A meeting of minds

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Niagara Galleries and Block Projects announce a unique venture

In a radical move, one of Australia’s most established and well-respected galleries – Niagara – are jointing forces with one of the country’s more experimental spaces – Block Projects.

Block directors Jeremy Kibel and Yasmin Nguyen and Niagara director Bill Nuttall have agreed to collaborate on a new venture in order to cross pollinate the more established artists in Niagara’s stable with Block’s group of more emerging artists.

With such well-established names as Rick Amor, Paul Boston, Jan Senbergs and Ken Whisson Niagara has long been a solid entity in the Australian art world. Block Projects first made its mark in May 2007 with a blend of experimental and curatorial projects. It has grown to encompass more established names such as Robert Jacks and Matthys Gerber while maintaining a rigorously challenging edge with such artists as Bernhard Sachs and the collaborations of Robert Doble and Simon Strong.

The collaboration has been inspired by a number of potential benefits both galleries have identified. “Niagara has been around for a long while, so it’s hard to maintain an interface with new artists,” says Bill Nuttall. “We have a full stable but this move will enable us to interact with new and emerging artists, something which I’ve always wished to maintain.”

For Kibel and Nguyen the dual venture is a “meeting of minds” and a “perfect cross-generational fusion.”

By combining resources and sharing audiences and artists the gallery’s three directors believe enormous opportunities can be opened up.

“We will utilise both spaces, most likely with an emphasis on emerging artists and experimental projects at Block and more established names at Niagara,” says Kibel. “But it remains an organic process so that will be determined as we develop in tandem.”

The dual galleries also plan to share the overheads for expansion into the South East Asian market.