Joshua White, Artistic Director, Hamilton Gallery
Hamilton Gallery is thrilled to be a part of this fantastic project initiated by the National Exhibitions Touring Support, Victoria, which has enabled Hamilton Gallery to engage with talented contemporary curator, Sophia Cai.
Every collection is unique and Hamilton Gallery’s collection has a fascinating 60-year history. Like many art galleries across Australia, the impetus for building Hamilton Gallery was due to a major donation by a generous benefactor, and in our case the benefactors were Herbert and May Shaw. The 781 works donated in 1958 remain the foundation of the collection, a collection which has seen an abundance of significant donations since that time. Currently Hamilton Gallery’s collection includes over 9,000 objects, and has multiple collection focuses.
Projects like this are extremely important for galleries like Hamilton; a digital exhibition of this kind places the collection in a modern context, and affords the viewer a fresh perspective on our artworks. It is an enormous task for a curator to develop a concept, sift through thousands of objects and object records, narrow it down to 15 works and then relate these to contemporary works outside the collection.
Great curation gives the viewer new perspectives and insights into an artwork or group of artworks. It can also add to the story, history and life of an artwork. Through hard work, creativity and talent, Sophia has opened our eyes to new connections, and enriched our appreciation and understanding of works in our Hamilton Gallery collection.
I would like to thank Claire Watson, Director of NETS Victoria, Curator Sophia Cai, and Hamilton Gallery staff Ian Brilley, Collections Coordinator, and Digitisation Officers Madi Whyte and Claudia Ross, for all their efforts to see this project come to fruition.