Seventh is supported by Creative Victoria and Yarra City Council is a Major Supporter of the gallery.
We are a non-profit gallery mostly run by artists, for artists. Seventh functions with a paid Director and Community Manager and is supported by a volunteer Board of Directors, made of curators, writers, and people who labour in the arts, and creatives from other industries such as law, in our Board. We actively support these vocations across our program. Our exhibitions are free to attend Wednesday-Saturday 12pm-6pm and without appointment. The gallery is an incorporated association and does not have an owner, we have a rotating Board.
Seventh has and continues to be the space where new artists with exciting ideas have their first solo show, and we like supporting culturally diverse voices. Our exhibitions are experimental and critical, which means we show art about complex ideas. But we try to remain accessible to a range of audiences.
We have a new exhibition every four weeks across three galleries, some are solo shows and others are group shows. We pay artists a nominal fee to show, and there are no rental costs for the gallery. Seventh also has an Emerging Writers Program for new writers interested in art, and we do public programs, including readings, workshops, talks and live events.
We select our artists with an open call that happens twice every year. The Director, Community Manager and the Board gather together to assess these proposals, and we offer shows to the artists who align best with our values. If you are interested in applying, please look at our past program, to see if your art is compatible with our gallery. Most of our applications come from people that went to art school but we are trying to mix it up. Because we believe a degree should not be a barrier.
If you are an organisation and are interested in collaborating, please get in touch. We are especially keen on partnerships with community organisations. And want to work with creative initiatives outside of ‘contemporary art’, such as literature and film.
Seventh Gallery runs with shared values and we do not believe in hierarchies, careerism, or power. We make decisions collectively and ensure everyone in the gallery has a say. We see ourselves as a community, who will continue to work together for the rest of our careers, across different projects and spaces.
Seventh was founded in 2000 by artist Jon Butt in a shop front at 155 Gertrude St, Ngár-go (Fitzroy). The gallery earned its name as the seventh gallery on Gertrude St at the time it was founded. Fast forward two decades, and it was the only gallery left. Seventh became an iconic gathering place for emerging artists and arts workers. With exhibitions turning over every three weeks, there was always an opening celebration, artist talk, or performance happening in the space. The space at 155 Gertrude St was well known for the relaxed community atmosphere. It was one of the only galleries with an external courtyard, and members of the community came for a social drink in the courtyard as much as they came for the art. The gallery operated with a standard Artist Run Initiative (ARI) model for 18 years. The organisation was run by a volunteer board of artists, curators and arts-workers, and income was generated by renting out the gallery spaces to artists for a fee. In 2018, artists were paying up to $1000 for a three week exhibition at Seventh. At this time, the Seventh Board was undergoing some significant changes. Within the space of a few months, the Board became the most culturally diverse ARI Board in Melbourne. Recognising that the gallery’s financial model excluded anyone who was not independently wealthy or already successful as an artist, the Board made the decision to make a radical change to the operating model. We moved our galleries upstairs, and sublet the main street-facing space to a boutique retail space.
This change meant that the gallery was generating income, but could also provide a free space for artists to exhibit. At the time, the only other ARI’s in Australia that were offering this were West Space and Firstdraft. Both of these galleries had the support of multi-year funding and paid staff to support them. Seventh was the smallest organisation, and the first volunteer-run organisation to achieve this important step. We leveraged this new income stream, and radical shift in our operating model, to secure funding from Creative Victoria for the first time in the organisation’s history. We used these funds to pay artists a nominal fee, and to employ a part-time Gallery Manager for the first time. Creative Victoria has generously continued to support Seventh’s growth, and we are now able to pay NAVA level artist fees; have promoted the Gallery Manager to Director; and employed two Community Managers. These changes had a direct impact on our exhibition program. Immediately, we saw an enormous increase in the number of CALD applicants to our open call. We were able to approach community and cultural organisations such as Deadly Fringe, Women’s Art Register and Queer Youth Space for partnerships and project collaborations.
While these changes had a huge positive impact, the next challenge was that our premises were not accessible. We did not have a wheelchair accessible entrance, or DDA compliant toilets or entrances. This situation was undermining our mission, and did not reflect our values. Therefore, when the COVID-19 crisis hit and we had to close, we decided to break our lease and relocate to accessible premises. After 12 months of negotiation with different stakeholders, and tireless fundraising, SEVENTH secured a lease with the City of Yarra for a fully accessible building on Church St, Quo-yung (Richmond). This new site has been pivotal in our thinking for our 2025 - 2028 Strategic Plan. With renewed stability and limited barriers, we can now dream big, challenge our existing ways of thinking, and contribute to a new future for artist-run spaces and galleries.
- First Peoples First: We work in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. We are committed to working with First Nations people to realise their right to self-determination.
- LGBTQ+ focussed: We practise inclusivity and celebration of LGBTQ+ communities. We are committed to working with LGBTQ+ artists, collectives, organisations and communities to empower and celebrate their history, culture and importance.
- Collectivity: We practise progressive governance and operate with shared values. We do not believe in hierarchies or careerism. We listen meaningfully, make decisions collectively, and ensure that under-represented voices are heard.
- Artist-led: We invest in artists through programming, mentorships, and community building. Artists are embedded throughout our organisation, and we actively champion the contribution that artists make to politically engaged and empowered communities.
- Welcoming: We practise accessibility through hospitality. We strive to create a welcoming, caring and celebratory environment. We seek to provide a safe space to play, learn, have fun, and be challenged.
- Experimentation: We support artists to try new ways of working. As an organisation, we embrace change, flexibility, and openness. We operate with a fluid structure that is adaptable to the changing needs of our communities, and try to work outside the expected modes of operation for an organisation.
Seventh has managed to retain its grassroots ethos as an artist-run space while professionalising to support artists with more ambitious programming. Our ethos gives us the advantage of flexibility and fast responsiveness, which other institutionalised spaces often lack. This in-between space places us in a unique position to re-think the future of the organisation and the sector with exciting and influential work.
Vision: Enriched and engaged communities through art.
Mission: To invest in artistic practice that works against hierarchies and builds empowered communities.
Isabella Hone-Saunders is a curator, arts worker and artist and settler born on Kaurna Country, working in Narrm. Their curatorial practice is concerned with accessibility, representation and shared social responsibility, while examining with criticality, the inclusivity of public art spaces. They aim to interrogate and implement methodologies towards an ethical and activist informed curation. The exhibitions and public outcomes that IHS curates endeavour to present multi-phonic positions and de-centralise any notion of an authoritative curatorial power position in favour of platforming and supporting and nurturing the artist’s perspective.
Isabella formerly worked in the Curatorial team at ACMI and as an Assistant Curator at ACCA. Previously they worked at Testing Grounds as Program Manager, as Engagement Coordinator at Channels Festival International Video Art Biennial, as well as contract and ongoing positions at Maningrida Arts and Culture, Kaldor Public Arts Projects, Brunswick Mechanics Institute/ Next Wave and at Flinders University Art Museum. They have interned for West Space and worked on projects with Liquid Architecture and Warlukurlangu Arts. A curator, artist and art-worker Isabella has curated and shown work at artist-run initiatives such as BLINDSIDE, Firstdraft, Cool Change Contemporary, FELTspace, Blak Dot, Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West, project8 Gallery, Sister Gallery, Vitalstatistix, Trocadero and is a current TCB board member. They hold a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne, a Graduate Diploma in Art History and a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in History and double Minor in Art and Visual Culture both from The University of Adelaide.
Lucie Loy is a multi-disciplinary artist, curator and writer (currently) based in Northern NSW and Naarm (Melbourne). Alongside her independent practice which spans visual art, publishing, writing and curating she has committed much of her professional capacity to platforming independent, artist-led and experimental practice. Through her work with artist-run projects locally and internationally, Lucie has explored notions of the ‘artist-led’, platforming the importance of art and artists critically and creatively addressing global and social struggles. Working with the aesthetics of hope, resistance and imagination, as well as through policy advocacy, activism and frustrating bureaucratic frameworks, Lucie’s practice and work seeks to explore the intersection of art, political ecology, social and environmental justice and postcolonial globalisation. Lucie is interested in collaboration, ideas of the commons and critical, transdisciplinary projects. Her recent research explores biopolitics, notions of power and the philosophies and contexts of post-truth.
Lana Nguyen is a producer, curator and community arts worker interested in experimental, site-specific and context-driven work. Interested in the space where community and contemporary practice align, she looks to create work that drives conversation and connection. Recently, she held the role of Executive Producer of the Due West Arts Festival with Footscray Community Arts Centre, and continues to work with organisations and programs such as MoreArt Public Art Festival, ArtPlay/SIGNAL, Platform Arts and Hyphenated Projects, as well as working on various independent projects with artists across artforms. In 2019, she was one of twenty Victorians appointed to Creative Victoria’s Creative Industries Advisory Committee to help shape the State government’s future Creative State strategy. She is a current Australia Council Future Leader for 2020/2021.
Christiane Carr is a client manager currently working at the not-for-profit Auspicious Arts Projects. She works closely with both independent artists and local councils to help get their creative endeavours off the ground running. Christiane predominantly assists clients with administrative and financial support, managing their project budgets.
Since graduating from her Masters of Arts Management (2020) at RMIT, Christiane has worked in several local arts organisations including Footscray Community Arts Centre, M Pavilion, and the Centre for Projection Art. She is interested in the field of community-engaged practice and the ethics involved in effective arts management. This involves a deep collaboration between arts practitioners and communities which Christiane hopes to facilitate as a board member at Seventh Gallery.
Kenny Waite (they/he) is a Filipinx/o artist, producer and programmer currently working in Naarm. They are passionate about arts, community engagement and supporting artists. Interested in process-driven, relationship-building and context-driven work that promotes a connective, empathetic and sustainable arts practice.
They have over six years of experience working in the arts, events, and festival sector including their current role as Associate Producer, Programming at Abbotsford Convent, where they have worked the past 2.5 years. They also work as a FOH Manager at the Malthouse Theatre and as a Venue Services Officer at Darebin Arts Centre.
As a practicing multi-disciplinary artist, they primarily use visual mediums and words to explore our many identities and how our heritage, grief and queerness overlap with the common theme of re-connection to self, culture and community. A process of how personal creation and representation can be used to reconnect and heal lost connections.
Jonathan Nguyen is a marketing specialist, researcher and curator. A French citizen with French/Vietnamese/Algerian roots, he made his way to Naarm in December 2019 from Paris. Jonathan’s background spans law, marketing, philosophy and the arts.
He most recently held the position of Gallery Manager at Murray White Room and has an ongoing role in a data-driven digital marketing agency. He is concomitantly working on completing a PhD in Aesthetics at Pantheon-Sorbonne University. Jonathan has a values-oriented way of coming to art, focusing on fostering critical thinking, dialogue, collaboration and experimentation.
Derrick Duan 段耀钦 is a hybrid visual artist preoccupied with body, text, tech and spatial magik/rituals, working and living on unceded Wurundjeri land. Duan’s practice thrives in cross-disciplinary collaborations that allow an open-endedness & the freedom to experiment, bookended by an evolving philosophy of slow working/slow living/pleasure.
In their research-driven solo projects, new-media AV, generative technologies and parafictional world-building continue to remain at the forefront. Duan is currently investigating the intersection of noise music, spoken words and sensory theatre.
Born in China, 1998, Duan has spent their formative years drifting between continents. They bring this open, fluid and mosaic-like way of life to each project, and turn a documentary eye to their ever-shifting surrounds, using image, text and video as a mimetic device to preserve intangible moods and stories.
Emerging Writers Program Coordinator
Angela Glindemann is a queer and neurodivergent writer, poet and editor based in Naarm. She holds a Master of Arts (Writing), and she worked in the educational publishing industry for six years. She is a member of the Australian Publishers Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Working Group.
In her creative practice, she is preoccupied with everyday aesthetics, spatial writing, and ekphrasis, as well as fragmentary and digital writing experiments. She has written for publications such as Archer Magazine, Un Extended and Rabbit, and has participated in several arts writing programs, including the 2022 Writing in the Expanded Field program through ACCA and RMIT’s non/fictionLab.
Gillian Daniel is a curator, programmer and art historian of modern and contemporary art from Southeast Asia and its diasporas. Having lived and worked in Singapore, London and now Naarm, she is interested in the role of art and visual culture in discovering and configuring cultural identities and affinities. She is also invested in the ways that we can mine shared pasts and presents to think about alternative futures.
She is currently on sabbatical from her role as Manager (Curatorial Programs) at National Gallery Singapore to pursue her Doctor of Philosophy in Art History and Visual Culture at the Australian National University, where she is studying representations of the natural world in colonial Singapore and Malaysia. At NGS, she led the development of live programs and digital projects that strove to provide points of entry for a wide public into the gallery’s exhibitions and commissions. Prior to this, she held various positions in London at Wellcome Collection, Frieze Art Fair and Camden Arts Centre, across production, communications and operations.
If you would like to support Seventh in any capacity, whether that be volunteering, one-off event or install support, philanthropy, mentoring + more, please get in touch, we would love to hear from you.
Seventh is a small not-for-profit that largely relies of government funding and volunteers to operate. If you like what we do, one of the easiest ways to support Seventh is by making a one-off donation. One-off donations can be made at any time, for any amount, and always make a big difference. Help Seventh to continue to offer free programs to everyone!
Seventh is a not-for-profit, an incorporated association and a registered charity, but does not currently have Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status.
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We are located at:
213-215 Church Street
Quo-yung / Richmond VIC 3121
Limited, short-term parking is available in the immediate vicinity.
Seventh has one designated accessible car park.
Seventh galleries and bathrooms are accessible by wheelchair.
Guide and assistance dogs are welcome at seventh. (All dogs are welcome)