LEISURE seeking
Belle Magazine Australia|February - March 2022
Completing the transformation of a historic harbourside landmark, Sydney’s newest public gallery embraces its idyllic setting and connects art viewing with other salubrious pursuits.
HARRY ROBERTS

Built as a private residence in 1897 and beloved for generations as the home of Double Bay Library, the St Brigid’s building occupies one of Sydney’s most picturesque spots. Enveloped by Blackburn Gardens, where enchanting paths and terraced lawns tumble down to Murray Rose tidal pool, Redleaf kiosk, and Seven Shillings Beach, and with sparkling Sydney Harbour and its bobbing sailboats framed by grand old fig trees, it seems like a languorous scene from an Impressionist painting.

Following a major overhaul by architects Tanner Kibble Denton, St Brigid’s has now been reimagined as Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf, a dynamic community art centre that plays host to contemporary exhibition spaces, artist’s residencies and other public programs. “All community spaces should be reflective of their environment,” says gallery coordinator Sebastian Goldspink, whose own history with the building dates back to his childhood. This openness reflects the curator’s mission to make art accessible, eschewing the white cube in favor of something more idiosyncratic and connected to the life of the city – a place where thought-provoking art can be experienced on a languid day at the beach.

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