Arts

Major changes unveiled for $9m art gallery in Mount Barker

Mount Barker’s anticipated Hans Heysen Art Gallery has undergone a significant redesign after initial plans led to a cost blowout, challenging the project’s alignment with its Federal Grant Funding scope.

Mount Barker’s anticipated Hans Heysen Art Gallery has undergone a significant redesign after initial plans led to a cost blowout, challenging the project’s alignment with its Federal Grant Funding scope.

The gallery, aimed to celebrate the legacies of Hans Heysen, a German-born Australian landscape artist, and his daughter Nora Heysen, the first woman to win the Archibald Prize, faced financial hurdles that necessitated a return to the drawing board.

Granted planning consent in May 2023, the original design proposed for the Cedars, the Heysen family estate in Verdun and Hahndorf, proved too elaborate and costly.

Following a comprehensive design review involving various stakeholders, it became evident modifications were essential to adhere to the project’s budget constraints without compromising the vision to showcase the Heysen family’s private art collection and cultural artefacts.

The revised proposal maintains the integrity of the original plan, situating the building largely within the previously approved footprint, thus preserving the existing native vegetation on the site. The changes have no impact on the access routes, car park layout, or the number of parking spaces, ensuring the gallery remains accessible and user-friendly for visitors.

Operational hours, from 9 am to 5 pm seven days a week, also remain unchanged, promising ample opportunity for art enthusiasts to explore the works of Hans and Nora Heysen.

Spanning approximately 37 hectares, the Cedars features a landscape of gentle to moderately undulating topography, adorned with established gardens, large exotic trees, including cedars, and native eucalyptus trees. This serene backdrop is fitting for the gallery, which will pay homage to Hans Heysen’s renowned depictions of native gum trees and the Australian landscape.

With a budget of $9 million, the gallery’s construction at 68 Heysen Road, Verdun, is a testament to the enduring influence of the Heysen family on Australian art. Chief Executive of the Cedars Hans Heysen Foundation, Tori Dixon-Whittle, remains optimistic about the project’s progress, aiming for the gallery to welcome the public within the next 18 months.

For more information, click here. For more news click here.

More News

To Top