Carsten Höller, Golden Mirror Carousel, 2014. Image: www.ngv.vic.gov.au
Getting new audiences to open the gallery's doors is an increasing pressure, but how do you move past the buzz word to authentically engage and excite the community?
Gabriella Coslovich, journalist and previous editor of the National Gallery of Victoria’s (NGV) Gallery magazine asked whether audience engagement is about connecting with people, making them want to come to your gallery, giving them good reason to come, creating a sense of excitement, or putting on exhibitions that are must see?
‘I think it means all of those things, and if you are the head of a state or regional gallery, you are concerned with not only connecting with people but also broadening and deepening their understating of art and the history of art,’ said Coslovich.
‘It also means making people feel comfortable. Making them feel as if a gallery isn’t not some rarefied space but their space, a place to revel in, a place of enjoyment, contemplation or surprise.’
Private, public and regional galleries such as MONA, the NGV and Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre have put innovation at the centre in order to enhance audience experience, not just superficially ‘engage’ with audiences.