Saturday, November 27, 2021  
    Boomalli beginnings Redfern 1987  

Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative was formed in late 1987 by ten Sydney-based Aboriginal artists - Bronwyn Bancroft, Euphemia Bostock, Brenda L. Croft, Fiona Foley, Fernanda Martins, Arone Raymond Meeks, Tracey Moffatt, Avril Quaill, Michael Riley and Jeffrey Samuels.

The co-operative was launched with the exhibition Boomalli au-go-go at 18 Meagher Street in Chippendale.

In 1992 they moved to 199 Cleveland Street in Redfern [Performance Space], next door to the Legal Service, then on to 27 Abercrombie St, Chippendale, staying there until moving to 191 Parramatta Road, Annandale in 1997, and on to their current home in Leichhardt in 2003.

    1996 Boomalli newsletter  


Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative; Special issue newsletter No.3 Autumn 1996


Each relocation was for various reasons - the first in 1992 from the original Meagher Street premises was due to the poor location (first floor, no lift), not conducive to exhibiting art (roof leakage, mushrooms growing in the office carpet!), and highish rent which coincided with a downgrading in funding. At the beginning of 1992 we farewelled the Trainee Curator Fiona Foley, Trainee Assistant Curator, Jason Mumbulla, and Jody had left on maternity leave the previous November. Hetti joined as Curator in mid 1992, just in time to assist with the move to much smaller administrative space (one little office) in The Performance Space premises, Redfern, and no gallery space at all.


The necessity of planning for the future, coupled with an uncertainty of funding support from state and federal sources, had us remain in these premises until mid 1993, when at Hetti's instigation and initiative, we realised the need for our own gallery space, hence the relocation to our current site in Abercrombie Street. We learnt a great deal during our 12 months at TPS and liaised with numerous galleries and contemporary art spaces throughout Sydney in order to hold exhibitions. Some of our most ambitious and. successful exhibitions were held during this time - Wiyana/Perisferia (Periphery) at The Performance Space; Australian Raves (Australian Dreams) in Avignon, France; Yanada (New Moon) at the Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney; and The Big Deal is Black/Caste Offs at the Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney. However, it was a joy to finally have our own space back. In reality though, the seeds of the decision to seek more suitable and preferably permanent premises had been sown back in 1991 when Col James visited the Meagher Street premises with a proposal to consider moving into a nearby site marked for community development. By coincidence Brenda and Fiona Foley had walked past the area that same day and noted that it would make a good location for Boomalli.


founding members
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