The future of two Southern Downs art collections hangs in the balance with
The future of two Southern Downs art collections hangs in the balance with "immediate" restoration needed on a number of works. FilippoBacci

Region's art hangs in balance, 'immediate' attention needed

TWO prominent Southern Downs galleries have applied for additional funding with artworks needing urgent attention.

Stanthorpe Art Gallery Society president Keith Brownjohn asked the Southern Downs Regional Council to allocate an extra $30,000 from the 2018-19 budget to cover the cost of vital conservation works on several paintings.

One painting in the collection is outlined as being in need of "immediate" conservation and several others require moderate or non-urgent work.

Eight Stanthorpe artworks are currently undergoing restoration that could not be put off any longer.

Mr Brownjohn said conservation and restoration work required skilled expertise.

 

Restoration requires an expert touch.
Restoration requires an expert touch. ilbusca

"It is a very meticulous work, you wouldn't leave it to just anyone."

The art gallery invested $12,000 in the restoration of a $300,000 painting two years ago.

Keeping the gallery's collection of over 900 paintings in good nick was important for the economic and historic benefit of the collection.

"There are still people in Stanthorpe who remember their grandparents donating works to the gallery," Mr Brownjohn said.

Mr Brownjohn said there were up to 30 other paintings that would need attention over the coming years.

 

Philomena and Keith Brownjohn at Stanthorpe Art Gallery.
Philomena and Keith Brownjohn at Stanthorpe Art Gallery. Liana Turner

Councillor Rod Kelly said it was important to protect the cultural heriatge of the Southenrn Downs by preserving art collections.

Warwick Art Gallery also has one major work in need of repair.

The valuable oil painting by esteemed artist Ray Crooke was exposed to excessive light which caused degradation.

It is now wrapped away in a secure condition, awaiting an experts' touch.

"We spent a lot of time trying to find someone who would even do the repair work," Warwick Art Gallery director Karina Devine said.

 

Warwick Art Gallery director Karina Devine said one prominent painting in the Warwick Art Gallery collection needed restoration.
Warwick Art Gallery director Karina Devine said one prominent painting in the Warwick Art Gallery collection needed restoration. Samantha O'Neil

The Warwick Art Gallery has also asked for additional funding

Ms Devine said International Museum Day was an opportunity to appreciate the importance of local cultural institutions.

She was inspired to organise a special event "FIRSTS" to celebrate the occasion.

"I really enjoy hearing people talk about the things that inspire them to create or to work in the cultural sector", said Ms Devine.

The Gallery has invited six local artists, gallery and museum workers to share their "firsts" - first artwork or object that inspired them, first memorable museum or gallery experience as well as their first really successful artwork or project. 

The community are invited to attend this free event on Friday May 18 at 11am. 

This will be followed by a free BBQ and the dedication of the Orange Wall Gallery in memory of Catherin Dunn.


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