Since Brett Adlington last wrote, the old building that served as the Lismore Regional Gallery for the past 62 years, closed its doors in February…
It was with a mixture of sadness, nostalgia and excitement, a crowd gathered to bid farewell to a space that has captured the minds and imaginations of visitors for decades.
To mark this, we asked our visitors to share their thoughts and memories of this gallery, which we have been sharing on social media via #lrgmemories
While we have been closed to the public, work continues frantically behind closed doors. Our extensive library has been pulled from the shelves, with decade’s worth of items being sorted into a multitude of piles. When we move, this library will be available to visitors to view, along with a searchable catalogue of items for the very first time.
The other big job is assessing our permanent collection. The Gallery has close to 1,000 works in its permanent collection. The layout of the old gallery means that staff can not properly access works in the collection while we were open to the public. So it really only left Mondays as a day in which were able to pull all the works out from our collection store and to place through our upper story so that we could then access the painting racks or plan drawers.
Being closed to public is allowing us to pull everything out from storage, do a condition check, photograph it, and document it on the collection database. This is a slow and methodical job, but one we only really get one opportunity to do properly before we move to the new building, sometime around June. We then expect to open to the public in September.
For those that have been in to the Lismore CBD lately, they would have noticed dramatic changes at our new home. The bulk of the exterior work (apart from landscaping) is now close to completion. On the northern side of the building you will see an extension to the original C Block, containing storage, loading dock, toilets, lifts and stairs, corridors, and a large undercover event space. The southern side, facing the Lismore Library and newly created Lismore Quadrangle, has a large external awning, and a second level glass corridor that links gallery spaces, and has views across the Quad.
Inside the building is also quickly taking shape; with ceilings, wall finishes and glazing giving a very clear picture of what we will soon be working with. People keep saying to me – “You won’t know yourselves” – when we are in the building. And as the reality of this project is more and more sinking in, I’m really beginning to feel the truth in that statement.