Here’s the art gallery – on paper



The public is getting a first glimpse of what the proposed national art gallery will look like inside, and the outside too seems to have received a new appearance (photo at top).

The Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics today released details of a planning application, for public comment, with an April 5 deadline, showing details of all five levels and containing comprehensive information about the project.

There seems to be less space allocation to art works (blue areas) than for “admin” and other purposes – see legend above.


  1. The plan reveals all …
    All you need to know about the state of the arts today – almost as much admin/management space as there is the actual art space. Any space for the actual artists?

  2. Hopefully stays on paper. Marginally more pleasant on the eye than the previous image posted by the News, like its predecessor the edifice lacks sympathy with its environment.

  3. Nothing will go ahead with this until after the election. This government is too hopeless and knows how controversial it is so they can wash their hands of it after they get booted out in August … hopefully.

  4. If (hopefully) it’s not built, the NAAG will be an epitaph; and if it is built, a mausoleum for a hopelessly out-of-touch Darwin-based Labor government.
    There has not been a major project in the NT so incompetently mismanaged as this one, for so many years already without a single brick laid on the ground.
    Whether it goes ahead or not, the NAAG perfectly symbolizes the stench of Darwin control across the Northern Territory.

  5. When it is built and open and the benefits obvious, the NAAG will be rightly seen as a valuable asset and a major tourist drawcard.
    It’s had a baptism of fire but the new design is a big improvement and it’s now an interesting looking building rather than a bunker.
    Commercial imperatives have trumped cultural considerations in its location but Aboriginal artists will be major beneficiaries.
    Much of the delay has not been caused by the NT Government but by an obstructionist Town Council and self-interested individuals who failed to see the big picture needs of our town.
    History will be kinder to the NAAG.

  6. Bold predictions Ralph.
    If you have read the fine print, you will have noted that it is not a “sale gallery” and not necessarily displaying local artists.
    So any benefits to local Aboriginal artists will be tenuous and very indirect.
    The “commercial imperatives” are of the “think of a number and multiply it by the forecast temperature today” variety.
    If the delay has been due to the Alice Springs Town Council, it was responding to the overwhelming response of the local people, which is what it should do.
    Which to sum up is:
    Don’t destroy our much loved and valuable Anzac oval. Footy, concerts, fairs, the National Folk Festival and the list goes on. My particular fond memories are Ted Egan and Eric Bogle at the NFF in ’86, and the last ever concert of the Warumpi band in ’03.
    I don’t think the NAAG will ever live down its placement in the teeth of opposition from local Aboriginal people.
    As a Lhere Artepe spokesman told us at the (dis) information session: “We had an ultimatum; the Government has the land. It has the OK from sacred sites. You lot can salvage what you can, or bugger off.”
    The “rejuvenate the Mall / CBD” is the most risible excuse ever.
    Alex Nelson sums it up beautifully. The only Centralian Rep Chansey (grog shares) Paech has been totally silent. And reneging on his commitment to the late Mr Furber.
    Totally pursuing his career path to be “the first Indigenous Deputy Chief Minister.”
    He wasn’t! Oh dear!

  7. @ Charlie Carter: Of course, the NAAG will display and highlight local art works and tourists will head down to galleries such as Papunya Tula to purchase similar works for themselves. This will in turn benefit community based artists.
    The financial modelling on the NAAG is methodically sound and robust and the benefits to our town are large and very timely.
    You don’t think the NAAG will ever live down its placement in the teeth of opposition from local Aboriginal people?
    If surveyed you will find that the vast majority of Aboriginal people in town such as 2000 or so in town camps are indifferent to the location.
    Yes, the loss of our beloved Anzac Oval is a high price to pay and we can also agree that Chansey Peach has made serious errors of judgement but to his credit he has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to advance the NAAG.
    Time will tell but I remain optimistic for the NAAG as a positive for our town and Aboriginal community artists.

  8. $16m to redevlop Anzac Oval.
    Local traditional owners and advisors don’t want [the gallery] at Anzac Oval but south of The Gap or another place.
    Local events and rugby lose a great CBD location for all territories.
    Kilgariff relocation of rugby stadium etc is years away and another extra cost and interim site at McConville not ready and a cost to develop.
    Questions: When will the art gallery be completed and at what final cost when you add relocation costs of Anzac Oval?
    What benefit will the art gallery display be to NT, WA and SA artists i.e. financial and exposure benefit?
    Will be admin costs be too high resulting in minimal end result to artists?
    Will only high end artists be on display?
    Is there to be an additional casino in Alice nearby or just pokies and bars etc at say Alice Plaza redevelopment?


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