Explore the exciting art scene of Goulburn.
These days it is rare to get the opportunity to experience world-class art in an organic way. Most art galleries and museums have collections of an overwhelming size, with works being almost completely dislocated from the context in which they were conceived and created. For those looking to experience art at its source there is a vibrant group of local artists in and around Goulburn who pursue their calling with a passion, and share it with their community in forms both joyful and meaningful.
The Lieder Theatre is the longest-running theatre company in Australia, having formed in 1891. They stage around six shows every year, with a cast made up mostly of some very keen local volunteers. They often put on premieres of scripts by local playwrights or feature original music from local composers.
“It can be a bit isolating making art in regional areas,” explains Chrisjohn Hancock, the Artistic Director at the Lieder Theatre, “you lack the network of fellow artists that exist in the cities.”
To ameliorate their isolation they also collaborate with other groups, having even had the opportunity to perform as the subject of the paintings when the goulburn.art Regional Gallery (GRAG) played host to the Archibald painting prize.
The GRAG, located at the Civic Centre, has a big, bright and airy gallery room to work with.
“It’s such a great space,” says Sally O’Neill, the gallery’s Casual Education Officer, “we can do so much with it.”
It changes its exhibitions frequently, showing a mix of work from regional and national artists. There gallery’s permanent collection is often moved out to make room for these travelling exhibitions.
Running through July and most of August is a GRAG original show entitled Freedom Lies Within, featuring work from Aboriginal artists previously and currently incarcerated in NSW correctional facilities.
“We have had a lot of interest in this exhibition,” Sally says, “but it is a tricky one because a lot of the artists haven’t let their families know they have art works in it.”
Gallery on Track is located right next to the railway line as its name suggests, and has a vast array of art and craft made by locals. There are paintings, pottery, sculpture, leatherwork, knitting and more, all of which is available for purchase.
South Hill Gallery is located two kilometres out of town, and here you will find truly inspirational views of the countryside. It has a permanent exhibition that features many works by the gallery’s benefactor, the late Martin Sharp. It also plays host to regularly changing exhibitions featuring work by both local and renowned Australian artists, including William Yang, Cherry Hood.
There are also a number of venues throughout town that exhibit work by local artists that is available for purchase, including at the Goulburn Club and the restaurant, 98 Chairs, or you can see the work of realist painter Ernest G Twist at his gallery on Sloane Street.
For the musically inclined the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium performs and hosts regular concerts.