Dale Harding working on his commission Wall Composition in Reckitts Blue 2017 onsite at the Queensland Art Gallery, 2017 / Photographs: Chloe Callistemon, QAGOMA
Dale Harding working on his commission Wall Composition in Reckitts Blue 2017 onsite at the Queensland Art Gallery, 2017 / Photographs: Chloe Callistemon, QAGOMA

$100K donated for Rockhampton Museum of Art Commission

Global economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19 is being felt in most sectors of the community, including charitable gifts and donations, but Rockhampton Art Gallery Philanthropy Board is bucking the trend.

It has announced that one of its fundraising projects has raised $100,000 in the inaugural Commissioning Collective for Rockhampton Museum of Art.

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Internationally acclaimed Aboriginal artist Dale Harding will create a landmark artwork to be unveiled at the opening of Rockhampton Museum of Art in 2021 thanks to a $100,000 fundraising project by Rockhampton Art Gallery Philanthropy Board.

The fundraising project, Commissioning Collective 2021: Dale Harding, reached its target in just five months with donations from 20 donors.

Dale Harding is an internationally acclaimed artist and a descendant of the Bidjara, Ghungalu and Garingbal peoples of Central and Western Queensland. He has gained recognition for works that examine the political and social histories of his family and community.

Dale Harding working on his commission Wall Composition in Reckitts Blue 2017 onsite at the Queensland Art Gallery, 2017 / Photographs: Chloe Callistemon, QAGOMA
Dale Harding working on his commission Wall Composition in Reckitts Blue 2017 onsite at the Queensland Art Gallery, 2017 / Photographs: Chloe Callistemon, QAGOMA

In the commission, Harding will create a work that specifically responds to the architecture of Rockhampton Museum of Art.

Rockhampton Regional Council Community Services Portfolio spokesperson Councillor Drew Wickerson thanked the donors for their contributions.

“This commission would not be possible without the generosity of the 20 donors, each of whom are visionaries and leaders. Their philanthropy will bring this major artwork to life,” he said.

“In these unique and economically uncertain times of COVID-19, with people and businesses tightening their belts, I am humbled and proud of these donors for their support of their community and region and of the Rockhampton Museum of Art.”

“Rockhampton Art Gallery has its founding in philanthropy. In the 1970s the city and region came together to raise 10s of thousands of dollars in order to develop an art collection. Five decades on, philanthropy and giving still runs in the veins of Rockhampton Art Gallery and its donors and supporters.”

Rockhampton Art Gallery Philanthropy Board Chair Dr Leonie Gray said the opening of Rockhampton Museum of Art will present a unique opportunity for our community to recognise, acknowledge and value the rich and powerful history of the Australian First Nations people.

“As we welcome the next iteration of our Art Gallery, Rockhampton Museum of Art, we do so on the land of Darumbal peoples. This commission seeks to acknowledge place and Country on which Rockhampton Museum of Art is sited,” she said.

“In commissioning this work, we are opening the conversation for people living in our community to have deeper and alternative experiences of Australian Aboriginal culture and their histories.”

DONORS to Commissioning Collective 2021: Dale Harding

  • Dr Robin Bade and Prof. Michael Parkin
  • Dr. Christine and Dr. David Campbell
  • Conrad Gargett and Clare Design and Brian Hooper Architect
  • City Printing Works: Eric Anderson and Warwick Anderson
  • Emeritus Professor Debbie Clayton
  • Steven and Meghan Deaves
  • Every Blooming Thing Florist: Dr. Julie Willans
  • GALA Gallery: Tracey and Billy-Joe Siddins
  • Howard Smith and Gail Godwin Smith
  • Ian Weigh Motors Pty Ltd: Mr. Ian & Mrs. Cathie Weigh
  • Janice and Roger Labbett
  • Mater Private Hospital Rockhampton
  • Dr Evan Matthews and Kim Matthews
  • Moore Eyes: Tom and Fiona Moore
  • Jaime Parnell Clinical Psychologist: Ms Jaime Parnell
  • Fiona and Ben Poschelk
  • Terry White Chemmart Day and Night: Kylie Becker
  • The Cassidy Hospitality Group: Grant Cassidy OAM and Rebecca Cassidy
  • Woollam Constructions


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