We have been trying to organise a Friends visit to the old Mercury building in its new transformation into the headquarters of Detached, the arts foundation set up by Penny Clive and Bruce Neill. Penny is a major supporter of TMAG and is currently a Trustee, so when a window of opportunity opened for us to visit we emailed an invite to all Friends with email and filled the thirty places within a couple of days.
And it was (as expected) an experience to remember. Not to everyone's taste, it must be said, as the permanent exhibition of Penny's collection of contemporary visual Patricia Piccinini can be challenging as well as powerful and compelling.
Magdalena Lane of Detached gave us a great introduction to the organisation and its future, after we had a preliminary walk around the entire ground floor, where the industrial spaces that housed the old printing presses have been reused to house the works of Piccinini and her partner Peter Hennessey. His huge sculptural installation fits superbly into the rough walled space with its high ceilings, and is set off by the almost delicate fantasy/surreal/lifelike boy with female creature tableau of Piccinini. And that was just the start...
We are very grateful to Penny and Magdalena for giving us the privilege of a visit to this exciting venue at such short notice. if you missed out, keep an eye open for the next time the exhibition will be open to the public, possibly during Mofo early next year. And keep an eye on Detached -- we know Penny and her team have exciting plans for the future and we look forward to hearing more about them over the coming year.