Dear Friends of Despard Gallery,
This year we are very proud to be celebrating our 35th anniversary representing contemporary Australian artists and sharing their talents, especially our Tasmanian contingent, through exhibitions, digital publications and our artist video series. We would like to extend our congratulations to all of our artists who contributed to our vibrant exhibition program during the year. The overwhelmingly positive response toward all of these exhibitions reflects the resilience and commitment of our artists.
Reflecting on the year that was, we have hosted ten successful solo and joint exhibitions, as well as curating a major survey show from the estate of Geoff Dyer (1947- 2020). This was a very well received and emotive exhibition, allowing people to reflect on the passion, influence and creative legacy of one of our most treasured contemporary Tasmanian painters. Exhibitions of note include sell-out shows from emerging painters Zoe Grey and Maggie Jeffries. Other notable shows included Patrick Hall, with his first solo exhibition at the gallery in eight years. We extend our congratulations to all of our art prize finalists, including Penny Burnett, finalist in both the Ravenswood Art Prize and the Calleen Art Award 2021, Lorraine Biggs finalist for the Rick Amor Drawing Award and Zoe Grey, finalist for both the Hadley’s Art Prize and the Paddington Art Prize. But a special congratulations must go to Michael Vale who shared the top spot in the Doug Moran Portrait Prize, Australia’s richest art prize.
Continuing through January our ‘Salon’ hung Summer Show shares a diverse selection of new works across multiple mediums and themes from our artist stable. A gallery tradition, this evolving exhibition provides a visual taster of the year to come, as well as introducing some new faces.
We launch our 2022 exhibition program on 2 February with ‘Which Way? (2022)’ a curated exhibition of new works by Rosella Namok, Fiona Omeenyo and Samantha Hobson from Lockhart River. This will include a very special opening event with the three artists travelling down specifically to launch the exhibition and meet with clients. This will be followed by solo shows from Sam Field, Todd Jenkins and later on in the year, Zoe Grey. We will also see joint exhibitions between photographers Micheila Petersfield and Lisa Garland, as well as painter Anthea Boden alongside ceramicist Jeff Mincham. Young Tasmanian painters Harrison Bowe and George Kennedy will also share an exhibition in June. Finally, we are thrilled to be returning to the prestigious Melbourne Art Fair in February with a new body of work by Patrick Hall, recognised as Australia’s most prestigious and longest running art fair.
We would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere thanks for your ongoing support throughout the year and we wish you a safe and happy festive season. We look forward to welcoming you to the gallery in the new year and sharing many more inspiring contemporary artworks and standout exhibitions throughout 2022.
Steven Joyce & Nathan Taylor