The Brett Whiteley Studio in Surry Hills Turns 20

For those hoping to gain greater familiarity with the Sydney arts scene, here’s a story for you: This week, the Brett Whiteley Studio in Surry Hills will celebrate twenty years of being open to the public. The property and former arts space had been bequeathed to the New South Wales state government, but it was only recently officially donated to the Art Gallery of NSW.

Brett Whiteley in his studio...

Brett Whiteley in his studio…

Lovers of Australian (and international) art would no doubt be familiar with Mr. Whiteley’s reputation as one of the twentieth century’s most fascinating visual artists. The avant-garde painter and sculptor was prolific and globally renowned for his unusual and highly evocative works. The artist is represented in many of the country’s best galleries, with paintings and sculptures peppered around the nation’s premier arts-spaces.

After his death in 1992, Mr. Whiteley’s legacy was managed by his widow, Wendy Whiteley. His inner-city working space was donated to the state some time ago, a move which has helped solidify and strengthen the artist’s posthumous reputation.

Speaking to ABC Radio, Mrs. Whitley spoke about the importance of the studio: “I love going back to the studio,” she explained. “I always get such a surprise at how great it looks.” But according to the dedicated Mrs. Whitely, the job of preserving her husband’s legacy is far from over. “It’s not complete, because something like the studio is never complete until the day you die.”

The Brett Whiteley Studio was officially opened on February 17, 1995, just three years after the immortal artist’s death. It is open to the public and often included on a list of must-see Sydney attractions. For those who are unacquainted with the artist’s work, it is a great way to experience Mr. Whiteley’s world first-hand. High profile sponsorships and donations from the late artist’s estate have ensured that admission is free to the general public, a move which will surely appeal to visitors and locals alike.

So make the trip out to the Whitely Studio in Surry Hills and soak in Sydney’s rich cultural history. You won’t regret it!


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