Rural Gallery

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Brief

To propose a redesign of a gallery for John Murry, a rural based artist in the mining town of Lightning Ridge in northern New South Wales, whose gallery had been burnt to rubble at the beginning of 2017. We were invited by Murry to propose a design that would serve as a new gallery space but one that would also include the community and their needs.

Interior Visualization of the gallery space. Shows fractured ceiling with light breaks. Murry’s works displayed on the fixed gabion walls and the moving partitions within the gallery space.

Design

Through my gallery proposal I aimed to breech the divide between the gallery and the community through the inclusion of local youth artists having the opportunity to exhibit and the activation of the street space as a communal public area. From experiencing the town, there were no outdoor seating areas in a central location and from discussion with Murry who envisioned an outdoor mural wall and sculpture area, the sculpture garden became a central focus of the design as the link between the gallery space and the town. A key consideration highlighted to focus on within the proposal was that the new construction would not contribute to the industrial rock and rubble waste produced by the mining industry. Creating the garden by excavating into the ground to aid with the summer heat and to create topographical inspired amphitheatre seating, with the rock material being reused in gabion rocks walls for the building and the garden seating. Windows nestled in the thick walls were carefully added to the design, with the deep cuts in the walls creating a visual connection to the outside mural wall while limiting the direct arid sunlight from entering the space. By the entrance to the gallery there is a coffee and gift shop area before the space opens up into the main gallery, featuring a collection of movable partitions that can be stacked away, flush against the walls or can be arranged freely within the space for the changing gallery displays. The flexibility of the space was crucial as it allows for accommodating with ease to changing exhibits, a key consideration with the inclusion of local youth artists.