RACV launches gallery of contemporary art online

Living Well | Sue Hewitt | Posted on 27 August 2020

More than 1000 pieces of contemporary art are on display at RACV’s new online gallery.

RACV’s extensive contemporary art collection will be accessible to all Victorians for the first time through a new online database designed to encourage connection and conversation through art. The collection, which includes more than 1000 works, was previously accessible only to people visiting RACV properties. 

William Breen, Picnic Road, 2010, oil on canvas, 101.5 x 137cm. Courtesy William Breen, photographer Jeremy Dillon. RACV Art Collection

William Breen, Picnic Road, 2010, oil on canvas, 101.5 x 137cm. Courtesy William Breen, photographer Jeremy Dillon. RACV Art Collection.


RACV’s head of visual arts, Mardi Nowak, says the new online collection provides a valuable avenue in these times of isolation for people to discover new artists, learn about art and curate their own selections. 

She says the collection will also help connect communities and reach regional centres through art by providing online access.  

“The great thing about art is that it brings people together and helps us make sense of the world, which has never been more important than right now,” says Mardi. “At RACV we value the role art plays in connecting communities, and its ability to foster social cohesion across all ages, backgrounds and cultures. That’s why we’re thrilled to be able to bring the RACV art collection to the wider public for the first time.” 

Established in 2003, with the aim of supporting living Australian artists, RACV’s art collection includes Archibald Prize winners and finalists including works by Euan Macleod, Del Kathryn Barton and Nicholas Harding, as well as works by more than 80 Indigenous artists such as Mark Nodea. 

The online collection will allow easy access to images of each of the works, alongside detailed background information on the artists with additional curatorial remarks by Mardi and RACV’s in-house curator Ellen Wignell, to provide a deeper understanding of the art. 

“For the Indigenous works we have added language groups allowing people to see the area those artists are from and their other works in the collection,” says Mardi. “It’s a wonderful introduction to our strong Indigenous art collection.” 

Mardi says while some people may expect the collection to have a heavy focus on cars, there are very few works featuring vehicles. “More likely, viewers will be taken on a journey through various landscapes, real and imagined, and be inspired by moments of quiet contemplation and discovery.” 

Mark Nodea (Gija), My Mother’s Country, 2019, natural ochre and pigments on canvas, 90 x 120cm. Courtesy the artist and Warmun Art Centre, photography Christian Capurro. RACV Art Collection
Narelle Autio, Entropy, 2006, c type print, 82 x 110cm. Courtesy the artist and Hugo Michell Gallery, photographer Christian Capurro. RACV Art Collection

Left: Mark Nodea (Gija), My Mother’s Country, 2019, natural ochre and pigments on canvas, 90 x 120cm. Courtesy the artist and Warmun Art Centre, photography Christian Capurro. Right: Narelle Autio, Entropy, 2006, c type print, 82 x 110cm. Courtesy the artist and Hugo Michell Gallery, photographer Christian Capurro. RACV Art Collection.


 

RACV established a dedicated visual arts team in 2019 to enhance engagement between its arts collection and RACV’s members and Victorian communities.

She says the new online collection not only provides a resource for art lovers, researchers, students, educational institutes and other art galleries, it also allows all Victorians to experience the depth of a collection normally only seen at RACV resorts and properties.

To view the online gallery and learn more about RACV’s art collection, visit  racvracv.com.au/racv-art-collection.


 
Watch Mardi in conversation with artist Kristen Berg talking about her current exhibition at Benalla Art Gallery, Still in Love with the World. It's part of the Amplify series - a new collaboration between RACV and MPavillion to enable meaningful connections and conversations through art. 


More about the art:

Top, hero

Painting of light by William Breen 
Picnic Road, 2010,
Oil on canvas,
Picture: Courtesy of the artist.
William is a painter of light who builds movement, atmosphere and colour through soft veils of oil, cementing his position as a contemporary master painter.

Above, left

Indigenous, Mark Nodea 
My Mother’s Country, 2019 
Natural ochre and pigments on canvas.
Language group: Gija.
Picture: Courtesy of the artist and Warmun Art Centre.
Mark’s works are bold, minimal and deep in character. They transform the oral histories of his Gija country and contemporary environment to share a striking personal imagery. 

Above, right

Photography, Narelle Autio 
Entropy, 2006
C type print. 
Picture: Courtesy the artist and Hugo Michell Gallery.
Narelle’s vibrant, award-winning images of Australian coastal life have won her impressive national and international acclaim.