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  • Ray Monde

Sleepwalking into art at Castlemaine Gallery

Sometimes something happens that afterwards you can’t believe was real. Once I saw a man running naked down George Street in Sydney in morning rush hour before disappearing into trees in Hyde Park. Afterwards, I wasn’t sure whether I’d actually seen him as no-one reacted.

Last weekend a similar thing happened to me in Castlemaine, a little town of about 8000 people north of Melbourne, Australia.


I was walking around when this temple to art emerged on the street. The facade was brilliant, a homage to arts and industry, reminiscent of the Rockefeller Centre in New York City.

Inside were classic galleries, diffuse light pouring in from skylights above. I expected fusty, local work that was good but not great. Instead on the walls hung great works by Australian artists, Jeffery Smart, John Brack, Heidleberg painters and more.

I was in awe, I felt like I had slipped through a time/space portal and landed in some Tardis like space. I drank up the work and felt this unexpected euphoria.

It made me realise that if you set you mind to it, have clear goals and strong support, you really can impress. If one little gallery and be so explosive, then any of us artists can be equally stellar.


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