Backspace Gallery presents a vibrant program of exhibitions which showcase contemporary art, craft and design and celebrates the arts in our region. Backspace Gallery, managed by the Art Gallery of Ballarat, provides artists and curators the opportunity to exhibit in a professionally supported gallery.

There is no fee to exhibit in Backspace Gallery. The City of Ballarat supports the gallery and exhibitors receive assistance with installation and publicity, and an opening event.

An annual call for applications will be made in the first quarter of each year. All applications for inclusion in the program are evaluated by a selection committee, and are based on the written application and supporting material.

Preference will be given to applicants living or working in the City of Ballarat and the wider Grampians and Central Highlands Region. Applications from artists outside this area are welcome but should demonstrate a connection or benefit to Ballarat or region.


Open daily
10 am–5 pm

Access via the main Gallery door in Lydiard Street


Magda Kazmierczak, Patchwork, 2019-20 (detail). paper cut-outs and synthetic polymer paint on canvas. Courtesy the artist


5 March–29 March 2020

This group exhibition showcases Ballarat’s cultural diversity by bringing together artworks and artefacts contributed by present and past participants in the City of Ballarat’s Intercultural Ambassadors program along with invited artists. Each of the items in the exhibition has been shaped by the cultures of their makers and the environments in which they were produced, whether they have been brought from the artists’ places of origin or have been created in their new homeland. It creates a kaleidoscope of textures and colours to celebrate 10 years of the City of Ballarat’s Intercultural Ambassador Program.

Curated by Intercultural Ambassador Magdalena Kazmierczak.


14 March 2020, 3 for 3.30 pm

Guest speaker: Cr Belinda Coates, City of Ballarat
DJ: Bobby Mehta



21 March 2020, 2.30 pm-4.30 pm

Free but bookings essential. Book your place here »

Image: Magdalena Kazmierczak, Patchwork, 2019-20 (detail). paper cut-out and synthetic polymer paint on canvas. Courtesy of the artist.


Ann Betts & Wendy Sheridan, Porcelain pot in bird nest, 2020. cyanotype on paper. Courtesy the artists


2 April–26 April 2020

NEST represents a place of sanctuary and growth. It is about responsibility of raising and providing for children, a place where artists and mothers nurture their talents and dreams and bring them to realisation. It is about fragility and survival, nature and nurture. Ann Betts, Sarah Canham, Katherine Douglas, Wendy Sheridan and Lizzie Tongway are all mature-aged students at Federation University Arts Academy who are also mothers of school-aged children. This exhibition highlights the rewards, sacrifices and tensions of having parental responsibilities while pursuing personal goals and creative objectives as emerging artists. Each of the artists draw from the often competing elements of their lives to respond to the exhibition theme.


4 April 2020, 3 pm–5 pm

Guest speaker: Dr Amanda McGraw, Federation University Australia

Image: Ann Betts & Wendy Sheridan, Porcelain pot in bird nest, 2020. cyanotype on paper. Courtesy the artists

Stella Clarke, Leaf shower at evening, 2019. oils with wax medium on board. © the artist


30 April–31 May 2020

The works in this group exhibition are all inspired by or reflect on aspects of the environment and the infinite variety of life on earth at a time when its survival is very much in focus.

Stella Clarke draws from the weathered beauty of the region’s natural environments and the transformative power of water to create landscape paintings that focus on the most critical element for the flourishing of our wildlife and landscape.

Deborah Lee Klein’s intricate paper-cut works reference 19th century natural science displays and the lyrical decorative traditions of Asia.

Jessica de Siso is fascinated by time-wrought degradation objects, transforming them into delicate montages in line with mottainai, a Japanese concept which asks us to waste nothing, respect our environment and show gratitude for the earth’s resources.

Drawing on various artistic and cultural traditions and using different mediums, each artist expresses a profound respect for the fragile materiality of our natural environment.


1 May 2020, 6 for 6.30 pm

Guest speaker: TBC

Image: Stella Clarke, Leaf shower at evening,  2019. oils with wax medium on board. © the artist


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