Paul Garbett, Them & Us, 2010. Poster created for “The Australia Project.” Photo: Jon Butt. Courtesy c3 Contemporary Art Space
c3 Contemporary Art Space was established in the basement of the historic Abbotsford Convent building. The gallery was built on a shoestring budget, using donated materials, free labor from friends and supporters, and kind support from the Abbotsford Convent Foundation.
c3 is a hybrid gallery that incorporates elements of traditional, publicly funded galleries, artist-run spaces, and commercial gallery models. It is a new kind of space that offers the large-scale access and outcomes of public and institutional galleries, and promotes commercial sales, yet remains firmly anchored within a community-based, artist-run philosophy—working within an untethered curatorial brief. In its first three years, c3 exhibited the work of 800 artists to more than 100,000 visitors, giving large-scale visibility to experimental artistic practices.
The gallery has three spaces, each with different curatorial aims, and a commitment to exhibit a diverse range of art forms including community-oriented exhibitions, contemporary and experimental art, design, architecture, craft, fashion, photography, performance, sound, and documentary-based works.