallery has an online store, but will also be opening by appointment to the public for exhibitions this year.

Newcastle Art Gallery reopens in Newcastle

Newcastle Art Gallery view from Laman Street. Artistic render.

Newcastle Art Gallery has just started an ambitious expansion project, with a $43.8 million contract approved by the council that will see an additional 1,600 square metres of exhibition space added to the venue. There will also be a new cafe and retail shop, multi-purpose and educational program spaces, a secure international standard loading dock, and the building’s footprint will extend along Darby Street and Queen Street. The gallery is expected to relaunch in 2025, but are offering offsite and digital programming until then.

Northern Territory Art Gallery in Darwin

Northern Territory Art Gallery, external view, artistic render.

The much-anticipated Northern Territory Art Gallery is expected to be completed this year. Designed by local architects, Ashford Architects with Clare Design and Hully Liveris, the three-storey gallery in Darwin’s CBD is a key component to the Darwin City Deal, a joint initiative between the Australian Government, Northern Territory Government, and the City of Darwin. With four large gallery spaces, the venue is expected to become a significant contribution to Drawin’s arts scene, hosting national and international exhibitions.

Feature Words by Art Guide Australia