23 October 2020

The National Gallery re-awakens with a new Art Store and Know My Name

| Sharon Kelley
Art Store at the NGA

The new renovated and extended Art Store at the National Gallery of Australia. Photo: Supplied.

The National Gallery of Australia is reawakening from a lockdown slumber, with a renovated visitors’ hub, a new Art Store, the reopening of the Street Cafe, and a new exhibition, Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now, opening on 14 November.

Presented in two parts over the course of a year, Know My Name will showcase art made by women, with some 400 works on display as part of an initiative by the Gallery to increase the representation of female artists.

Major renovation works to the foyer include a new Art Store, which has a range of products available connected with the collection and the exhibition. The Art Store will stock a variety of books, local hand-crafted jewellery, and well-known ceramics and exclusive Blue poles-inspired chocolates.

Exclusive Know My Name collaborations include limited editions of a specially distilled gin by Archie Rose which will be available online, ceramics by Mud Australia, and a tote bag by Bonnie & Neil, which are available in the Art Store. The Art Store will also stock baskets, sculptures and other goods by the Tjanpi Desert Weavers, who have created a large-scale piece that will feature in the first part of the Know My Name exhibition.

The new visitor hub includes self-cloaking services, phone charging points, a seating area, member services and the ticket office. The Street Cafe has also re-opened.

Ceramics in the Art Store

A wide range of ceramics and products are for sale in the Art Store. Photo: Supplied.

Postponed from its original May opening due to the pandemic, the Know My Name exhibition benefited from the extra planning time, which was used to expand the range on show.

Know My Name is part of a global movement to increase the representation of women artists and builds on the work of groups supporting gender equity cross the arts including Countess, Shiela Foundation and the #5WomenArtists campaign by the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC.

Curator of Australian Art Deborah Hart said the exhibition rewrites the narrative around art in Australia.

“This exhibition aspires to make the art of women better known in the wider community, and to counter the dominance of historical displays emphasising men,” Ms Hart said.

“Given the number of significant women artists past and present, this exhibition can only be partial; it is not an endpoint or separate from other endeavours, rather it is part of a continuum and an ongoing reassessment.”

Members of the National Gallery receive a discount of 10 per cent on the entire range of items in the Art Store, including the Know My Name range of merchandise.

Tickets for the Know My Name exhibition are free, and bookings can be made online. Timed entry is available for the exhibition, with sessions commencing at 10:00 am daily, for two hours, with entry to the final session of the day at 4:00 pm.

Original Article published by Sharon Kelley on The RiotACT.

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