Cover image of the review
Ian Armstrong, Barker's Road, 1969, gouache on paper, 70.5 x 49.5 cm, Town Hall Gallery collection.

Our Place: 20 Years of Town Hall Gallery

9 Dec 2023
Town Hall Gallery 1 Nov - 20 Jan 2024

To celebrate its twentieth birthday, the Town Hall Gallery in Hawthorn is holding the exhibition Our Place—the anniversary providing a good excuse for a greatest hits showing of the gallery’s collection. The “our place” in this instance is the remit of the City of Boroondara that includes Kew, Balwyn, Camberwell, and Hawthorn. That these suburbs are amongst the wealthiest in Melbourne may account for the relative strength of the gallery’s permanent collection.

For the collection we can thank former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett and the machinations of state politics; Kennett’s drastic and controversial amalgamation of councils in 1994 resulted in the combination of formerly separate collections into one. The municipal consolidations also voided the Hawthorn Town Hall of its former purpose, until its reconstitution as a function space and gallery, a further eighteen-million-dollar conversion in 2013 resulting in the Hawthorn Arts Centre. Though Our Place isn’t framed by any explicit historical or chronological explications about the gallery or the local area. Rather, works from the collection are grouped together by three nebulous propositions—people, places, and perspectives.

To read for free enter your email address.

Log in with your registered email address.

Memo can continue to publish free, quality, and independent weekly art criticism with the support of our readers. Consider becoming a Patreon supporter or making a donation.