Digitisation of Art Gallery collection underway

Horsham Regional Art Gallery (HRAG) is significantly closer to seeing its collection digitised, thanks to a Victorian Government six-month Work for Victoria placement in collaboration with Australian Museums and Galleries Association Victoria (AMAGA).

Ben Plunkett, working with the gallery team in the role as a support officer, has worked with the nearly 2500 images of the gallery’s collection to make final edits and catalogue the images.

Ben brings his own knowledge of digital photography to the role, but has also learnt new techniques through his involvement in the project, including batch processing of images.

The gallery’s Collection Digitisation Project started in 2020 with the support of Creative Victoria to see the Gallery collection made accessible online.

This first phase included high resolution scanning or photographing of the photographs, paintings and sculptural artworks. Through Ben’s work in this second phase of the project the gallery is now close to having a full suite of quality images of their collection to use for research and promotion.

Working through the digital images, Ben has been up close with the full HRAG collection which includes works by notable Australian artists Rupert Bunny, Brett Whitely, John Longstaff, Sidney Nolan and photographers Carol Jerrems, Max Dupain, David Moore, Christian Thompson and Tracey Moffatt.

Of all the works he has got to know over the course of the project, Ben’s favourite is an artist’s self-portrait by Australian photographer Polixeni Papapetrou titled ‘I am camera‘.

“It looks magic,” he says.

Currently Ben is working on the next stages of the project, which include securing digital image copyright, gathering information about a selection of artists and their artwork and web page design.

Ben’s important work brings the gallery much closer to having a digital showcase of HRAG’s collection of Australian Photography, artworks of the Wimmera and its artists and the Mack Jost Collection of Australian Painting publicly accessible online.

Ben’s role continues to the end of July.

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