Sarah Scout opened in July 2009 with a solo exhibition titled The Blue Hour by Melbourne-based artist Kate Daw. The work – a mixture of sculpture and works on canvas – was accompanied by artist John Meade’s creative catalogue essay titled Things we know we know. The Blue Hour set the tone of the gallery nicely: Sarah Scout represents a stable of significant Melbourne-based artists, most of whom have a strong academic practice. So far, the exhibition program has given individual artists the opportunity to present new work across the two gallery spaces. The exhibitions have carefully straddled the line between being conceptual and saleable – for example, Andrea Tu’s Black Flux featured abstract paintings as well as a more ephemeral sculpture of black sand and paper in the centre of the main gallery.
That said, the gallery’s commercial status seems secondary to its undertaking to support interesting and accomplished artists. Directors Kate Barber and Vikki McInnes both have significant experience in the contemporary arts sector, here and overseas. McInnes is currently the director of Margaret Lawrence Gallery, the Victorian College of the Art’s main gallery space, and many of the artists now represented by Sarah Scout have exhibited there over the course of their careers.