Art Gallery Collection in 3D

Published on 07 November 2019

Art Gallery Collection in 3D

Rockhampton Art Gallery’s collection of works by some of Australia’s most significant potters and ceramicists will be accessible to art lovers throughout Australia, without leaving the confines of the Gallery, thanks to a 3D digitisation project.

Rockhampton Art Gallery and Central Queensland University have partnered to digitise 30 of the ceramic works held in the collection in 3D. This project will enable remote 3D access to the collection. As a result the 3D scan will work to blur the confines of the Gallery walls and broaden the reach of the collection.

Accessible from homes, classrooms and smart devices, Australians will be able to have this nationally significant collection, virtually in the palm of their hand. This project will reduce the tyranny of distance that living in regional Australia can bring, while protecting and documenting the collection to the highest museum standards for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.

The first round of 30 3D renderings will be available for viewing, free of charge, via the Gallery’s website by the end of this year. There will be an ongoing process to digitise more sections of the collection.

The story of Rockhampton Art Gallery’s enviable art collection is a remarkable tale of imagination, philanthropy, hard work and cultural pride. The earliest art donation to the City of Rockhampton was in 1931, a bequest from the estate of a local resident Edward Cureton Tomkins, with items in the bequest dated to the late 1780s.

Today the collection now holds works by some of Australia’s most significant potters and ceramicists, including Greg Irvine, Klytie Pate, Alan Peascod, Barbara Swarbrick and Rick Wood.

Chair of Rockhampton Regional Council’s Communities Committee Cr Rose Swadling said that this projecst is providing industry based experience for students where they have access to a real life projects which enables them to develop the skills necessary to perform in their field.

“Our collection, by its nature, is tactile and draws us to want to touch and explore every surface. Collection practices of preservation and conservation limit the public’s ability to do this, until now,” she said.

“The project is delivering a practical, hands-on project that will enable Rockhampton Art Gallery staff and CQUniversity students to valuably contribute to the project outcome.”

“While doing this the project also enables students to add value to the Australian contemporary art scene by enabling access to a significant collection that is significant and assisted in the continued preservation of the collection” she said.

Further information

The Rockhampton Art Gallery collection is regarded as one of the finest in regional Australia. Rockhampton Mayor Rex Pilbeam in the late 1970s built a representative collection of modern Australian art that has been continued by the Gallery's directors and curators. The collection features works by significant Australian artists such as Arthur Boyd, Sidney Nolan, John Olsen, David Aspden, Charles Blackman, Grace Cossington-Smith, Vida Lahey, Judy Cassab, Noel Counihan, Lloyd Rees, Clifton Pugh, Jeffrey Smart, Brett Whiteley, William Robinson, Robert Juniper, Jon Cattapan and Ken Done, amounting to one of the most significant collections in regional Australia. Works by Del Kathryn Barton, Daniel Boyd, Sally Gabori, Imants Tillers and Ben Quilty are representative of the Gallery’s continuing tradition of incorporating a progressive collection with consideration of contemporary influences from across the globe.

As well as being of high aesthetic significance, the collection also has historical significance, with early depictions of Rockhampton; items relating to Scottish pioneers in the region; items depicting the sister city relationship between Rockhampton and Ibusuki in Japan; and items relating to Rockhampton's celebrated sporting star, Grand Slam Tennis champion, Rod Laver

Rockhampton Art Gallery is owned and operated by Rockhampton Regional Council.