Robin’s new flourish

Robin Hill has been a fixture on the Inner West arts scene since opening Flourish Arts gallery in 2009. Earlier this year she took over Breathing Colours gallery in Balmain too, merging the two galleries in a beautiful union. Here she chats to Ciao about the gallery and life as a curator…

When did you first become interested in fine arts?
I’ve always been interested. My mother is an artist, as was my brother. I went to classes with mum from an early age and I think we’ve always gone to exhibitions too.

How long have you been working as a curator?
I opened Flourish Arts in Birchgrove in 2009 and then moved the gallery and retail shop to Breathing Colours Gallery in February this year. I always enjoyed the artists of Breathing Colours so when I had the opportunity to buy the business I grabbed it. I’ve been delighted that the work of most of the Flourish Arts artists compliments the work of the Breathing Colours artists so Breathing Colours now has a wonderful range of Australian artists, and also offers workshops and classes, and I use both the gallery locations. We had our first workshop recently in string making and basket making so Breathing Colours brought basket weaving back to Balmain!

What is your favourite thing about your job?
I’m surrounded by beauty and creative people all the time so I feel very privileged. The customers are terrific and great supporters of the gallery. I also have fantastic staff like Petrea who works in the gallery,
as well as Luke and Karen who curate the exhibitions.

What do you like about working in the Inner West?
I really like the village atmosphere, which sounds like a cliché, I know. But I do think there is a strong sense of community here. I love the diversity of cultures, families, food and people. I really enjoy the streetscapes and street life.

Who have been some of your favourite artists to work with at the gallery?
All of the artists we’ve had this year – and we probably have about 150 artists at the moment!

How do you decide who to feature at the gallery?
Artists often approach the gallery and I follow up suggestions. Then Petrea and I discuss the proposals.

What’s the next upcoming exhibition at Breathing Colours?
We have Donna Ravenscroft’s ‘Seascapes’ exhibition until December 1st and then Kirana Haag’s exhibition ‘A Line to Follow’ is on until 15th December.

Breathing Colours is a terrific gallery with an adjoining exhibition and retail space. They offer framing, jewellery design and repair services too. Open seven days a week from 10am. Visit for more information or follow Breathing Colours on Facebook.

Breathing Colours: 446 Darling St, Balmain.



Time to get LOST

Calling arty types across Leichhardt and beyond – registrations for the annual Leichhardt Open Studio Trail are now open.

Now in its third year, the Leichhardt Open Studio Trail (LOST) is searching for artists, craftspersons, designers, art studios and galleries to register to be part of next year’s program of events, which will take place on Saturday 8th or Sunday 9th March.

In conjunction with Art Month, each year an increasing number of galleries and art spaces open their doors to the public during LOST to allow people to take a sneak peek behind the scenes, watch how artists work and learn more about the creative process. Last year creative spaces in Leichhardt, Lilyfield, Balmain, Birchgrove, Annandale, Rozelle and Camperdown participated, with EARS (aka Daniel O’Toole) and Tom Ferson (both pictured) from Higher Ground Studio being just a couple of the fantastic talents involved.

Registrations close Tuesday 17th December, so don’t miss this opportunity to open your space up to a new and expanding audience.

Download a registration form from Leichhardt Council website and email to Bronwyn Tuohy at or call 9367 9379 for enquiries.

For more information visit

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