Swan Hill Art Gallery will open its collection to art lovers across the world thanks to the latest stage of the Andrews Labor Government’s Regional Digitisation Roadshow.
Member for Northern Victoria, Mark Gepp MP announced Swan Hill Art Gallery as one of six galleries across regional Victoria to receive funding to support the digitisation of precious items and important artworks in their collections.
The roadshow will also visit Geelong, Horsham, Wangaratta, Castlemaine and Ballarat.
Swan Hill Art Gallery houses Australian native art and pieces relating to the Swan Hill region, as well as a drawing by social realist Noel Counihan – and will see over 400 pieces from their collection added to the online portal.
The roadshow will see a team of leading experts from the National Gallery of Victoria, specialist conservators and digital photographers working in residence at Swan Hill Art Gallery, providing training to staff and volunteers as they digitise items using photography and scanning technology.
Once digitised the items will be shared with the world via the Victorian Collections website, where researchers, students and the public can explore these important collections at the click of a button.
Libraries, historical societies and other galleries can visit while the pop-up digitisation studio is in town and access their own digitisation training. Visitors will also be able to see the process in action and glimpse rare, fragile items usually kept in storage.
Victoria’s regional galleries and institutions are home to a staggering number of culturally significant items. Once complete next year, more than 25,000 objects will have been digitised as part of the project.
Some of the benefits to digitising collections, is research, preservation and education.
Another benefit to art digitisation is accessibility. There are many people interested in art but do not have the means to travel around the world to visit gallery and museum collections.
The threat of ageing materials and environmental factors such as bushfires have increased the urgency of digitising Victoria’s precious collections. Thousands of works have already been digitised during the pilot, including rare textiles, significant works by Australian impressionist painters and works by First Peoples artists.
To search digitised collections from Victoria’s network of cultural collections, visit: victoriancollections.net.au.
Quote attributable to Mark Gepp MP, Member for Northern Victoria
“Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery is much-loved by our community. Now, with funding from the Andrews Labor Government’s Regional Digitisation Roadshow, anyone from all corners of the world can see its wonderful collection.”
“This is a fantastic opportunity for local institutions to work with experts at the top of their game – I encourage our local libraries, historical societies and galleries to visit the digitisation studio while it’s in town.”
“Digital technology is creating a revolutionary way to experience a gallery or museum. Galleries are bringing treasures and art directly into the classroom for use by students and teachers to learn about culture, history and art.”
“In terms of tourism opportunities, the flow-on effects from digitisation is that it indirectly showcases Swan Hill and Victoria – potentially motivating visitors to choose the region as a destination to explore, which means more jobs and money in the local economy.”