Former High Court justice Michael Kirby has announced he will become a patron of the Keeping Place Indigenous art collection.
The collection, consisting of more than 1000 works by indigenous artists collected by the painter Gordon Syron and his wife, photographer Elaine Pelot-Syron, has been looking for a permanent home since 2008 when the couple were told they would have to vacate the Redern railway shed the collection is currently housed in to make way for the redevelopment of the area.
Kirby, along with co-patron Craddock Morton, a former director of the Australian National Museum, hopes to raise private and government support so the collection can be purchased and placed on permanent display to the public in a new home.
“It is an urgent and serious problem, and I hope that a proper solution can be found,” Kirby said of the collection’s current unsure future.
“Wherever it is placed, it ought to be placed with honour and properly safeguarded as an indication of the beauty of Indigenous art in Australia”.
City of Sydney councillor Irene Doutney, who supports the project, said she hoped a new facility for the collection could provide employment opportunities for people in the local Indigenous community, while preserving a cultural treasure for all Australians and visitors from around the world.
“It is hoped that the collection will be able to be used as the basis for a larger assemblage of Aboriginal artworks, stories and histories which will serve as an invaluable cultural and educational resource for Australia and the world,” she said.