Since its inception in 1990, the public Kedumba Collection has acquired almost two hundred drawings. These have been sourced from the annual Kedumba Drawing Award, approved gifts from artists and other benefactors, and acquisitions by the Artist Trustees and Director on behalf of the Collection. As a result of this unique approach, the collection is considered by distinguished art authorities to be of outstanding significance and importance.
The diversity of work highlights just how varied the personal visions of different artists can be within a single discipline. Artists represented include Rick Amor, Elisabeth Cummings, Rachel Ellis, Donald Friend, Kevin Lincoln, John Olsen, Lloyd Rees, Jan Senbergs and Aida Tomescu among many others.
It also demonstrates the varying subjective tastes of the judges of the Kedumba Drawing Award over the years, a list which includes notable artists such as Kevin Connor (1991), James Gleeson (1993), John Wolseley (1997), Garry Shead (2001), Nicholas Harding (2005), Cherry Hood (2007) and Jenny Sages (2008).
It is important to acknowledge the vital role that the Kedumba Award and Collection have played in fostering the appreciation of drawing in this country over the past two decades.
Drawing is the foundation of all visual art and this principle lies at the heart of the Kedumba Collection. While there are periods when the art of drawing is overlooked in teaching institutions and the contemporary art world, it continually re-emerges as an essential practice. This is largely because it is the primary means of visual expression, offering to the artist a direct and immediate way of responding to experiences and expressing ideas.
The appeal of drawing generally is that there are no secrets to how most drawings are made and it is less mediated than most digitally based or graphic arts. Usually burnt pieces of willow, a simple pencil or watercolour wash are enough. The rest depends on how well the artist integrates the hand, the eye and the mind.
The Kedumba Collection embodies and reflects all the elements of outstanding drawing created in Australia over more than thirty years. Recently, for the first time in the Collection’s twenty-two year history, almost the entire collection was exhibited at the Orange Regional Gallery for a period of seven weeks giving audiences in the Central West an unprecedented overview of the art of contemporary drawing in Australia. Over the next two years some of the Collection will be exhibiting at Orange Regional Gallery and at the galleries annex at the Orange Hospital.
The current planning by the Kedumba trustees is for the Kedumba Collection to travel to other Regional Galleries throughout Australia.