Now might be your best time to take to any one of Australia’s most famous and well known art galleries and museums. As lockdown restrictions are lifted, social distancing measures mean fewer numbers of people to crowd the gallery spaces, making it the perfect opportunity to see art again. If you’ve ever visited a gallery and felt overwhelmingly uncomfortable at the number of people there, perhaps even hurried through the exhibition with the thought as not to get in the way of others, this new reduced visitor numbers provide a different, more peaceful and quieter way to experience art.
So what does it mean to reopen in this ‘new normal’? Many galleries and museums have decided to keep their visitors safe by reopening with limited tickets on sale for their shows. Venues in some areas have been limited to 80 people, with a maxim of 20 people per room and one person for every four square metres. Security staff in many places are being called upon to help monitor the rooms closely to prevent overcrowding and ensure social distancing measures stay in place. Some smaller galleries such as the Boomalli Aboriginal Artists’ Co-op in Leichhardt are choosing to reopen but by appointment only, whilst other such as the South Australian Museum in Adelaide are asking visitors to fill in contact forms via their website before visiting and sign a ‘customer declaration form’ to say they are virus free. Other venues are seeking to prevent the spread of coronavirus through implementing their own social distancing measures and restrictions such as reducing the use of touch screens throughout their spaces, as well as closing cloakrooms and gallery cafes.
With Australia’s lockdown now moving from a national to local level, many galleries and museums are now reopened for the time-being at least. Here are just some of those places that have reopen so far:
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW
- The National Gallery of Victoria, VIC
- aMBUSH Gallery Kambri, ACT
- Brett Whiteley Studio, Surry Hills, NSW
- Artspace, Sydney, NSW
- Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, NT
- Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, NSW
- Heide Museum of Modern Art, Bulleen, VIC