Recently I experienced the delight of wining and dining at The Boathouse Restaurant in Frankston. We went there for an early dinner. The restaurant sits behind the Brialyn Boathouse Gallery, at the time of arriving I didn't take much notice of the Gallery assuming that like all other galleries it would be closed at 6.30pm in the evening. Two and half hours later when it was dark and we were leaving the restaurant; I noticed that the lights were on and there was a small sign in the window saying that it was open.
At the same time a woman walked past where we had parked our car, (the first car-parking space behind the gallery) and seemed to be making her way into the back of the gallery. I asked her if the gallery was still open, she said she was just shutting up shop but was happy to let us in for a look if we wished. I felt as if I had just made some sort of special discovery so we took her up on her offer and made our way around the front.
The galley is very small it has 4 main rooms and then a few other nooks and crannies to make up the complete setting. It turns out that the lady we had spoken to was the owner Lyn Mellady. I was struck by her enthusiasm and knowledge of the artwork on display, she was genuine in her interest as she told us about the back stories of the artists who had produced the artwork and would have been happy to talk to us as long as we desired. Her enthusiasm was truly engaging.
I've often found galleries intimidating; I love artwork but often find the process of visiting art galleries uncomfortable. There is often too much open space and bare floors, where you could hear a pin drop; making one feel as though they don't understand or belong.
This is not the feeling at this gallery; it is slightly cluttered and there aren't great cavernous spaces that make you feel small and that you should somehow understand more than you do.
From the Nepean Highway, the gallery looks like a house, although there is signage out the front, but I find these days, if I'm not actually looking for something I don't see it.
You must get along and see this gallery, and if visiting a gallery isn't your thing, then take the edge off by going to The Boathouse Restaurant and then slipping in quietly either before or after - you wont regret it and I'm sure Lyn will make you feel very welcome when you're there as she did with us.