Five Questions with Humble House Gallery and Gallery of Small Things

27 July 2020

Each week on RISE News we’ll be catching up with someone from behind the scenes of some of the listings of the RISE Calendar to gather a insight into the work behind the experiences our great Canberra community are creating.

We check in with both Humble House Gallery and the Gallery of Small Things to find out more about their collaboration on new exhibition – Small and Humble – GOST Group Exhibition.

Tell us more about Small and Humble – GOST Group ExhibitionThe event is a three week exhibition being held at Humble House gallery (HHg) in Fyshwick in collaboration with Gallery of Small Things (GOST). GOST is a small gallery located in Watson and has had several collaborations with other galleries small and large in Canberra and regional NSW. We will host an Artists Talk which will be a free, ticketed event. People can be comfortable knowing there is plenty of space to view artworks safely. They’ll also get to enjoy some homemade delights for afternoon tea. The exhibition is open till Sunday 2 August 2020. It’s located at 93 Wollongong street and open Wednesdays to Sundays, 10am to 4pm. It’s also online 24/7.

Why did you want to create this particular event? The Small and Humble exhibition brings together two very different galleries – in size and purpose. GOST is less than 6 meters square whereas HHg is more than 130 meters square. We created this particular event for GOST artists to make small or larger works and see their artworks curated in a unique setting. GOST invited 9 artists whose works complimented the Chinese setting Humble House gallery offers. From indigenous artworks to copper and ceramic vessels / objects and paintings to printmedia, our artists have responded positively to this event. Both galleries feel that since opening our doors and going virtual we have received incredible support from the Canberra community. A theme we hear from our audiences is that local matters.  Our loyal clientele and new visitors understand that the visual arts has been impacted and we are buoyed by their support of local business and in turn our local arts sector.

What is it about Canberra audiences that made you want to do this? Like most Canberra galleries, we had planned this exhibition almost a year ago. We envisaged an opening with drinks and nibbles and welcoming current and new visitors to Small and Humble. What we hadn’t anticipated was COVID. Both galleries wanted the exhibition to go ahead and more importantly – support our artists – who had been busy making their artworks over a period of time. We couldn’t let them down and agreed to go virtual. GOST had already gone virtual with its first exhibition in April and could now share its experiences with HHg to also go online. At that time we still didn’t know if we could go physical but we prepared for that possibility too. It’s been a difficult time for everyone and we hope that HHg’s large, dedicated space will reassure Canberra audiences that they can still view art in person or online anytime.

What are you most excited about for Small and Humble? Gallery Director Anne Masters is excited about the collaboration with HHg Director Roger Carter as well as the co-curation with HHg Exhibitions Manager Kylie Fogarty. This initiative demonstrates our common interest is in the arts. We want artists to know that we are thinking outside the square to offer them other opportunities, to engage with new audiences and see their artworks in other settings.  

Roger is excited too as it’s a great opportunity to trial a different launch of an art exhibition. Small and Humble was launched online and clients took advantage of staying snug and warm in their home to view the exhibition and buy.

Having the exhibition hanging at HHg means that people can come in. Being such a large space social distancing is easy to maintain. We’ve had lots of new people visit the gallery to see the exhibition and then walk around the museum and showroom.

What would you like to see happen when things return to normal?Humble House recently launched a new, easy to navigate website filled with high quality images of art, antiques and décor pieces. The pandemic has seen the obvious convenience of the internet come to the fore as a place for people to look and buy. We believe this will continue even when life becomes a bit more “normal”. 

It’s encouraging to see more young people come to the gallery as a consequence of finding us online. It’s wonderful to see this upsurge of interest and we believe this trend will continue post-pandemic.

From GOST’s perspective, we are back to normal but it’s a new normal. While our doors are physically open for in person visits, we had to find innovative ways to be virtual and entice our loyal clients. We created a new, online monthly feature promoting a new artist joining GOST. We also created a fortnightly ‘What’s on the shelf, wall or you” so our current artists could showcase new artworks. 

You can find out more about Small and Humble – GOST Group Exhibition  by checking out the listing on the RISE Calendar here.

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