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ART GALLERY OF BALLARAT AT THE EUREKA CENTRE

The Eureka Centre, on the historic site of the 1854 Eureka Stockade, explores the cultural impact of the gold rush and tells the stories of the men and women who risked their lives in the fight for miners’ rights.  The Centre is the current home of the Flag of the Southern Cross (The Eureka Flag) which has been part of the Art Gallery of Ballarat collection since 1896. Within its overall presentation of the Eureka story, the Centre features a small exhibition space devoted to presenting Eureka-related work from the Art Gallery of Ballarat collection.

The most recent exhibition of Eureka-themed works from the Gallery collection at the Eureka Centre is The flag of the Southern Cross: An icon, a selection of photographs by Peter Solness. In 2003 and 2004, Solness produced a series of 19 photographs documenting the commemoration of the Eureka Stockade in Ballarat and the many ways in which the icon of the Eureka flag has become a symbol through clothing, tattoos and its use as a political symbol by organisations including trade unions and bikie gangs. The photographs were bought for the Art Gallery of Ballarat prior to the Eureka 150 celebrations in 2004. The display at the Eureka Centre featured 11 of the photographs (a selection of which are pictured below).

FLAG OF THE SOUTHERN CROSS: AN ICON

PETER SOLNESS’ EUREKA PHOTOGRAPHS

The Art Gallery of Ballarat presents Flag of the Southern Cross: an icon, the first in a series of displays at the Eureka Centre drawing from the Gallery collection.

Inspired by Eureka imagery and symbolism, acclaimed photojournalist Peter Solness captured the variety of contexts in which the Flag of the Southern Cross appeared during the lead up to the 150th anniversary of the Eureka Stockade in 2004.

In the series Solness highlights the adoption of the flag design as an icon of democracy, demonstration and cultural nationalism. Featured are people as diverse as former Minister for Immigration Al Grassby, a renowned advocate for multiculturalism in Australia and Steve Gemmill, Ulysses Motorcycle club member.

Key figures directly linked to the story of the original Eureka flag are also represented including the King Family, custodians of the flag until 1895, when Gallery founder James Oddie arranged its long-term loan; Val D’Angri, a local teacher who undertook its restoration; and former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam who unveiled the restored flag at the Gallery in 1973.

Peter Solness is a multi-award winning photographer, artist, educator and writer. He runs regular workshops and presentations at institutions and festivals.

Exhibition title wall
Flag of the Southern Cross exhibition title wall
Peter Solness, A tattoo with attitude, 2004
Peter Solness, A tattoo with attitude, 2004
Peter Solness, Guardians of a treasure, 2004
Peter Solness, Guardians of a treasure, 2004
Peter Solness, Rod Ramage, artist, 2004
Peter Solness, Rod Ramage, artist, 2004
Peter Solness, Standing tall, 2004
Peter Solness, Standing tall, 2004

Image credits:

Peter Solness, A tattoo with attitude 2004. colour print on archival matte paper. Purchased, 2004. Collection of the Art Gallery of Ballarat

Peter Solness, Guardians of a treasure 2004. colour print on archival matte paper. Purchased, 2004. Collection of the Art Gallery of Ballarat

Peter Solness, Rod Ramage, artist 2004. colour print on archival matte paper. Purchased, 2004. Collection of the Art Gallery of Ballarat

Peter Solness, Standing tall 2004. colour print on archival matte paper. Purchased, 2004. Collection of the Art Gallery of Ballarat

CLOSURE

Due to the state of emergency as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Ballarat has closed its public facilities including the Eureka Centre. 

If you need to make contact with the Eureka Centre, please email eurekainfo@ballarat.vic.gov.au 

THE EUREKA CENTRE

Usual opening hours

Centre open daily, 10 am–5 pm 
Café open daily: 10 am–3.30 pm

Eureka Centre, 102 Stawell Street South, Ballarat, Victoria 3350

COST

Entry: Adult $6, Concession $4, Family Pass $18. City of Ballarat residents and Art Gallery of Ballarat members are free on provision of photo ID.

Guided tours (10+) and school groups by arrangement.

Selected works

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