The Serpentine - A moment in time

There is a moment in time when, like the birth of a galaxy, an idea is born.

Ten years ago on a spring morning in November an event of this nature occurred as two young aspiring artists,

Corinne and Amy, walked along Bridge Street in North Lismore.

As the day warmed, the pair stopped to rest in the shade of a small old fashioned store

to refresh in the cool air emanating from the large glass windows

where they were confronted with a 'To Let' sign adhered to the inner window.

As they gazed inside, beyond the sign and beyond their own reflected images,

they saw something else, something greater than themselves.

Then they turned and as their eyes met both shouted almost simultaneously,

“gee this would make a good gallery”

and it was at that moment an idea was born.

The name came in a dream, it was called Serpentine Gallery,

it would be an art gallery and it would be open to everyone.

The following day, almost before noon, the lease was signed

and the keys were placed in the hands of the two young artists,

the doors were opened and the fresh air let in.

They began tearing out the old linoleum and restoring the floor,

they cleaned the kitchen and polished the windows,

they mopped and cleaned and swept the walls and floors and along with it

swept away any vestiges of apprehension that still lingered about their brave venture.

As the afternoon wore on a young person passing by offered to help with a hammer,

then another with a screwdriver, and another with a saw.

During the following weeks, as word spread through town and outer villages

more people, young and old, were turning up to help.

Some arrived with tins of paint or with timber and other recyclable materials,

some with skills and some without skills, and some just because it was there.

The first exhibition was opened a mere ninety days later.

It was a group show of local artists entitled ‘rainbow industria

and it was a huge success overflowing with crowds of artists,

art lovers, and many others who were just there because it was there.

Since then, countless volunteers have hosted more than 200 exhibitions and events

 by local artists, ranging from all genres of painting, printmaking, sculpture and installations,

to music, film, poetry and performance art.

In addition the gallery has provided drawing and painting workshops,

overall investing more than $150,000 in art currency directly into the Lismore regional economy.

The Serpentine is operated on a strong philosophy of Accessibility and Engagement

for each and every member of our diverse and creative population,

with the mission of building a strong inclusive arts community.

Over 600 different and new artists have exhibited at the Serpentine in the last decade.

Marking our strong ten year history,

the Serpentine's volunteers and artists present the gallery's 205th event


a celebration of the achievements of our local creative community.

Being 100% volunteer operated and self-funded the gallery

is a testament to our community’s desire and ability to manage and have its own artist run gallery.

As the Serpentine Community Gallery Inc enters its teenage era,

2017 is looking to be another full year with a calendar of fifteen exhibitions

including the return of Scarlet (by popular demand)

and an exhibition of portraits of our local artists by our local artists.

- Corinne Batt-Rawden, October 2016