Despard Gallery is launching its new world-class commercial gallery this November with shows featuring two of Australia’s most exciting artists:
Scale by Matthew Harding and Small Worlds by Anne Morrison.
The new purpose built gallery will be opening 14 November 2015 at 15 Castray Esplanade, Hobart and launched in partnership with art critic Dr Peter Hill.
Despard Gallery has been an established commercial art space in Hobart, Tasmania for 27 years. Throughout this time the gallery has lead the way for contemporary arts practice through an extensive exhibition program, including large scale international exhibitions in New York and Chicago. With this extensive history and experience behind them, Despard is set to realize a fresh new vision in a new, purpose-built space in historic, central Hobart.
Despard Gallery has collaborated with Jame Wilson, an architect Field Labs to design a world-class exhibition space to present the best of Tasmanian art. The brave new venue is located on the first floor of the colonial ordinance store on Castray Esplanade. Originally constructed in 1837 and sensitively restored using modern industrial fittings and finishes, the design has preserved many of the original markings from the convict nails to vintage graffiti.
To mark the significance of this new space, Despard is launching two large exhibitions: Anne Morrison’s Small Worlds and Matthew Harding’s Scale. Both these artists have had long and distinguished careers both in Australia and internationally.
Anne Morrison is a unique and highly regarded painter who was previously named Young British Artist of the Year alongside greats like Sarah Lucas. Anne trained at the Royal Academy in London before relocating to Hobart to complete her PhD at the Tasmanian School of Art. Originally from Scotland, Anne has established herself as one of Tasmania’s finest painters.
Matthew Harding is a Melbourne-based sculptor; his large-scale works inhabit some of Australia’s most iconic landscapes. His most recent commission was a forty-meter long stainless steel illuminated façade for the Murray Art Museum. Many would be familiar with the mirrored steel façade at MONA commissioned in 2011. Matthew is a big thinker and a big maker, his projects are ambitions and command audience attention. This new body of work is an opportunity for patrons to experience the work of a great Australian sculptor in a more intimate way. As the title suggests Matthew’s new body of work aims to invite viewers into a ‘quieter’ experience of his sculpture.
Dr. Peter Hill is a prolific writer, curator and critic. Known for his ongoing project ‘The Museum of Doubt’, his voice can be heard throughout the Australian art world. Peter is an avid supporter of Tasmanian artists and will be writing the commentary on the opening show as well as officially opening the new space.
The new exhibition space represents a shift in vision. Through a monthly exhibition program of bold new contemporary art, Despard strives to create an art experience that is stimulating, relevant and reflective of Australian creative culture while not shying away from topical issues.
Anne Morrison was born in 1966. She gained a Bachelor of Arts with Honors at Glasgow School of Art in 1988, a Master of Arts, Royal College of Art, London, 1990, and a Doctor of Philosophy, Tasmanian school of Art, Hobart, 1999. Over a career spanning 27 years, she has had 16 solo exhibitions and has been included in many group exhibitions in Australia and overseas. Her work is in various institutional, corporate and private collections in Australia and overseas, including Art Bank and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. Anne Morrison first came to Australia through the Scottish Arts Council Australian Residency program (1994-95), and returned in 1996 to Hobart, Tasmania after being awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship. Scholarships and awards have enabled Morrison to spend extended periods of time living and working in places as diverse as France, Italy, India, Malaysia, UK, Australia, and Africa. These experiences have given the artist an invaluable insight into and broad appreciation of the arts and cultures from a global perspective.