Exhibitions

Art exhibitions are held at the Watch House most weekends of the year.  Information about upcoming and recent exhibitions may be found in the schedule below.

The Watch House is open for visits during art exhibitions, usually 10am to 5pm most weekends, but check below as times sometimes vary.

For visits and history enquiries, the Watch House is open and staffed by a volunteer from the Balmain Association on Saturdays, 11.30am to 3pm. The archives committee also attends on Tuesdays, 11am to 1pm.

For hiring the Exhibition Space, including remaining dates available for 2024, please email bookings@balmainassociation.org.au.
Hiring information can be found here

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Rita Orsini is delighted to invite you to her solo exhibition and the unveiling of a captivating immersive installation of art, light and sound.  This major exhibition extends over the 5 spaces of the gallery and encapsulates the breadth of her art practice.  Rita Orsini is a French award-winning artist living in Sydney, working across paintings, object design, jewellery, sound and light installations.  She is well-known for her signature illuminated canvases – the Orsini Light – and her vibrant Osso Buco resin range.  In conjunction with the exhibition, Rita Orsini has curated a public program, free and open to all, with a poetry-reading session in English and in French on 14 July (Bastille Day) and an experimental painting workshop on 21 July (material included, beginners welcome).  For full details of the exhibition and to register for the public program, head to her website.


2024 July 13-14 (Saturday and Sunday), 10am to 5pm, and
2024 July 20-21 (Saturday and Sunday), 10am to 5pm.

Website: ateliersorsini.com.au/peregrinations

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“Lasting Impressions” is an exhibition of works on paper from Open Studio Printmakers at Meadowbank TAFE.  This wonderful printmaking exhibition, where imagination meets technique from traditional to contemporary, is an exploration of the myriad techniques and styles that define this timeless craft, each work a testament to the artist’s skill and creativity.  Marvel at the delicate lines etched onto metal plates, or at images carved into surfaces like lino or wood, wonder how boundaries are pushed with the blending of techniques.  Join us as we celebrate the timeless art of making impressions that linger long after the exhibition’s end.


2024 August 3-4 (Saturday and Sunday), 10am to 4pm, and
2024 August 10-11 (Saturday and Sunday), 10am to 4pm.

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Book launch: A History of BALMAIN HOSPITAL, featuring anecdotes and art work by Jan Wood. Exhibitions include: A Patchwork of Memories of Growing Up in Balmain in the ’50s and ’60s; Jan’s Pictorial Poems & Jan’s Botanica; A History of Shipping in Mort Bay and a Carousel of Sydney Harbour.


2024 August 17-18 (Saturday and Sunday), 2pm to 5pm.

Book launch: Saturday August 17, 3pm.

RSVP: janwood@feistyfemmes.tv

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MARTIAL COSYN   Born amongst the fertile fields of Picardie in northern France, Martial Cosyn has called the scenic Southern Highlands home for the last 30 years. His involvement with the art started early since his mother was a watercolor paysagiste.  In his 20s he first attended life drawing class in Chelsea School of Art, London. He later carried on studying drawing when arriving in Oz at East Sydney Technical College.  Soft pastels and still life were for a long time his preferred medium and subject but he now prefers to paint with oils. He is a keen observer of everyday life. His painting radiates a whimsical joie de vivre which is totally original and delightful. ‘Roast Chicken, Accordion and other Tales’ is the name of this not to be missed exhibition.


2024 August 29 to September 1 (Thursday to Sunday), 10am to 5pm daily, Friday till 9pm.

Opening Saturday 31st August, 2pm to 3pm launched by Annabel White. All welcome.

Presented by DARLINGHURST GALLERIES.
Directors Philip and Julie Brackenreg, formerly of Artarmon Galleries.
Website: Darlinghurst Galleries.

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Immerse yourself in the captivating allure of “Visions Unveiled” where the creative process of seven talented artists intertwines to form an unparalleled visual symphony.  Delve into the graceful movements of abstract dancers, the compelling shapes of abstract architecture and portraits, monochromatic abstractions, traditional cyanotypes, tranquil homesteads, and minimalistic landscapes.  Embark on a journey that guarantees to mesmerise and inspire as we invite you to celebrate the boundless beauty of diverse artistic expressions.


2024 September 28-29 (Saturday and Sunday), 10am to 5pm.

Website: www.merakiartists.net

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Jane makes contemporary realistic works.  There is a strong focus on light to develop the atmospherics of her pieces.  Her subjects are diverse and often surprising.  The simplicity of her chosen images is a base from which she adds beauty and intricacy.  Jane works across many genres – landscape, still life, cityscape and ventures into abstraction occasionally. Jane is a multi-award winning pastellist who has been recently elevated to Associate level by the NSW Royal Art Society and has been awarded every year since 2018 by the Pastel Society of Australia. Jane’s works have been acknowledged both nationally and internationally, being a finalist in The National Capital Art Prize and The International Association of Pastel Societies.


2024 October 4-7 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday), 10am to 5pm daily.

Website: janewrayart.com
Phone: 0418 665 164

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Exploring the interrelationship of tone and hue, this exhibition pays homage to the beauty around us.  Whether it be via a bustling urban scene or a serene inland vista, each artist in this group of five is interested in the play of colour and light to convey an uplifting moment in time. Please join Fangmin Wu, Geoff Hargraves, Katrina Beissel, Peter Yu and Qiang Cao in this visual celebration of the love of life.


Opening Friday, 25th October, 6pm to 9pm. All Welcome.

2024 October 26-27 (Saturday and Sunday), 10am to 5pm.


Email: jack.wufm@gmail.com
Phone: 0411 308 075

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This is a collaborative exhibition of pieces by members of Frayed Textile Artists. They are returning to the Watch House with a new exhibition titled “A Common Thread”. These 5 artists took the notion of thread in its multiplicity of forms; thin, thick, rough, smooth, woven, natural, manufactured, colourful – and manipulate, stretch, cover, paint, dye, stitch to create new forms whether they be 2 or 3 dimensional. It is very satisfying to look at these artworks and disseminate the procedures involved and then imagine the thought of the artist and the place from which the artwork evolved; travel, experience, adventure, imagination. Remembering that no matter what their appearance, these works resulted from the interests the artists have in working with textiles, the common thread between us. Frayed is part of the NSW Branch of ATASDA (Australian Textile Art and Surface Design Association) Frayed Textile Artists are exhibiting again at…

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2024 June Sat 15 Sun 16 Fri 21 Sat 22 and Sun 23 10am to 4pm

Opening Saturday 15 June 12.30pm All welcome

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From Dawn to Dusk is a collaborative exhibition of predominantly landscape artworks by Janice Ralph, Janet Cheetham and Trevor Armitage. Their exhibition showcases the artists’ extensive travels and cherished moments both overseas and in Australia. Their artworks are about colour, vibrancy and intensity and the emotions they evoke. Janice’s art has been inspired by her road trips in Australia and captures the many moods and spirituality including the grandeur of the outback, the unique land and seascapes of South Australia and her fondness for the outdoors of New South Wales. Janet’s art has been inspired by her overseas adventures and includes Mexico’s Day of the Dead Festival, the vibrancy and movements of Flamenco dancing in Spain to the everyday colourful life of India. Trevor’s art has been inspired by a painting trip to Ross River, outside of Alice Springs. As the area recently had had a lot of rainfall, the…

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2024 May Saturday 18 and Sunday19 10am to 5pm and Saturday 25 and 26 10am to 5pm

Opening Friday, 17 May 5.30 to 8.30 All Welcome

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Connections is the theme for the National Trust’s Annual Heritage celebration. ‘The Balmain Observer’ goes inside the Post Office and Court House and takes us on a tour of the original building before it was opened. Explaining in detail the fittings both upstairs and down. An amazing observation from over 100 years ago. Do you ever wonder what happened to the Town Hall cupola? Mark Calabretta takes us on an historical mystery tour of how the Town Hall lost its ‘head’. An amazing piece of historical research that will excite historians and the casual onlookers alike. What makes the Town Hall and Court House of interest is the work being planned by the Inner West Council to revamp the area between these two buildings making a precinct that all Balmain locals will be proud of. Also on show will be a history of Mr Deloitte’s Wharf Road orchid house with…

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2024 20 April to 11 May Tuesdays and Saturdays 11.30am to 3 pm

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Sculptures by Talia Iaconis and paintings by Barbara Newton Talia and Barbara have a love for Australian landscape. Each artist photographs the landscape during their travels which then becomes a documented journal for the execution of their artworks. Talia uses her connection with the landscape by the use of natural material (painting on organic timber pieces). Her artworks sit on a solid iron base elevating the unique landscape for the viewer to capture the sense of space and to evoke a feeling of calmness and tranquility. Barbara’s intricate trees demonstrate elegance as they dance around and display beautiful movement across the canvas. Her exploration of texture and colour draws out an amazing vibrancy reflecting the Australian bush. Images Barbara Newton and Talia Iaconis    


2024 April Saturday 13, 10am to 4pm and Sunday 14, 11am to 3pm

Opening Friday12 April 7-9 pm All Welcome

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Richard returns to the Watch House with a small new exhibition together with ex exhibition stock at reduced prices. He continues to explore landscape and what he calls ‘floral lyrics inspired works.’ There are as usual a number of styles and media including watercolour, acrylic, mixed media and alcohol ink. Richard looks forward to welcoming you sometime over the weekend to enjoy the art, a glass of wine or soft drink and light food. Hope to see you there!  


2024 April Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 10am to 6pm

0pening Friday 5, 7.30pm preview from 6pm All welcome

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Chloe Cassidy is a local Balmain artist who sells work both nationally and internationally.She has worked in a variety of mediums but is most drawn to watercolour because of its fluid and unpredictable nature. This medium aids her to produce wonderfully whimsical paintings based on her love of nature and the natural world. This is her second exhibition at The Watch House. Francine Courteille is a Sydney based artist and a graduate of National Art School. Her paintings capture both native and non native fauna in textural oils. Her most favoured subject matter is influenced by her love of foxes and birds and she has studied them in a variety of works and mediums. Chloe and Francine invite you to perceive their subject matter as beautiful and sentient beings in their combined exhibition Two Pretty Birds.  


2024 March Saturday 29 Sunday 30 Monday 31 April 1 10am to 5pm

Opening Friday 29 6-8.30 pm All Welcome

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Unfamiliar Territory – works on paper explores the notion of the passages we move through in our lives. We are inevitably confronted with the relentlessness of change and our experiences are deeply connected to the time and place in which we find ourselves. The landscapes in these works are ones formed in the mind and represent an internal monologue, a travelling through the past and into the future. My aim is for the viewer to find their own narrative within these worlds. The exhibition consists of drawings, monotypes and ink works.  


2024 March  Saturday 16 Sunday 17  and Saturday 23  Sunday 24 March -10 am to 4 pm  

Opening Saturday 16 March at 2pm All welcome

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Merle Van Esch is a 77 year old self taught local artist. Merle is exhibiting some of her favourite works in this her debut exhibition. Merle takes inspiration from the natural environment and her works are often a hybrid of local landscape and abstraction.


2024 March Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 10am to 4pm

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The Wet Paint Collective, an all-women group of artists exhibiting in Sydney’s inner west, lets the sunshine in with their latest show, UPLIFT. Returning to the Balmain Watch House, artists Juliette Gillies, Jen Hsieh, Claire Engkaninan Low, Alexandra Plim, Cindy Scheule, Kezia Tan and Jackie Yael present new work which aims to elevate viewers’ moods. This unmissable show includes figurative work, abstraction, watercolours and more. The title refers to the desired effect on the viewer and also the central role art plays in each artist’s life – it is a source of inspiration, joy and comfort.   Image: “Grace and the Little Bird” Claire Engkaninan Low, 2023


2024 March Saturday 2 and Sunday 3, 9am to 4pm

Opening Friday 1 March 6pm-8pm All welcome

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Sophie Witter and Jane Witter are sisters and artists. Sophie recently has two works selected for the National Emerging Art Prize 2023. Sophie’s paintings explore the process of making art in the midst of a hectic and full life. Her work is varied and includes still life, abstracts and landscapes and is characterised by an intuitive, colour  filled energy. Jane’s colourful works  cross a variety of mediums including textile and paper collage and painting and she is interested in the intersection between objects, memory and  the moment.


2024 February Saturday 24 10am to 4 pm and Sunday 25 10am to 2pm

Opening Friday February 23 5-8pm All Welcome