Ballarat is lighting up viridescent in preparation for the arrival of this year’s Archibald Prize portraits.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
The Art Gallery of Ballarat has painted its downstairs walls a bright, bold green colour – matching the striking jade promotional posters and blocks that have sprung up across the city.
The colour branding, direct from the Archibald’s home at the Art Gallery of NSW, has taken on a local flavour in Ballarat with the addition of swathes of faux bamboo plants and fun additions to the gallery to enhance the visitor experience, such as a breakout relax and kids’ area.
Gallery designer Ben Cox said he had worked to change the feel of the gallery’s lower level ahead of the Archibald Prize exhibition, which will be installed on Tuesday and Wednesday before it opens to the public on Friday.
“It’s just about creating a fun, fresh, light space to let people relax and enjoy the Archibald and the extended programs,” he said.
Gallery director Gordon Morrison said staff had been busy preparing the exhibition to ensure visitors passed through in as smooth a way as possible.
Staff have built a model of the gallery’s downstairs to plan how the exhibition will be laid out.
“The highest priority is to ensure large numbers of people can move through comfortably and mill around each work. That becomes an issue with very small paintings,” Mr Morrison said.
The works themselves will be dropped off in large air-ride, air-conditioned vehicle before being closely examined by a group of highly-trained registrars to ensure they’ve arrived flawless.
“Our registrars...have got decades of expertise doing that work, eyeballing pieces,” Mr Morrison said.
“They pick up whether there’s been deterioration.”
With a width maximum of three metres, usually the larger Archibald Prize pieces do not travel.
However, because the Art Gallery of Ballarat has enough space, it has made a special agreement with Sydney to host all the pieces.
Mr Morrison said because the Archibald pieces were new, they presented fewer problems than centuries-old work that sometimes moved between galleries and could be extremely fragile.
The Archibald Prize exhibition will run October 14 to November 27 in Ballarat. For more information and tickets, visit www.artgalleryofballarat.com.au
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.