Cooks Hill Galleries is celebrating its 43rd birthday!

by Mark Widdup August 16, 2017

Cooks Hill Galleries is celebrating its 43rd birthday!

CHG launched its first exhibition on a Saturday afternoon, August 16th, 1975. We hosted an exhibition of Balinese paintings and jewellery. We offered an immersive experience, with Balinese food and Indonesian dancing.

You should have been there!

It is a far cry from what CHG commonly offers today, but still it allows me to reflect on where I was, where I’ve been and where I plan to go.

Very soon after the Gallery opened I found myself working with the big names in Australian art, the established artists such as Brett Whiteley, Sidney Nolan, Charles Blackman, James Gleeson, John Brack, Colin Lanceley, John Perceval, John Olsen, William Dobell, Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts, Julian Rossi Ashton, Roy de Maistre, Norman Lindsay, Guy Boyd, Arthur & David Boyd, Rupert Bunny, Louis Buvelot, ST Gill, Hans Heysen, Eugene von Guerard etc, The Gallery still maintains these links and works either with the artist where possible, management or family in some cases.

Other memorable dates in the Galleries history include:

1979 – An extension is added around the courtyard. Resulting in Gallery Room 2 and 5. 

Cooks Hill Galleries
CHG Director Mark Widdup and Sidney Nolan in Hong Kong 

1983 – Completion of an expansion into the adjacent property; 65&67 Bull St. as one entity. This allowed CHG to morph into one premier art space, and create Gallery Room 1 and 4. 

Cooks Hill Galleries
The Cooks Hill Galleries in 1983 after the completion of an extensive renovation

2017 – Allow me to acknowledge and recognise my wife, Libby. She provided multifaceted support to myself, personally, and to the business. In 1976, Libby initially came into my life via the airwaves, as an ABC radio announcer, you’ll surely recall her dulcet tones?
1980 saw us married (and marked five years at the gallery). In 1987, our first child born was born, and Libby took a step back from her ABC commitments. Libby died this past March and is sorely missed.

Cooks Hill Galleries
Cooks Hill Galleries Director Mark Widdup, Libby Widdup and Charles Blackman

Libby’s passing has partially inspired, and helped affect change for CHG. This colossal life-change has acted as an impetus for our 2017 gallery renewal. Many new initiatives have been rolled out this past quarter, with more to be implemented before the New Year.

CHG, regionally based in Australia, is an active commercial gallery with an ever-increasing national presence.

CHG has a substantial social media presence, and our website traffic is flourishing. If you haven't already please sign up for our mailing list. Like our Facebook page here. Follow us on Instagram here. And connect with me on Linkedin here

These digital properties are carefully managed to ensure we provide you with beautiful art, news, information on our artists and happenings at the Gallery. They ensure we meet the demands of running a successful art gallery in 2017 - and beyond!

For our 2017 gallery renewal and in future, artist management will be an important aspect for CHG. Our experience and knowledge from 43 years in the art market is a point of difference, which no other gallery can boast.
CHG’s discerning eye and vision further places the gallery in a strong position and allows us to capitalise on the changing art environment that all gallerists face today.

Cooks Hill Galleries
Libby Widdup at an exhibition opening at Cooks Hill Galleries

We wish to bring our clients and followers a vast array of quality art, and offer events and experiences to accompany this*. Our offering and access to a considerable variety of art is a clear distinguishing element of CHG.

We thank you for your long-term support.

CHG is the foremost gallery of its kind, and we are available to use our carefully honed skills to assist you to buy, sell and manage your art with confidentiality and paramount experience.

We remain a boutique gallery offering much and growing, join us both online and in-gallery to have an individual experience.

Yours in art,

Mark Widdup
CHG Director





Mark Widdup
Mark Widdup

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