The remarkable Australian artist Brett Whiteley bought his warehouse in Surry Hills in 1985. He converted it with his wife, Wendy Whiteley, into a studio and exhibition space, where he then worked and lived until his death in 1992. The space has since been opened up as a public museum, paying homage to his extraordinary life and works. A visit to his studio is an opportunity to experience the artist’s way of working, with his paintings, materials, books, objects and graffiti all remaining in the space.
Now, on the 20th anniversary of Whiteley’s studio, the Art Gallery of New South Wales will become its official owner.
“We are hugely honoured to officially welcome the Brett Whiteley studio as part of the gallery and are greatly appreciative of the extraordinarily generous support of Wendy Whiteley,” says AGNSW director Michael Brand. “Brett was a creative force like no other in Australia, and this makes the studio a tremendously special place for our local and national arts community.”
The gallery is holding a free open day this Saturday to celebrate two decades of the artist’s workspace and Whiteley’s contribution to the Australian art world. The day begins at 10am and will include live music, food and drinks and discussions. The speakers include Wendy Whiteley, the Australian contemporary artist Ben Quilty, AGNSW head curator of Australian art Wayne Tunnicliffe and Lou Klepac (the author of Brett Whiteley: drawings). It will be a chance to peek into Whiteley’s world as never before.
Brett Whiteley Studio 20th-Anniversary Open Day is happening this Saturday February 21 from 10am–4pm at Brett Whitely Studio, 2 Raper Street, Surry Hills.