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Art & About – Framed Gallery

After 33 years of operation, Darwin’s Framed Gallery is set to close its doors at the end of this year. Off The Leash had a chat with gallery owner Anne Phelan ahead of their final exhibition, Reflections.

How did Framed Gallery start?

I became the accidental owner of the gallery in 1985 when I loaned some money to a picture framer who came to start up in Darwin. When he suddenly left town I had to hurriedly learn how to run a business! Before that I had been a teacher for 25 years.

What drove you to keep the gallery going?

I have always admired the hand made. Artists and craftsmen of Australia need outlets for their work, so providing this opportunity became my creed.

Why are you closing down?

We are reluctantly closing as my partner and I are turning 80 and 77 respectively. We both suffer with deteriorating eyesight so it has simply become too difficult to continue. Darwin will remain our home, and we will continue our standing invitation to visiting artists to avail themselves of free accommodation, so we are not totally separating from the art fraternity.

What will happen to Framed’s extensive collection?

Over the next three months, where permitted by the artist, we are hoping to sell the artworks at reduced prices.

What have been the highlights over the past 33 years?

There have been many including 100 Years of Australian Art, showing work by Arthur Streeton, John Perceval, Charles Blackman, Arthur Boyd and Sidney Nolan in 1994; Bukmak Galiwinku, a collaborative workshop and exhibition between artists in Galiwinku and Sydney in 2004; and the popular exhibition of John Lennon’s drawings in 2008. We have exhibited 300 Australian artists from interstate and have held 260 exhibitions featuring NT artists. For me, Framed’s highlights have extended beyond exhibitions to a variety of workshops and classes, interstate and overseas promotions and other art services including assisting with the design and production of awards like the Brolga and Triple Crown Awards, and a Law Courts Crest that had to be created from local materials – buffalo horn, ironwood and pearl shell! 

Reflections | Fri 17 Nov – Sat 9 Dec | Opening Fri 17 Nov, 7pm | Framed Gallery

See the event listing. 

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