Keeping Place collection seeks a permanent home

Aboriginal Art Directory | 10.10.10

Keeping Place consists of 1500 artworks plus artefacts and photographs collected over 40 years by Aboriginal artist and activist Gordon Syron and his wife Elaine.

The collection had been housed in an Eveleigh railway shed described as "dilapidated, daggy and downright disgraceful" by John Morse, former head of the Australian Tourist Commission.

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The couple were evicted from the property in July by the Redfern-Waterloo Authority, which paid for six months of storage at Kennards in Waterloo. It is believed to cost $1000 a month.

"That is the end of their commitment unless they can be urged to support the artworks longer," Elaine Syron said.

The authority forced the Syrons to sign a confidentiality clause preventing them from discussing their eviction, possibly because the "true nature of both the storage quality and the condition of the storage arrangement may contain inconvenient truths", she said.

She said the storage centre was so dirty removalists wore face masks. "The very large windows opened onto a garbage dump," Syron said. "The windows had to be covered with black plastic because light damages artworks."

The couple halted the transfer of 500 of their most important artworks, which remain in the Eveleigh shed where they continued to live this week.


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