Columns
10 years on Image

10 years on

Yarra’s Edge is at last reconnected with the city
Read more >>

Away from the desk Image

Away from the desk

The little bent tree
Read more >>

Chamber update Image

Chamber update

Mental health during times of COVID-19
Read more >>

Docklander Image

Docklander

Learning to fend in a foreign city
Read more >>

Docklands Secrets Image

Docklands Secrets

Conflicting speeds
Read more >>

Chinese

商场开发计划 需要更多改进
Read more >>

Critic

A vote for uncertainty
Read more >>

Owners' Corporation Management

The top three benefits of virtual owners’ corporation meetings
Read more >>

Fashion Image

Fashion

Top five street style trends
Read more >>

Health and Wellbeing Image

Health and Wellbeing

Get “Back on Track” this World Spine Day
Read more >>

Letters Image

Letters

Docklands images
Read more >>

History

A fleeting glance
Read more >>

Housing All Australians

Housing vulnerable Australians means making tough choices
Read more >>

Business Image

Business

LivMate: the new technology helping a post-COVID Docklands
Read more >>

Maritime

Opening up Melbourne’s waterways
Read more >>

Pets Corner Image

Pets Corner

Ty the adorable rescue
Read more >>

SkyPad Living Image

SkyPad Living

Making residential living a council election priority
Read more >>

Precinct Perspectives

Reactivating NewQuay will require a team effort
Read more >>

State MP

After COVID-19: do we want to go back to “normal”?
Read more >>

Street Art Image

Street Art

Goodbye from Blender Studios
Read more >>

Sustainability

How fast is fast fashion?
Read more >>

The District

Your local delicatessen has arrived!
Read more >>

We Live Here Image

We Live Here

Short-stays will endanger COVID recovery
Read more >>

Abby's Angle  Image

Abby's Angle

Learning forgiveness through lockdown
Read more >>

Editions
August 09 Edition Cover

MAGNET goes online

28 Jul 2020

MAGNET goes online Image

On the eve of the opening night of MAGNET Galleries’ latest photography exhibition, the Victorian government announced it was reintroducing stage 3 lockdown restrictions.

It wasn’t the first time the gallery’s hopes had been cruelly dashed by the pandemic - co-director Susanne Silver said although they were able to host the opening night of their last exhibition in March, only 12 people showed up as many were already making the decision to stay home.

But this time, MAGNET was prepared and was able to transfer the show - an exhibition of finalists from this year’s Mullins Australian Conceptual Photography Prize - to an online, virtual gallery.

“This is the first virtual gallery we’ve done, so there’s been a bit of a learning curve and time spent working out the nuts and bolts of how to use the program,” Susanne said.

The virtual exhibition, available free on MAGNET’s website, would allow viewers to tour a digital gallery space, with all the works arranged and framed as originally intended.

The exhibition, which runs online until August 7, showcases the year’s best Australian conceptual photography, with an awards night live-streamed from MAGNET on July 9.

MAGNET Galleries was founded six years ago, evolving from a commercial gallery run by Susanne and her partner Michael into a not-for-profit dedicated to building a community around photography in Australia.

“The mission is to provide an opportunity for photographers to show their work and for members of the public to have the opportunity to see good photography in all its various facets,” Susanne said.

As well as curating and showcasing exhibitions, before the pandemic MAGNET would also host seminars and competitions, and offered scanning and printing services to the public.

A specialty of the gallery, in fact, was the restoration and digitisation of older, archival films and plates - part of Susanne and Michael’s passion for what photographic archives could tell us about history.

“We want to develop an understanding among people of photography as not just an art form, but a form of communication and a form of historical record,” Susanne said.

The shift online would allow their community of creators and photography lovers to keep engaging with the gallery throughout the lockdown - but Susanne anticipated virtual galleries would be a permanent part of MAGNET’s future.

“It’s the way forward for us - even when we get to a stage where we can open the gallery doors, I can’t see us not using the virtual gallery as an adjunct to what we do,” she said.

“From here on, people are going to looking for entertainment and information in that virtual world.”

Susanne believed building a community, both digital and physical, that could outlast the lockdown was paramount to the gallery’s long-term success.

And that meant engaging with the community in the real world - Susanne and Michael had been curating a weekly window display of featured works “so the six people who walk by during the week have something to look at”.

With more virtual exhibitions expected in the coming weeks, Susanne said MAGNET was ready for whatever challenge the pandemic might throw at it next.

“We’re always full of ideas - and as a matter of fact having this time in lockdown actually gives us more space to develop our ideas,” she said.

“That’s always been our modus operandi: we’ll think of something and we’ll give it a shot.” •

For more information: magnet.org.au

Share on Facebook

Stay in touch with Docklands. Subscribe to FREE monthly e-Newspaper.

You must be registered with Docklands News to be able to post comments.
To register, please click here.