NAS 100

CAPTIVATE is an exciting program of exhibitions and activities across our heritage-listed campus that explore the rich legacy of stories from the National Art School (NAS) and the former Darlinghurst Gaol, and acknowledges the Gadigal Peoples of the Eora Nations’ continuing connection to the NAS site. CAPTIVATE marks a significant double centenary: 200 years since building began in 1822 on the gaol’s tall sandstone walls, and 100 years since the art school moved into the site in 1922.

The exhibition, public programs and a new book reveal and respond to the incredible stories and events that have taken place here, and the many people including infamous inmates such as bushranger Captain Starlight, and generations of Australia’s most significant artists who have studied and worked here over the past 100 years.

The exhibitions have been largely drawn from the NAS Archive and Collection. They include many historic items and artworks never seen before in public, such as artworks by prisoners who showed remarkable talent, the original revolver wielded by a prison governor in the 1800s, and responses to the site by NAS alumni. CAPTIVATE is a celebration and exploration of this extraordinary site in the middle of Sydney. Always on Gadigal land, it transformed from a place of incarceration and misery into a dynamic hub of learning, imagination, and inspiration, now an oasis of art and creativity open to everyone.

We look forward to sharing our stories with you.

EXHIBITIONS

SATURDAY 24 SEPTEMBER – SUNDAY 30 OCTOBER 

Monday – Sunday, 11am–5pm
Free entry, all welcome

Darlinghurst Gaol, Forbes Street gate c1880s, National Art School Collection

CAPTIVATE: Darlinghurst Gaol
NAS Gallery Ground Floor

Dedicated to the Darlinghurst Gaol’s fascinating and turbulent history, with original items and artworks never before seen in public.

Frank Littler, Art in an Art School   1971, Manly Art Gallery & Museum Collection. Gift of Penny Coleing through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program, 1998

CAPTIVATE: 100 years of The National Art School
NAS Gallery First Floor

Covering 100 years of the art school on this site, including iconic teachers, celebrated alumni, NAS in wartime, art parties and protests.

Frank Hinder, Untitled (students in classroom)   1971, National Art School Collection. Gift of Enid Hawkins, 2012

CAPTIVATE: First Sight
The Drawing Gallery

This new space dedicated to drawing presents a century of diverse drawing works created by NAS teachers, students and alumni.

Plaster casts in the National Art School Collection. Photo Lorraine Kypiotis

CAPTIVATE: Making Art
Rayner Hoff Project Space

A celebration of the process of making art across different disciplines, including NAS’s unique collection of plaster relief models.

OPENING WEEK AND WEEKEND

SATURDAY 24 – SUNDAY 25 SEPTEMBER 

10am–5pm
Free entry, all welcome

OPENING NIGHT

Friday 23 September 6–10pm
NAS Galleries
Free, bookings essential

Join us for the opening of CAPTIVATE an exciting program of exhibitions and activities across our heritage-listed campus that explores the rich legacy of stories from the National Art School (NAS) and the former Darlinghurst Gaol, and acknowledges the Gadigal Peoples of the Eora Nations’ continuing connection to the NAS site with First Peoples stories and perspectives.

BOOK LAUNCH

Saturday 24 September 11am
Cell Block Theatre
FREE, BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL

Join CAPTIVATE: Stories from The National Art School and Darlinghurst Gaol author and NAS Archivist, Deborah Beck and contributing author, journalist, television presenter and former book publisher, Jennifer Byrne in conversation and discover little known facts about the history of the Darlinghurst Gaol and the National Art School.

GAOL TOURS

Sat 24 and Sun 25 Sept
10am & 2pm
 
$30, bookings essential. Meet at Forbes Street Entrance

The former Darlinghurst gaol is one of Australia’s oldest and best preserved examples of colonial sandstone architecture, which over the last two centuries has transformed from a place of abject misery to one of Australia’s premier arts institutes. Join us for a lively historical tour, shedding light on the fascinating history of the site and exposing dark, hidden corners.

DROP IN AND DRAW

SATURDAY 24 SEPTEMBER, 12-3pm
Rayner Hoff Project Space
Free. No bookings required. 

Drop-in with your friends and family to the CAPTIVATE exhibition in the Rayner Hoff Project Space to draw from plaster relief models at your own pace. Drawing teacher Noel Thurgate will be available to provide suggestions along the way.  All drawing materials provided. 

NAS HEADS OF DEPARTMENT PANEL DISCUSSION

Saturday 24 September 2pm
NAS Galleries
Free, bookings essential

Join Deputy Director and Head of Studies Simon Cooper and NAS Heads of Department: Dr Michael Hill,  Dr Maryanne Coutts, Lorraine Kypiotis, Dr Stephen Little and Lynda Draper as they respond to the CAPTIVATE exhibition and discuss the ongoing commitment to artists, alumni and contemporary art practices at The National Art School. 

POETRY READINGS

Saturday 24 September 3pm
NAS Galleries
Free, bookings essential

Commissioned poet, Dr. Saba Vasefi presents her poetic reflections on the hybrid form of imprisonment in response to the CAPTIVATE: The National Art School and Darlinghurst Gaol exhibition. Dr. Vasefi is a multi-award-winning scholar-journalist and documentary filmmaker who teaches at the University of Sydney, Macquarie University, and the University of Canberra. As a human rights journalist in Iran, she advocated for the rights of women and children on death row. In 2010, she fled the fundamentalist regime in Iran. Dr Vasefi has written three poems entitled Soliloquy, The Memory Orchard and The Keys in response to material in this exhibition including a Gaol photograph of manacles hanging from bars on a window, a “ Silence Please” sign, Two Hangman’s Ropes and 3 Iron Gaol Keys.

KIDS ART TRAIL

Available during the exhibition
Available from NAS Gallery and the Forbes Street Information Desk
Free!

Pick up a free Kids Art Trail and complete the challenges around the site of the old Darlinghurst Gaol and in the CAPTIVATE: The National Art School and Darlinghurst Gaol exhibition to learn more about the amazing stories of inmates, bushrangers and artists. Collect a Captivate sticker from the NAS Gallery once completed.

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Henry Louis Bertrand, Darlinghurst Gaol, 1891, watercolour. Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

SPRING CENTENARY WEEKEND WORKSHOPS

Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 October

Enrol in an exciting, intensive weekend of artmaking! Choose from eleven different workshops to build your creative skills and engage with the beauty and history of the NAS campus.

EVENTS

GAOL TOURS

Tuesdays and Sundays
10am & 2pm

$30, bookings essential. Meet at Forbes Street Entrance

The former Darlinghurst gaol is one of Australia’s oldest and best preserved examples of colonial sandstone architecture, which over the last two centuries has transformed from a place of abject misery to one of Australia’s premier arts institutes. Join us for a lively historical tour, shedding light on the fascinating history of the site and exposing dark, hidden corners.

ART FORUM

NAS Gallery
Wednesday 12 October 12.45pm
Free, No bookings required

Join CAPTIVATE: Stories from The National Art School and Darlinghurst Gaol author, NAS Archivist and Curator of CAPTIVATE  Deborah Beck for art forum. The exhibition, public programs and a new book reveal and respond to the incredible stories and events that have taken place here, and the many people including infamous inmates such as bushranger Captain Starlight, and generations of Australia’s most significant artists who have studied and worked here over the past 100 years.

CENTENARY ART AUCTION AND GALA

Cell Block Theatre
Friday 14 October 6:30pm
Tickets $300

The Art Auction and Gala will raise funds for our First Peoples and Outreach programs. Our First Peoples program focusses on increasing Indigenous student enrolment through Indigenous lecturer positions, scholarships and regional engagement projects. Our Outreach program enhances student learning and alumni opportunity by developing facilities in Hill End, Paris and New York. The auction will feature artworks by esteemed Australian artists, including Guido Maestri, Elisabeth Cummings, Eliza Gosse, Tony Albert, Seth Birchall, and Wendy Sharpe.

Euphemia Bostock, Possum Skin Cloak Print (detail). Photograph by Robin Hearfield

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Site and History Panel Discussion

Thursday 20 October, 5-6.30pm 
Cell Block Theatre 

Stephanie Parkin (Panel Facilitator) with Associate Professor Fabri Blacklock, Scientia Fellow, UNSW School of Art and Design, Hayley Pigrim and Jo-Anne Driessens, Artists in the Black Coordinator, Arts Law Centre of Australia

This panel discussion will highlight the obvious and complex relationships that exist between People, Site and history especially the ongoing impact that colonisation has on Indigenous people and Culture.  

Each panel member has extensive expertise and experience the Indigenous Arts Ecology from a local to National and International perspective including the issues that impact Indigenous Australians in the creative industry and learning institutions.  

Curator-led Highlights Tours 

Thursday 29 September 
11.30am
 
Free, bookings essential

Join Gallery Manager and Senior Curator, Katrina Cashman in conversation with First Peoples Programs Coordinator Georgia Mokak (Djugun) for a Curator-led highlights tour of the CAPTIVATE: The National Art School and Darlinghurst Gaol exhibition.

Thursday 6 October 
11.30am
 
Free, bookings essential

Join a Curator-led highlights tour of the CAPTIVATE: The National Art School and Darlinghurst Gaol exhibition with CAPTIVATE Curator and Drawing Teacher Joe Frost.

Thursday 13 October 
11.30am
 
Free, bookings essential

Join a Curator-led highlights tour of the CAPTIVATE: The National Art School and Darlinghurst Gaol exhibition with CAPTIVATE Curator and NAS Archivist Deborah Beck.

SOLD OUT 

Thursday 20 October 
11.30am
 
Free, bookings essential

Join a Curator-led highlights tour of the CAPTIVATE: The National Art School and Darlinghurst Gaol exhibition with CAPTIVATE Curator Sonia Legge.

Thursday 27 October
11.30am
 
Free, bookings essential

Join a Curator-led highlights tour of the CAPTIVATE: The National Art School and Darlinghurst Gaol exhibition with CAPTIVATE Curator Vivienne Webb.

SHORT COURSES

Enrol in an exciting, intensive weekend of artmaking! Choose from eleven different workshops to build your creative skills and engage with the beauty and history of the NAS campus.

Henry Louis Bertrand, Darlinghurst Gaol, 1891, watercolour. Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

SPRING CENTENARY WEEKEND WORKSHOPS

Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 October

SCHOOL HOLIDAY WORKSHOPS

26 September – 7 October 

PUBLICATION

CAPTIVATE: Stories from The National Art School and Darlinghurst Gaol 

$50 available to purchase from NAS Galleries front desk or online here.  **PRE-ORDER** Orders will be fulfilled week commencing 26 September 2022

Author: Deborah Beck, contributions from Jennifer Byrne, Lorraine Kypiotis and Jacqui Taffel

CAPTIVATE: Stories from the National Art School and Darlinghurst Gaol reveals some of the incredible stories ‘behind the walls’, including infamous inmates such as the bushranger Captain Starlight, through to the many famous artists that have shaped the National Art School over the past 100 years; its influential academic staff, life models, commercial and graphic designers, unsung women artists and of course the incredible legacy of its alumni, featuring many of Australia’s most significant artists.

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