We thought our last poll was hotly contested but nothing quite prepared us for the intensity of voting this time around. Like the well-oiled and highly disciplined Labor Party machine The Australian Centre for Photography won a decisive victory in our latest poll asking what is the Most Influential Public Gallery in Sydney? Despite a concerted effort from Hazelhurst Regional Gallery , there was no stopping Alasdair Foster‘s fanatical followers. Artspace made a respectable but distant third:
Most Influential Public Gallery in Sydney?
Australian Centre for Photography 41% 308
Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre 1% 5
Artspace 7% 52
Carriage Works 0% 3
Hazelhurst Regional Gallery 33% 247
Penrith Regional Gallery & LB 1% 4
Mosman Art Gallery 0% 1
Performance Space 1% 7
Art Gallery of NSW 4% 31
Museum of Contemporary Art 6% 45
Wollongong City Gallery 0% 3
Gosford Regional Gallery 1% 9
Another gallery 4% 28
743 votes total
Two side issues came up during voting. One was that we had spelled Wollongong ‘Woollongong’. Apologies to all. We were also reminded that we had somehow forgotten to include one of the newest [and they claim] ‘best’ regional galleries in the poll – Hawkesbury Regional Gallery. We’ll consider the “another gallery” as a vote for Hawkesbury.
Our new poll – The Most Important Artist Run Space of All Time – requires some knowledge of ARI’s past. To make our selection we’ve included artist squats and venues that held exhibitions and other art events on a semi-regular basis alongside what we now call an “artist run gallery” – making an open but distinct field. The other distinction was that the ARIs had to no longer exist but who shaped a generation and perhaps even still wield some influence – so that rules out Firstdraft. Happy voting.