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About Aboriginal Exhibitions Gallery at Rutherglen Estates

Aboriginal Exhibitions Gallery at Rutherglen Estates is a unique joint venture between Rutherglen Estates winery and fine Aboriginal art gallery Aboriginal Exhibitions Pty Ltd, operated by Director and art collector Hans Sip.

Through the joint venture Rutherglen Estates gains access to the entire Hans Sip collection of Aboriginal art and artefacts comprising over six hundred pieces. Collected works include paintings and artefacts from: Victoria; Cape York and Arnhem Land, NT; Northern Queensland; Kimberley and Fitzroy River, WA; Central and Western Deserts; Tiwi Islands and South Australia.

Representing a broad and mostly contemporary view of Australian Aboriginal art, the collection offers a visually powerful experience. Significant cultural works convey ancestral stories and depict large scale maps of Country together with sacred sites. As the pieces have been sourced from many parts of Australia they clearly demonstrate the richness and diversity of Aboriginal art and culture.

      

Craig Charles Sacred Tree of Knowledge, 2008
158 x 192cm, Acrylic on linen

About Gallery Curator Jamie Durrant

Aboriginal Exhibitions Gallery at Rutherglen Estates aims to present sensitively curated exhibitions that celebrate and respectfully acknowledge Australian aboriginal people, their lands, sacred sights, tribal and family groups and collective nations and cultures. Each exhibition will include appropriate written information explaining the artist’s works in cases where the information is deemed ‘non private’ and approved for publishing. This will allow the gallery to offer a strong educational message and a constructive cultural learning experience, directly relating to artists’ homelands, sacred sights, tribal laws and cultural activities. Quarterly exhibitions will be curated by Jamie Durrant; locally well known for his photographic arts and culture-based Australian publishing business Essentials Magazine.

Jamie Durrant is the son of prolific photorealist Australian painter Ivan Durrant. Since birth he has been surrounded by art, artists, exhibitions and industry professionals. In recent years he has curated aboriginal exhibitions for The Benalla Art Gallery; also aiding the gallery in marketing services.

In 2010 he photographed and help to collate more than 350 aboriginal art works for the international touring exhibition and published book: Dreamtime – Lo Spirito Dell’Arte Aborigena. This joint Australian and Sardinian project culminated in the largest non commercial exhibition of Australian Aboriginal art works and cultural items to be shown in a foreign museum. It was shown at MAN Museum, Nuoro Sardinia, Italy during 2011 in two parts over a six months period. Over three hundred items were donated to the show by Hans Sip and many of the exhibits are now available for sale from Aboriginal Exhibitions at Rutherglen Estates.

Over the past 11 years, Durrant has edited more than 180 articles on Australian and international art, published within Essentials Magazine. He is an Aboriginal art collector in his own right and has a personal and very passionate connection to the paintings and the messages that they represent. He has a respectful view towards both the learning of, and sharing of Australian Aboriginal culture and tribal customs.

In 2016 Durrant initiated the concept of Aboriginal Exhibitions Gallery at Rutherglen Estates, connecting the Directors of Rutherglen Estates winery with art collector Hans Sip (owner of Aboriginal Exhibitions Pty Ltd). Durrant acted as a representative bridge between the two parties. Over a series of creative meetings a joint venture agreement was reached and entered into enabling the partners to begin design and construction. The end result is destined to become a must-visit gallery for both domestic and international visitors, bringing greater numbers overall to the tourist regions of The Murray and High Country Victoria.

Maureen Thomson, Hunting Land, 2003
55 x 117cm, Acrylic on canvas

About the Hans Sip Collection

Hans has been an art collector for most of his life, his journey starting with the collecting of early Chinese ceramics and wood carvings from his mid teens. While always holding an interest in Australian Aboriginal art and culture, serious collecting in that area did not commence until he met artist Clifford Possum in 1996. The first work purchased was by Clifford who is Australia’s best known and highly priced artist with his Warlugulong work purchased by the National Gallery of Australia at for $2,400,000. The Sip collection now holds nine Clifford paintings. Clifford’s daughter Gabriella soon followed with a growing number of works purchased by Hans building his collection and in turn leading to an enduring friendship. In 1999 a series of limited edition serigraphs on canvas were produced based on three paintings commissioned by Hans and painted by Gabriella. The large scale works are the same size as the originals and represent a ‘tour de force’ of silk screen printing.

From 2000 onward Hans has represented Northern Queensland artists Luke Cummins, his brother John, Billy Doolan and Russell Butler through his company Aboriginal Exhibitions Pty Ltd. Fitzroy Crossing, WA artist Jack Macale and Ngukurr, NT artist Wendy Espie are also represented by Hans. Sustained financial support given to Victorian artists Trevor ‘Turbo’ Brown and Craig Charles led to substantial holdings of their works by Aboriginal Exhibitions Pty Ltd.

Institutions such as the Queensland Art Gallery have long drawn from Aboriginal Exhibitions’s rich cultural resource. In 2003 works were loaned to QAG for their landmark exhibition Story Place – Indigenous Art of Cape York and the Rainforest. In 2011 over 300 items were loaned to MAN Museum, Nuoro, Sardinia, Italy for the Dreamtime – Lo Spirito Dell’Arte Aborigena exhibition and this was followed in 2013 by Turbo Brown’s All Animals Running Free exhibition at the Benalla Art Gallery, curated by Jamie Durrant. The Bright Art Gallery of which Hans is a life member has had multiple exhibitions with pieces drawn from the private collection of Hans; the most recent exhibition being: Turbo featuring the works of Turbo Brown, in 2014. Three of Turbo Brown’s paintings have recently been donated by Hans to the NGV from his private collection. Hans Sip is a Foundation Member of the National Gallery of Victoria.

Faith Thompson Nelson, Coming of the Wet, 2004
53.5 x 145cm, Acrylic on canvas