I am always looking out for new experiences, wherever I may find myself.
Published May 11th 2015
Ken Done paints very Australian scenes, which is a fitting choice of subject if you're going to have a gallery in The Rocks. His space is located on the first floor of the Australian Steam Navigation Building on Hickson Road, and has been open for over twenty years.
The heritage of the building is retained inside but the walls are still as white as any other gallery, which is perfect for Done's works, which are full of very vibrant colours. The exhibitions change regularly, but when I visited the works on display were images of Sydney harbour and underwater scenes, such as reefs.
I don't presume to know anything about art (I'm writing this article in more of a just-so-you-know-it's-there kind of spirit) so I can't pass judgement on the quality of his work, but I would describe it as colourful images of Australia painted in a way that I felt I could easily replicate.
The style resonates with visitors to this area though, which allowed Done to become a full-time artist at 40 (after holding other creative positions). His work has also been displayed in the Archibald, Sulman, Wynne, Blake, and Dobell Prizes, and exhibitions have been held on four different continents.
The Ken Done Gallery is open every day, from 10.00am to 5.30pm. Not all of it is an exhibition space; one room is a shop, where you can get all sorts of items with his images printed on them, like posters, scarves, t-shirts and more.
If you're interested in souvenirs, The Rocks Markets, held on Saturdays and Sundays, are another option. As for other art galleries, the Museum of Contemporary Art is the biggest one in the area, but not far away there is also one of Sydney's other leading contemporary galleries, the Billich Art Gallery, hosting work by Charles Billich. For a history of area you'll see a lot in Done's work, go the Discovery Museum, or for just somewhere to see the sights yourself, try Dawes Point Park for the harbour and the Nurse's Walk for the urban side of The Rocks.