From Orange City Council
More than 8000 people visited Orange Regional Gallery to view an exhibition of bronze sculptures by internationally acclaimed British artist Laurence Edwards over the past 10 weeks.
But while the exhibition has ended, a major sculpture will remain in Orange.
Laurence Edwards: A Gathering of Uncertainties presented the culmination of 10 years of work by the artist and was the first comprehensive survey of his work to be shown in Australia.
Orange Regional Gallery was the only Australian venue to host the exhibition.
Orange City Council’s Services Policy Committee Chair, Cr Mel McDonell said the exhibition set a record for the most visitors in a day, with 590 people going through the doors on Easter Saturday.
“It was an honour to welcome such a significant exhibition, and the artist himself, to our state-of-the-art gallery,” Cr McDonell said.
“I’m pleased it received such an overwhelmingly positive response from locals and visitors from across NSW and interstate. It was second in visitor numbers only to the touring Archibald Prize exhibition.”
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At the request of the Gallery, the Friends of Orange Regional Gallery (FORG) purchased the $45,000 sculpture Chthonic head 2 (2018), for the Permanent Collection.
FORG is a community organisation that supports the gallery through promoting art appreciation and fundraising to purchase artworks for the permanent collection. Over the past 30 years, FORG has assisted with the purchase of more than 30 significant artworks by nationally and locally celebrated artists.
FORG President Richard Walker said the organisation of about 230 members was pleased to be able to add the work of such a highly regarded artist to the collection.
“The group’s sole purpose is to raise funds for the gallery to purchase works and our members are passionate about adding to the cultural significance of the collection. In the past seven years FORG has raised more than $220,000 and, with it, made nine significant contributions to the gallery’s permanent collection,” Mr Walker said.
“This is an opportunity to celebrate the hard work of our members, who raise 50 to 60 per cent of the money through fundraising events.”
Orange Regional Gallery Director Brad Hammond said the support of FORG has been integral to the growth of the collection, and that this recent purchase is one of the most significant in the Gallery’s history.
“We are fortunate in Orange to have the ongoing support of such a dedicated and visionary community group. Thanks to their extraordinary volunteering efforts we are able to ensure that our community can add this major artwork by Laurence Edwards to our rapidly growing collection of Australian and International art.”
The sculpture will be displayed in the gallery foyer over the coming months for members of the public to enjoy.