Nick Waterlow tribute centrepiece of UNSW Art & Design campus relaunch

A gallery at UNSW’s Art & Design campus in Paddington has been named in memory of the late curator and lecturer Nick Waterlow.

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"We are Australia’s oldest and newest Art & Design school – no one else can claim that." (Photos: Hamish Ta-mé)

A key space within the new UNSW Galleries has been named in memory of the late curator and lecturer Nick Waterlow – a fitting tribute announced at the relaunch of the UNSW Art & Design campus in Paddington.

For more than 180 years, UNSW Art & Design – variously known as Sydney Technical College, the National Art School, Alexander Mackie College, the City Art Institute and the College of Fine Arts (COFA) – has provided art and design education to the next generation of creative practitioners.

The new name and $58 million campus overhaul marks the latest chapter in the Faculty’s evolution, said Dean Ross Harley.

“It’s an enormous privilege to be part of such a brilliant project like the one we’re celebrating tonight. We’re a community that shows how creativity and innovation lie at the core of everything we do here at UNSW.

“We are Australia’s oldest and newest Art & Design school – no one else can claim that."

Professor Harley said while it was impossible to acknowledge everyone who made the project a reality, the campus relaunch was the “perfect opportunity” to celebrate one very special individual who exemplifies the human values, creative practice, and spirit of inquiry to which we all aspire.

“That person is the late Nick Waterlow.

“This evening, we are officially naming a key space within UNSW Galleries as the Nick Waterlow Gallery, in memory of our inspirational friend, colleague and curator.

“The Nick Waterlow Gallery will inspire generations of creative practitioners for years to come. It joins the Nick Waterlow Scholarship Fund as an enduring way to acknowledge his memory and achievements.

“It’s just one of many spaces named in honour of people who have contributed to our community,” Professor Harley said.

Acknowledging the vision of the former Dean, Ian Howard, in pushing for the new building, Vice-Chancellor Fred Hilmer said the opening also marked the change of name from COFA to UNSW Art & Design “to reflect our longstanding commitment to design”.

"I love education and I love art – how wonderful to bring the two together on this campus," said University Chancellor David Gonski, whose views were echoed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott in a special video tribute screened at the opening.

Mr Gonski said the UNSW Galleries, which were also officially launched last night with the Signs of Life exhibition, were conceived to be “a centerpiece of the University’s community engagement activities and as an important contribution to the cultural life of this country”.

“The exhibitions suggest some of the research strengths and directions that Art & Design is pursuing. I would like to congratulate all of the participating artists, curators and the gallery staff for this outstanding suite of shows,” Mr Gonski said.

Guest speaker Tony Grybowski, CEO of the Australia Council, said: "UNSW Art & Design is about great artists and its renewed focus on media art and technology will encourage artists to be courageous and ambitious."

Media contact: Denise Knight, UNSW Media, 02 9385 3249 or 0405 207 685

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