The gallery plays an important role in acquiring, managing, interpreting and presenting works of art for both residents and visitors to the region.
In 2015 and 2016, the gallery acquired over 50 new artworks, which included works on paper, photographic and sculptural works. The artists who have generously gifted works over this period include Aaron Bellette, Ian Burns, Adam Geczy, Janet Laurence, Brett McMahon, Sherna Teperson, and Judy Watson. Artworks were also acquired through the generosity of the Lake Macquarie Art Gallery Society and private individuals, who have either donated or gifted works.
A number of these new acquisitions have already been exhibited in the gallery’s 2016 program. Brett McMahon’s suite, After nature (2013), donated by the Art Gallery Society, was shown as part of the exhibition Your Collection: presence and absence, while Janet Laurence’s work Memory Fall/Natural and Unnatural Histories (2004), and Ian Burns’ multi-dimensional work Step (2014), both gifted by the artists, were shown as part of the gallery’s exhibition Your Collection: off the wall. In the years ahead, these and the other new acquisitions will play an important role in the cultural life of the region through inclusion in future gallery-curated projects.
In 2010, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Works on Paper subcollection was formally established. Alongside important works by Jonathan Jones: untitled (white poles) 1–3 (2004) purchased by the gallery, and Untitled (salt) 6 (2010) donated by the Art Gallery Society, the gallery has recently acquired 21 works by Judy Watson. Generously donated by the Gallery Society, under the act (2007) is an artist book comprised of 20 etchings exploring the history of the artist’s family as it has been lived under colonialism. heron island suite (2009), gifted by the artist, is a series of 20 beautiful and engaging printworks exploring the impact of global warming and pollution on the Great Barrier Reef.
The gallery continues to develop its collection through purchases with funds raised by the Lake Macquarie Art Gallery Society, and tax incentives through the Cultural Gifts Program. We are also looking forward to further acquisitions from the generous and supportive members of our gallery society who work together to raise money for the collection.