Art Gallery of Ballarat reveals exciting summer exhibition line-up

Tamara-Bekier-photo-by-Alan-Marini-Courtesy-of-The-Ballarat-TimesArtistic bonds, vibrant dreamscapes, connections to place and First Nations design, the Art Gallery of Ballarat reveals an exciting summer exhibition line-up.

Tamara Bekier: Between Worlds
Explore the captivating artistry of Tamara Bekier in her exhibition Tamara Bekier: Between Worlds, running from 4 November 2023 to 28 January 2024. The Ballarat-based artist, Bekier draws from the contrasts between her native Russia Ukraine and her adopted home, Australia. Inspired by Gustav Klimt, Mark Chagall, and the German Expressionists, her dense and colourful works reflect her tumultuous life during the Second World War as a refugee
in war-torn Europe.

Bekier embarked on her artistic journey at the age of 48, using it as a bridge not only to a new career but to a new way of living in a democratic society. Over nearly 40 years since then, she has held numerous exhibitions, and her work is held in collections nationally. Between Worlds is based on dreamscapes that reflect two parallel worlds – her past and her present.

Whereabouts: Printmakers Respond
Renowned Australian printmaker Rona Green is set to mesmerise art enthusiasts with a new group exhibition – Whereabouts: Printmakers Respond – inviting a cross-section of emerging and established artists from across Victoria to explore their unique connections to place, country, and home. Running from 18 November 2023 – 4 February 2024, this eagerly anticipated exhibition, featuring 56 talented artists, is a celebration of artistic diversity and creative exploration.

Each artist involved in the project has masterfully crafted new work, utilising their chosen printmaking techniques while delving into their personal response to the theme of whereabouts, which refers to ‘the place where someone or something is’.

The roster of participating artists is an impressive compilation of talent, featuring Sue Anderson, Elizabeth Banfield, Matthew Clarke, Paul Compton, Miranda Costa, Fiona Davey, Rachel Derum, Mark Dustin, Grace Eve, Philip Faulks, Kerryn Finch, Kevin Foley, Eleanor Franks, David Frazer, Tyronne Gietzmann, Silvi Glattauer, Jackie Gorring, Gracia Haby and Louise Jennison, Gregory Harrison, Bill Hay, Judy Horacek, Anita Iacovella, Kyoko Imazu, Deborah Klein, Gillian Kline, Anita Laurence, Dianne Longley, Marion Manifold, Cassie May, Aaron McLoughlin, Glenn Morgan, Carnegie Muir, Angela Nagel, James Pasakos, Jim Pavlidis, Catherine Pilgrim, Michael Reynolds, Cathy Ronalds, David Rosengrave, John Ryrie, Gwen Scott, Libby Schreiber, Heather Shimmen, Glen Smith, Ruth Stanton, Neale Stratford, Sophia Szilagyi, Helen Timbury, Clayton Tremlett, Nathan Ward, Peter Ward, Deborah Williams, Joel Wolter, and Jessi Wong.

Layers of Blak
A remarkable exhibition featuring the works of 11 talented Victorian First Nations artists and designers, Layers of Blak stands as a testament to the exceptional talent and creativity within the First Peoples’ artistic community. Running from 9 December 2023 to 10 March 2024, this exhibition is a significant milestone in the ongoing effort to recognise and reclaim space for First Peoples’ design in the broader Australian design landscape.

A highlight of the exhibition is its celebration of the artistic achievements stemming from the second year of the ground-breaking Blak Design program at the Koorie Heritage Trust. As the first program of its kind nationwide, it marks a crucial step in acknowledging and reclaiming space for First Peoples’ design on the broader Australian design stage.

Presented by the KHT in partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria and RMIT University, with generous support from the Ian Potter Foundation, Blak Design aims to foster cultural innovation within the Victorian design sector while providing a platform for nurturing sustainable, collaborative First Peoples’ design practices.

Each artist has created a stunning array of contemporary jewellery, characterised by its complexity and deep-rooted connections to culture, Country, family, and the rich legacy of adornment. These works draw on cultural connections through materials and design, all while embracing innovative and creative approaches to reimagining jewellery.

Featured First Nations artists in the exhibition include Thelma Austin (Gunditjmara), Mandi Barton (Yorta Yorta/Barapa Barapa/Wemba Wemba), Lorraine Brigdale (Yorta Yorta), Nikki Browne (Bidjara), Deanne Gilson (Wadawurrung), Tammy Gilson (Wadawurrung), Elijah Money (Wiradjuri), Yasmin Silveira (Palawa), Sammy Trist (Taungurung), Dominic White (Palawa), and Tracy Wise (Barkindji Ngiyampaa Maligundidj).

Significant Others
Through the Art Gallery of Ballarat’s extensive Collection, Gallery Director Louise Tegart has meticulously curated the connections and bonds of creative couples in the coming exhibition, Significant Others. From 4 November 2023 to 11 February 2024, dive into the intricate world of artistic relationships.

Significant Others goes beyond the conventional notion of partners, shedding light on those who profoundly influence an artist’s journey, whether as parents, mentors, or guiding figures. Discover captivating creative pairs, including Hans Heysen and Nora Heysen, John Brack and Helen Maudsley, Joy Hester and Albert Tucker, Inge King and Graham King, Brent Harris and Andrew Browne, George Lambert and Thea Proctor, and more.

Gallery Director Louise Tegart said that the Gallery’s summer exhibitions were each strong in their own right, and together provided a great offering for visitors. “We have had an amazing year, starting with Beating About the Bush, then our international Pre-Raphaelites exhibition and being the key venue for the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, for which we have six exhibitions on show inside the building as well as on our new outdoor Art Screen,” she said.

“This selection of exhibitions represents different aspects of our programming, showcasing an important senior local artist, an outstanding display of work by Victorian Indigenous artists, an opportunity for 56 Victorian printmakers to work collaboratively.”

“As well as that, this is an opportunity for us to show off our outstanding collection, making links between artworks and artists, celebrating the connections and relationships between them. Our visitor numbers are recovering well after a difficult few years, and we expect this to be a bumper summer,” said Tegart.

The Art Gallery of Ballarat is located at 40 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Tamara Bekier – photo by Alan Marini | Courtesy of The Ballarat Times