Archibald tour breaks records as Bega gallery prepares for intimate new show

EXCITED: Bega Valley regional Gallery volunteer Noah Boot ahead of Friday's midday opening of the Tracey Moffatt exhibition.
EXCITED: Bega Valley regional Gallery volunteer Noah Boot ahead of Friday's midday opening of the Tracey Moffatt exhibition.

The success of the Archibald Prize 2016 tour is set to be followed by an intimate collection of the works of one of Australia’s most successful artists.

Almost 9000 people passed through the gallery doors to soak in the recent Archibald Prize 2016 tour, beating the previous record of 5000 during last year’s Flora Australis exhibition.

“From our research we found just over half were from outside of the shire, and we had bus tours from Melbourne visit here as part of their tour itinerary,” gallery director Iain Dawson said.

“There was a real sense of pride that we were included in the state-wide tour.

“People felt part of it all in a region where we are often forgotten.”

Tracey Moffatt at the Australia Pavilion in Venice. Picture: John Gollings

Tracey Moffatt at the Australia Pavilion in Venice. Picture: John Gollings

Mr Dawson said there are plans for further Archibald exhibitions in the future.

“2021 will mark 100 years of the prize, so it would be interesting to get that one,” he said.

Friday will see the opening of photographs from Australia’s 2017 Venice Biennale representative Tracey Moffat’s Something More, Scarred for Life and Some Lads series.

Mogareeka’s Tim Moorhead, who worked alongside Ms Moffatt in Albury, will be opening the exhibition.

“It will be nice to help celebrate it, and it’s interesting parts of the collection are now part of important collections,” he said.

“Her work was created before digital photography, so there’s a lot of hard work behind the scenes.”

“When you see her short films it is like a stage production.”

He said the exhibition is an example of internationally acclaimed works stemming from regional areas.

“Something that often gets lost in the history is it is a series of work that got her recognition nationally, and it was initiated by a regional centre in Albury,” he said.

He said Ms Moffat’s work reflects on her life as an Indigenous Australian, living in a city environment.

“She is a storyteller,” he said.

“She was very easy to work with.

“There were long hours building sets, take away pizzas and beers over the course of a few weeks.”