Finding agency over paternalism for regional galleries

ArtsHub speaks with Holly Arden about the challenges of running a gallery in Far North Queensland, tourism and notions of paternalism.
Exterior view of gallery at dusk. Pinnacles

Moving from a capital city to a regional centre sounds like a green change, but Holly Arden – who took up the role of Director of Townsville City Galleries (Perc Tucker Regional Gallery and Pinnacles Gallery) late last year – is excited by the possibilities. ‘It’s very beautiful, but it’s also very unusual,’ she says.

In tourism terms Townsville can be described as a gateway to North Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef. It is also a big military town, and has one of Australia’s largest First Nations communities. So how does one step into that dynamic, and grow it forward?

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Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina