Townsville’s New Gallery Leads the Way

Noami Watts, owner of Aluminium Art Exclusives, with a piece by Gold Coast artist David Ardley

A new gallery – and possibly Australia’s first dedicated specifically to aluminium art – has opened in Townsville’s CBD.

Aluminium Art Exclusives features the work of Australian and international artists who create their pieces using specialised techniques of grinding and painting on recycled aluminium ‘canvas’.

Gallery owner, Naomi Watts said the medium was only just gaining traction in Australia.

“Not many people in Australia work with aluminium because it’s a relatively new medium to work with. I’m definitely keeping my eye out for more people popping up who have experience working in aluminium,” said Naomi.

“The Australian artist we do have on board is David Ardley. He’s based on the Gold Coast and he’s very passionate about surfing and the ocean – so many of his pieces reflect that. David’s done lots of pieces all around the world – he’s done pieces in New Zealand and England, he’s been commissioned for pieces on super yachts and even a palace in Ukraine. He’s been at it for about 15 years – so we’re very privileged to have him on board. And he’s excited too – he doesn’t know of any places in Australia that are specifically dedicated to aluminium art, so he was thrilled at the idea.

‘Super Yachts’ on display at Townsville’s new gallery, Aluminium Art Exclusives

“I hope at some stage to get David up here to do an evening with people who’d like to know more.”

Naomi said the idea for the niche gallery came after one of her two business partners discovered the art form during his travels; and the trio hatched a plan to set up shop.

“One of my business partners went to the Netherlands where one of our suppliers is based and he saw his work and thought ‘Wow this is amazing’. He sent me photos and they were definitely pretty stunning, so everything snowballed from there – we got a shipment over, we got the shop, we did the gallery up and now we’re open!” Naomi said.

“The response so far has been really positive. A lot of people come in and just say ‘Wow’. We have such wonderful light up here and this type of work looks its best in strong sunlight, changing as the day does.

“Being next to Perc Tucker, we’re getting plenty of visitors. There’s a really thriving arts culture in Townsville.

Aluminium Arts Exclusives is located at 263 Flinders Street, Townsville (just down from the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery) and is open seven days.


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