Melbourne’s Alcaston Gallery: A Hub for Australian and Asia-Pacific Artists

Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia | © Mat Connolley/WikiCommons
Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia | © Mat Connolley/WikiCommons
Situated amidst the cafés and shops of hipster hub Fitzroy, Alcaston Gallery showcases the work of emerging and established contemporary artists from Australia and the Asia-Pacific Region. Established in 1989, the gallery also represents the work of Indigenous Australians. At the helm is director Beverly Knight, who is a foremost expert on Australian Indigenous art and works directly with Aboriginal communities.

The executive director

As the executive director of Alcaston Gallery, Beverly Knight not only assists in curating exhibitions, but she also cultivates relationships with artists, including those from remote Australian Indigenous communities, in order to pave passageways so that they can find artistic recognition and financial independence. Beverly Knight is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a patron of Bindi Inc./Mwerre Anthurre Artists, which was established over 20 years ago in Alice Springs to support those with a disability.

The eco-friendly ethos

Alcaston Gallery has taken the initiative to become more environmentally friendly by implementing a project called ‘Greening the Gallery’. The project aims to conserve natural resources and reduce carbon emissions. To do this, the gallery recycles and reuses as many materials as possible, including printer cartridges, and also features a rainwater tank with a capacity of 3,000 litres and utilises low voltage lighting. Each night, all lighting and electrical equipment are switched off, with the exception of security lights. The art space also encourages clients and staff to be environmentally friendly, and staff often take public transport, car pool or walk to work.

The artists represented

Represented artists at Alcaston Gallery include contemporary artists Sally Gabori and Naomi Hobson, painters David Frank, Claudia Moodoonuthi, Pedro Wonaeamirri, Ray Ken, Mick Wikilyiri, Hector Tjupuru Burton, Ginger Riley Munduwalawala and Birrmuyingathi Maali Netta Loogatha. There is also photographer Greg Semu from New Zealand, Gary Lee, British photographer Dena Ashbolt and Indian photographer Amit Mehra. Sculptors and ceramicist Dean Smith, Emily Ngarnal Evans, Judy Holding and the Hermannsburg Potters are also featured in the gallery, along with bark painter Nonggirrnga Marawili, Melbourne-based painter, performance and multimedia artist Jaye Early, visual artist Angela Tiatia and installation artist Selby Ginn.