Blue Mountains News

Beloved Braemar Gallery to reopen after Council restoration project

By Blue Mountains City Council
Posted: 27 Jun 2024
Braemar Galleryboard members Jenny McGowan, Susan Ruming and Laurent Rivory by Adam Wolnicki.
Council is excited to announce the completion of the restoration project at Braemar House and Gallery in Springwood, along with a host of creative plans for the future.

Braemer Gallery will be open to the public from July 25 with the annual volunteer exhibition. This will launch the 2024 program with a diverse group of artists responding to the theme: Spirit of the Blue Mountains.

The gallery will have its official reopening on August 17 as part of Springwood Hubbub, a day-long celebration in partnership with Blue Mountains Theatre and Community Hub that will see free events such as the Love Makers Market, a street art program, book week events, new public art outside Braemar House, food stalls, workshops and more.

After a closure late last year, heritage restoration works began in December 2023, including restoration of the interior cornicework, repair of cracks, minor structural consolidation work, and painting.

Council has also taken this time to improve security and connectivity and refresh the surrounding gardens.

Blue Mountains Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill said the project will help preserve the building’s rich history and ensure Braemar can continue to serve the community for years to come.

“Braemar House and Gallery is both a vibrant part of the Blue Mountains creative and cultural community, and a significant heritage building in Springwood’s history,” Cr Greenhill said.

“As it reopens, we expect diverse and ongoing creative opportunities for everyone, and year-round celebrations of art, artists, and cultural identity.”

In conjunction with the restoration project, sculptor LaurentRivory will install two new works - Tumbling Eagle andThe Defiant - in the front gardens of Braemar House as part of the Public Sculpture Program, replacing his current workTerrae Omnium.

Mr Rivory says the location is a much-loved venue within the local artistic community.

“Braemar Gallery is a gem; a real catalyst for the local artistic community,” Mr Rivory said. “It provides emerging and even established artists the opportunity to exhibit a body of work, something which is so rare outside of the commercial gallery sector.

“Braemar has been instrumental in my development as an artist, and I've really enjoyed being a volunteer there as well.”

As part of Council’s increasing focus on supporting local artists, the refreshed Braemar House also includes the opening of several new creative spaces designed to support artists, writers, producers, and those needing a place to develop their art or creative enterprise.

Due to the heritage nature of Braemar House, the new studios are most suited to writers, digital artists, producers, and creative enterprises whose activities won't impact or alter the Braemar House interior. Council is also working to identify and offer more art studios, workshops, rehearsal rooms, and affordable creative spaces in the coming year.

Built in the late 1880s as a Sydney businessman’s country retreat, Braemar House has served a variety of purposes throughout the years – from guesthouse to doctor’s surgery, to library – before arriving at its current incarnation in 1988 with the opening of Braemar Gallery. It is now a well-loved and visited destination for visual art lovers, and an ongoing way for Council to support the local creative community.  

For updates or to register as a volunteer, go to go to here

 
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