Sydney Contemporary wrap-up15/09/2015
We return to Townsville after our first foray into a major art fair successful. We were very proud to represent our North Queensland printmakers and I have to say: they punch well above their weight with original works as beautiful as any at the fair. Not only did we manage to sell some of the works, but we also got to meet with our partners like Arts Queensland and Australia Council, NAVA and Imprint Magazine, and other exhibitors. We learned how other galleries innovate to create a captivating display, and how different the art market is in Sydney as compared to Townsville. Roger Butler (NGA) paid our stand a visit and we showed him the recent works on paper from Jo Lankester, Rhonda Stevens, Laura Castell and the Murris in Ink.
I managed to escape early one afternoon and visit “The other art fair” at Central Park. This was a good contrast to the Sydney Contemporary fair and provided even more insight into fairs and exhibiting in general. I met a few artists there who could be in line to have an exhibition at Umbrella Studio! I was also able to visit White Rabbit gallery and see their new exhibition: PARADI$E BITCH. A very soul-tugging exhibition exploring the modern approach to reaching paradise which is as distant as ever.
If I could praise the Umbrella stand for one thing above the others, it was that our brand presence was strong. We had a logo-printed table cloth, large banner, and our staff T-shirts, plus take-away flyers and sales catalogues. It was fantastic to network with other artists and galleries and be the small fish in a big pond for a change. The Carriageworks venue is a spectacular example of how a disused industrial space can be transformed into a bustling cultural centre – the beating heart of a city. It is only by getting out of our gallery that we can see how other great galleries operate, creating room for Umbrella to grow. Apart from the sales, there were many other outcomes from attending the fair, and some that may not even be realised yet. Thanks also to Ron, Bronwyn and Jonathan McBurnie for your company and table-minding!