Council eyes off art treasures
  • Wednesday 26 November 2008

The treasures of one of Australia’s most significant private art collections could soon be shared by the public visiting the Caloundra Regional Art Gallery.

The Sunshine Coast Regional Council’s Service Delivery Committee met in Tewantin today (25/11/08) and agreed on a recommendation to set up a trust with local collector Ken Hinds that would enable council access to his collection of Australian paintings, indigenous art, sculpture, film, pottery and toys dating back to 1860.

The recommendation would also allocate council resources to do an oral history of Mr Hinds to delve into what motivates the avid collector, who lives in the hinterland township of Mt Mellum. His collection was described by expert Susan McCulloch, co-author of McCulloch’s Encylopedia of Australian Art, as among the most significant private collections in Australia.

Mr Hinds has been a patron of the Caloundra Regional Art Gallery since its opening in 2000, and his vision for his valuable collection has always been to make it accessible to the public. With this in mind, the committee agreed to a recommendation that council prepare a business case for consideration of opportunities stemming from the collection’s potential in the 2009-2010 budget.

Division Two Councillor Tim Dwyer said the collection was big enough to become a tourist drawcard for the region.

“A 2007 Scoping Study commissioned by the former Caloundra City Council identified that the collection has regional, national and international significance,” Cr Dwyer said.

“While parts of the collection may go on tour, I think it’s important that the home base for this collection should remain in the Caloundra area to recognise where it came from and to respect that Ken Hinds is a long term resident of the Caloundra district.”

The committee’s recommendations were referred to the next ordinary meeting of council for a final decision.

In the meantime, the public can get a taste of what’s to come this Sunday at 2pm when the Caloundra Regional Art Gallery launches the second travelling exhibition from the collection. The selection of significant Aboriginal art entitled, Across Country, will be opened by former Senator Aden Ridgeway, Executive Chairman of Indigenous Tourism Australia.