The Brunswick Street Gallery, opened in 2006 but unless you know that it's there and have accurate directions, it can be hard to find amongst Brunswick Street's chaotic blend of shops, signs and posters.
The entrance is almost disguised behind the Corridor Clothing store but simply walk past the hanging t-shirts and through the door located behind the sales counter. There you'll find a set of wooden stairs, climb two flights and suddenly you'll arrive in a massive white-walled gallery space.
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As soon as you have stepped off the street, there is an arresting change in atmosphere.Take your time to amble through uncluttered rooms and alcoves which house an eclectic mix of sculpture, paintings, drawings and art installations. Visit one room, painted in a deep red, where coloured works spring from the wall and look through another gallery, dressed in black, where the hangings stand out in vivid contrast.
Among the framed and unframed works there is a fascinating mix of different art mediums. Textiles, wood carvings, printwork, resin and pewter shapes sit alongside ceramics, photography, and sound works. Each collection is labelled with an artist's biography and each piece displays its purchase price alongside.
As if the seven separate spaces on the first floor weren't enough, a second set of stairs will take you up to even more art. The second floor of the gallery hosts larger galleries which allow for thematic series to be displayed.
The Brunswick Street Gallery's overall size means that you can enjoy relatively uninterrupted viewings. Unlike the awkward experience of a single floor space, where a gallery attendant or shop owner sits and watches your every move as you traverse the room, here you can really invest time in experiencing the art.
Commercial galleries aren't always known to showcase the truly innovative and in truth some of the work the Brunswick Street Gallery showcases seems underdeveloped but then again, that's the idea isn't it? To secure the early work of an emerging artist and wait until they rise to prominence thereby increasing the value of your purchase?
Criticising art is half the fun of visiting a gallery as well and after viewing the Brunswick Street Gallery you can take yourself outside to one of the street's fine eateries and argue with your friends about which pieces you did or didn't like.
This gallery is not some grungy experiment. The Brunswick Street Gallery is a proper, professionally curated establishment, open from10am until 10pm, Tuesday – Sunday. The displays are changed every fortnight so you can keep coming back to look at more. Between the two gallery floors there is always plenty to see. In a single visit, you'll have the chance to look at around three hundred different artworks.