Director Marita Smith, Historian, Dr Henry Reynolds and artist Monika Behrens at the inaugural opening in 2008

2008 NEWS wrap

Gallerysmith opened its doors with great fanfare to a large audience on Friday June 6, 2008. The inaugural group of exhibitions included, Sydney painter Monika Behrens' series Hush Rehearsal: Rehearsing the Australian History Wars, a series of hand-coloured photographs by Barkintji artist Nici Cumpston and a grouping of large cyanotypes by Melbourne artist Andrew Seward. The gallery was officially opened by Dr Henry Reynolds, author and historian who has written extensively on the Australian History Wars.

The first exhibition of 2008 was followed in quick succession by solo shows by Tony Albert, Simone Eisler, Siri Hayes and Lynda Draper. Guest speakers in 2008 included Vernon Ah Kee, Jason Smith and Destiny Deacon. Marita Smith was the first gallery director to recognise the talent of Tony Albert, whose first solo exhibition at Gallerysmith was a sell-out with the major work, Hopeless Romantic, being acquired by the National Gallery of Australia.
tony albert hopeless romantic wall installation
Simone Eisler was selected to participate in a French-curated exhibition Revenge of Genres, at La Cite’ Internationale des Arts in Paris. The National Gallery of Australia in Canberra acquired four etchings by Monika Behrens from her Silent Bang series. Seven Andrew Seward cyanotypes were installed in the permanent collection gallery at the National Gallery of Victoria, Ian Potter Centre. Ballarat Fine Art Gallery acquired a significant series of 170 drawings by Andrew Seward. These works were included in their exhibition titled Out of Many, One in May. Andrew also featured in a beautifully curated exhibition at the Leigh Scott Gallery, Bailleu Library, Melbourne University titled Sowing a Seed, in November. A collaborative artists’ book by Theo Strasser and Peter Lyssiotis was shortlisted for the New Social Commentary prize at the Warrnambool Art Gallery. Adam Norton was also shortlisted for this award.
The September 08 edition of Ceramics Art and Perception included a six-page feature on Lynda Draper. The feature previewed a number of works from her planned exhibition at Gallerysmith for 2010.