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Hidden Art Galleries in Sydney

Home > Sydney > Lists | Exhibitions | Art | Galleries | Historic Houses | Museums
by Lucy Y.Y. L (subscribe)
Somewhat skilled photographer. Full time tea drinker, reader and part-time napper. Follow adventures at
Published April 8th 2016
The more berserk, the more artworks

QUICK READ: There are numerous art galleries in Sydney, here are 10: Art House Gallery, Artspace, White Rabbit Gallery, Brett Whiteley Studio, S.H Ervin Gallery, Carriageworks, Gaffa, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Aboriginal Art Galleries (Opera Quays), Stella Downer Fine Art.

architecture, art gallery of nsw
Architecture of Art Gallery of NSW

Art expression and observation has invariably been a favoured activity among many, and still, this loved hobby has continued to flourish and persist. The opening of art galleries and museums attracts people of different ages and backgrounds, collectively bringing those alike to a common purpose: to interact, question and discuss underlying art themes. The National Gallery of Victoria, Australia's first launch of an art gallery triggered the growing infrastructure of art museums in Sydney, thereby increasing an artistic movement and observation for all people. To many Sydneysiders, the most illustrious art museums are the Art Gallery of NSW, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and the National Gallery of Australia.

art gallery of nsw, australian paintings/art
Australian Paintings/Art (Art Gallery of NSW)

Art is expressive and subjective; an artwork may appeal to one, but may not stimulate another. It can be conclusive that art is found in many locations and to an extent, we can find it everywhere. Besides the major art museums, there are numerous locations where art is displayed; just perhaps hidden or overlooked. Here listed are art galleries exhibiting different movements of art by emerging or established artists:

The galleries are not ranked in any particular order or worth.

1. Art House Gallery

arthouse gallery, danelle bergstrom,
Danelle Bergstrom - Arthouse Gallery (Image credit to Arthouse Gallery)

Concentrated on contemporary art, the Art House Gallery displays various forms of artistic movements from photography, oil paint to bronzes and other expressive mediums. Displaying both emerging and established Australian artists, the gallery have progressively include solo and group exhibitions, instituting a comprehensive experience. For this, the gallery presents a fresh and exciting approach to contemporary art.

2. Artspace Sydney

artspace, silversalt
Zarathustra: A Film for Everyone and No-One (Ho Tzu Nyen) - Artspace (Image Credit: silversalt)

Artspace is a devoted contemporary art museum, permitting its space for the presentation and development of abstract ideas and new practices in culture. The interdisciplinary space allows experimentation and other deeper metaphysical demonstrations to initiate a deeper connection to the art itself. Through various mediums of performances, exhibitions, public programs with educational activities/purposes, the gallery's mission is to 'enhance our culture through a deeper engagement with contemporary art' (Artspace).

3. White Rabbit Gallery

white rabbit gallery
White Rabbit Gallery Exhibition Opening (Image Credit: White Rabbit Gallery)

The White Rabbit Gallery presents Chinese contemporary art designed in the 21st century, and is known as one of the world's most largest and remarkable collections of its kind. The Collection is owned by Judith and Kerr Neilson; Judith was impressed with the vibrancy, humorous and strike of contemporary works when she visited Beijing in 2001. Wanting to internationally share her extraordinary discovery, she established the White Rabbit Gallery and amassed these pieces in Sydney. The gallery now holds almost 2000 works by more than 500 artists as recorded in early 2016.

4. Brett Whiteley Studio

brett whiteley studio, art gallery of nsw
Brett Whiteley Studio - Art Gallery of NSW (Image Credit: Art Gallery of NSW)

Workplace and home of Australian artist Brett Whiteley, most recognisable as the 1976 Archibald Winner for 'Self-Portrait' and for one of my favourite artworks, 'The balcony 2', this studio offers a unique experience to witness the unfinished paintings of the artist, graffiti art and the scribbles of quotes scrawled on the walls. I personally recommend a visit to this wonderful studio; I don't want to spoil too much, but the large scale artwork, 'Alchemy' is stunning and is very thought-provoking. It condenses the concepts of human nature to an 18 paneled portrait, exploring identity choices, order and chaos, addiction, fears, love and other human experiences.

5. S.H Ervin Gallery

sh ervin gallery
S.H Ervin Gallery (Image Credit: thoughtspace)

Like all the major art galleries I mentioned above, the S.H Ervin Gallery belongs to the category of free, public art institutions designed to showcase Australia's diverse and cultural richness through historical and contemporary mediums. The gallery is proud to be a pioneer for displaying and recognising the artworks by Australian women artists and presenting portraits rejected by the Archibald Prize. Like Artspace, 'The Gallery is renowned for encouraging research and promoting scholarly appraisal of artists from all periods of Australian art history.' (S.H Ervin Gallery)

6. Carriageworks

Carriageworks (Image Credit: Ann Veronica Janssens)

Housed in a rustic, industrial warehouse, Carriageworks is the largest and most exceptional multi-arts institution in Australia. The centre showcases significant artworks from both domestic and international artists, aiming to present contemporary work for the purpose of reflecting social and cultural diversity. The warehouse is astonishing, I enjoyed the vast space and the imperfect, rusty effect on the walls.

7. Gaffa

gaffa gallery
Gaffa Gallery (Image Credit: Gaffa)

Adjacent to Town Hall Station, Gaffa gallery is separated in three levels: Level 1 houses four gallery spaces, jewellery workshops and studio spaces fill Level 2 and Level 3 is open to a rooftop displaying high views of Sydney CBD and more studio spaces. Gaffa is a platform dedicated to operating and providing a space for visitors to view artworks from emerging and accomplished artists. The gallery remains 'committed to nurturing cross-platform collaboration, collectivity and cohesion within the contemporary arts community and to contributing to a wider converstaion in the Sydney art scene' (Gaffa). In addition, the jewellery workshops that the gallery holds has grown to be the largest of its kind in Australia.

8. Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery

roslyn oxley9, dale frank
Dale Frank - Roslyn Oxley9 (Image Credit: Roslyn Oxley9)

Known for supporting contemporary art, Roslyn Oxley9 have continued to support Australian artists including Tracey Moffatt, David Noonan, Fiona Hall, Patricia Piccinini, Bill Henson and Dale Frank, all whom have become influential. The gallery is widely known for its promotion of young artists and acting as a major platform to exhibit the works of international and established artists.

9. Aboriginal Art Gallery (Opera Quays)

aboriginal art galleries, sydney
Aboriginal Art Galleries (Image Credit: Aboriginal Art Galleries)

Artworks from the Aboriginal Art Gallery derive from Aboriginal Community Art Centres, independent artists and private dealers with the collection consisting of artworks from emerging to renowned artists (both domestically and internationally). Artworks have been displayed internationally, including countries such as the USA, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong. With two locations, Opera Quays and QVB, these galleries present a variety of artworks from crafts, artefacts, paintings to didgeridoos.

10. Stella Downer Fine Art

stella downer fine art
Stella Downer Fine Art (Image Credit: 2danksstreet)

Established in 2011, Stella Downer Fine Art displays 'fifteen contemporary Australian artists who work across many mediums, including painting, works on paper, sculpture, ceramics and mixed media' (Stella Downer Fine Art). The gallery represents all artists, including emerging, mid-career to established artists and have committed to support artworks by showcasing works in populated and rural cities.

1. Art House Gallery (66 McLachlan Ave, Darlinghurst NSW 2010)
2. Artspace Sydney (The Gunnery, 43-51 Cowper Wharf Roadway, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011)
3. White Rabbit Gallery (30 Balfour St, Chippendale NSW 2008)
4. Brett Whiteley Studio (2 Raper St, Surry Hills NSW 2010)
5. S.H Ervin Gallery (2 Watson Rd, Millers Point NSW 2000)
6. Carriageworks (245 Wilson St, Eveleigh NSW 2015)
7. Gaffa (281 Clarence St, Sydney NSW 2000)
8. Roslyn Oxley9 (8 Soudan Ln, Paddington NSW 2021)
9. Aboriginal Art Galleries (Shop 13, 2 East Circular Quay, Opera Quays, Sydney, NSW 2000)
10. Stella Downer Fine Art (2 Danks St, Waterloo NSW 2017)

ALTERNATIVES: Check out Sydney Art Galleries and Art Community's page for an extensive list of Sydney and NSW's art galleries.

TIPS: When visiting the Brett Whiteley Studio, you are NOT allowed to photograph the artworks/objects/furniture.
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Your Comment
I am looking fwd to visit these places! Thank you for highlighting these places
by J.D.Wen (score: 2|368) 1986 days ago
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