Taking art off the walls and into the regions
RACV’s art collection is coming off the walls and into the community to help build connections in Victoria’s regions.
Just as Victorians revive old freedoms and explore the state with fresh eyes, RACV’s art collection is making its first foray into regional Victoria.
RACV is lending works from its collection of Australian contemporary art to a regional gallery for the first time, sharing 20 pieces with Benalla Art Gallery as part of a new exhibition, Re-gathering.
The exhibition is part of RACV’s focus to support regional Victoria and share its contemporary art collection more broadly to help build connections and start conversations.
Recently RACV made the collection accessible to all in digital form, via an online portal launched in August, and is now rolling out a program events, exhibitions and talks to engage regional communities in art.
In Benalla, the local community has been involved from the beginning in shaping the Re-gathering exhibition, which talks to the region’s shared experience of COVID-19.
“It’s using art as a way to express what people went through during the pandemic,” explains RACV’s head of visual arts Mardi Nowak.
In developing the exhibition, the Benalla community shared experiences from their lives in lockdown – what they missed, what they rediscovered, what they learned about themselves. The responses, Mardi says, were touching, at times sad, and heartening.
“This has been a moment in time and it’s a collective moment,” says Mardi. “It’s quite powerful to see others out there experiencing the same thing. It helps to bring us together.”