We spoke with Co-Founder and Directory, Adam Stone from LON Gallery to talk about their presentation for Sydney Contemporary 2023.
The gallery is located in Richmond, Victoria, can you elaborate on its location and why you chose to open here?
The gallery relocated to Richmond at the beginning of 2021, into a new gallery space with shop frontage, viewable 24/7 from street level. During Covid lockdowns it seemed particularly fitting to invest in a space where the local community could engage with the gallery’s program at any time.
I was also drawn to Richmond’s long and rich cultural history, having housed a number of the country’s most important galleries over the years including Pinacotheca, Charles Nodrum Gallery and Niagara Galleries (the latter two of which are still in operation). The suburb’s centrality and easy parking makes it a convenient destination for collectors, artists and the art going public. With a number of newer galleries opening and others relocating to the area, including the seminal emerging art incubator, Seventh ARI, it seems like an exciting new chapter for the area.
What are some career highlights, or exhibition highlights in the gallery to date?
It is always meaningful when you’re able to place an artist’s work in an institutional collection, particularly when it is for the first time. This special career milestone is something that I always value and will continue to be a highlight. It was extra special the first time it happened, as I was 25 and the gallery had only been open a year.
What was your first exhibition, and why?
The gallery’s inaugural exhibition was a group presentation of unsigned emerging and mid-career artists. The gallery opened under the guise of an artist led, non-profit project space – fast forward a number of years and LON now operates as a traditional dealer gallery representing a variety of artists at different stages of their careers.
The first exhibition aimed to convey the playful, spontaneous energy of the gallery and establish the programming as fluid, responsive and critically engaged. This ethos still pervades the gallery’s sensibility, which contextualises gallery artists within the wider discourse through curated group exhibitions and offsite projects.
Who are you bringing to Sydney Contemporary and why?
The gallery will present a two person exhibition of new work by Casey Jeffery and Ryan Hancock. This will be Casey’s first formal outing in Sydney and I believe her hyper realistic, stylised painting practice, which explores the capacity for objects to act as symbolic vessels for personal histories, as being pertinent to the Sydney Contemporary audience. Her take on figuration adds an interesting voice to genre which has shown sustained international market interest for some time. Ever since she was a student, Casey has had a passionate and dedicated collector base here in Melbourne and I’m excited to introduce her work to Sydney.
Ryan Hancock is based in Sydney/ Gadigal Land and exhibited regularly at Alaska Projects, the iconic Sydney art incubator located in a multi-story carpark, until their closure in 2019. Ryan’s playful and humorous ceramic practice speaks to the techniques and history of the medium, subverting the conventions and applications of materials. We hope the fair will be a wonderful opportunity to engage with Ryan’s local supporters and to share his work with the fair’s visitors from the wider Asia Pacific region.