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Nov 30 2020

Artspace Sydney To Receive Millions for Renovation

by Stephanie Siu

Rendering of Sydney’s The Gunnery, featuring DENNIS GOLDING’s Cast in cast out (2020) on the exterior. Courtesy the artist and Artspace, Sydney.

Sydney’s independent nonprofit Artspace announced on November 25 that the New South Wales (NSW) government has committed over AUD 5 million (USD 3.68 million) to upgrade its Woolloomooloo building, The Gunnery. The revamp will increase the size of the platform’s exhibition spaces and number of studios for artist residencies.

Led by Dunn and Hillam Architects, the remodel will see expanded exhibition spaces on the ground floor, although exact details of the floorplan have yet to be revealed. The number of artist-in-residence studios will increase from seven to ten. The gallery entrance, currently on Copper Wharf Road, will be relocated to the Forbes Street Plaza to increase the connection with the local neighborhood and harbor foreshore, and to create a cultural sightline with the nearby Art Gallery of NSW and the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. Other additions include a commercial kitchen on the first floor along with space for public education and digital broadcasting. Renovation schedules have yet to be announced.

Speaking of the planned work, NSW minister for the arts, Don Harwin, said that the project aims to uphold NSW as an art destination, especially as “Arts and culture continues to be a source of inspiration and hope, and the key to our social and economic recovery from the impact of the pandemic.” 

Established in 1983 as an artist-run gallery, Artspace is dedicated to the experimentation, collaboration, and advocacy of contemporary art. Its funding is supported by the Australian federal government through the Australia Council for the Arts and Arts NSW, as well as a community of partners and benefactors. 

Artspace acquired The Gunnery, an early 20th century multi-story federation warehouse building, in 1992. Its AUD 1.5 million (USD 1.11 million) renovation project that year was supported by the state government and Australian industrialist and arts patron Franco Belgiorno-Nettis. Before the building was used as a community center in the 1970s and later leased to a group of local artists in 1984, it served as a bulk store for the Sydney Morning Herald and was also a World War Two gunnery instructional center. 

Stephanie Siu is an editorial intern at ArtAsiaPacific.

To read more of ArtAsiaPacific’s articles, visit our Digital Library.

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