A shiny sculptural piece made from jet-black irrigation piping, a leather toaster, a quilt featuring a unicorn, and a leopard-print overcoat are just some of the remarkable items from Ararat Gallery TAMA’s permanent collection that will be on display as part of its newest exhibition.
The Digitisation Project – Behind the Scenes, includes pieces that were chosen by the 10 staff members who worked on a recent Creative Victoria project to digitally photograph around 900 pieces from the Gallery’s permanent collection.
Ararat Rural City Council CEO Dr Tim Harrison said the exhibition included the staff members’ favourite pieces, and would give the public an idea of just how diverse the Gallery’s collection is.
“The exhibition includes pieces from the Grimwade Collection, including the overcoat, and also photographs that show the process behind the digitisation project, which will give the public insight into how it all rolled out,” he said.
“It was a fascinating project to work on – Gallery staff members really enjoyed the process and learnt a lot, from how to handle the pieces to how to preserve and protect textiles.”
The digitisation project aims to make the Gallery’s highly valued collection more accessible to the community by photographing collection pieces.
Ararat Gallery TAMA was selected to take part in the pilot project, which will see the images uploaded to the Victorian Collections’ website for easier access to researchers, teachers and the general public.
TAMA was the first Victorian regional gallery to undertake the project, which took place in April and early May. The project was a partnership between Creative Victoria, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Public Galleries Association, with the possibility of it being rolled out to other regional galleries in the future.
Dr Harrison said that TAMA had National Gallery of Victoria Head of Conservation Michael Varcoe-Cocks and Coordinating Conservator MaryJo Lelyveld visit to view the project in action.
Dr Harrison said school groups had also watched the project unfold, and talks about collection management and preservation took place.
“During the project the gallery team, including photographer Michelle Dunn, worked diligently, carefully bringing out the collection items, setting up the correct lighting and then photographing each of them,” he said.
“The team got to see the majority of the items in the collection and this new exhibition is a selection of their favourite pieces. We hope the exhibition will help curb people’s curiosity until they can see all the images uploaded to the Victorian Collections’ website later in the year.”
The exhibition will be open until October 27.
Image above: one of the items from The Digitisation Project – Behind the Scenes exhibition, Covering Ground 2012, by Lucy Irvine, which is made from black irrigation piping.