RDS Gallery came into being in 2019 as a response to a vision shared by Hilary Radner, Inge Doesburg and Marie Strauss. In 2020, Inge withdrew from direct involvement in the gallery to focus on her own work as an artist, followed in 2021 by Marie who also wished to dedicate herself to making rather than exhibiting; Hilary as director strives to maintain the traditions associated with 6 Castle Street, an exhibition space for over twenty years run by Inge as Inge Doesburg Gallery and Studio – with Alistair Fox now in charge of the gallery’s publication sector and the owner of the gallery.
Motivated by a passion for art, as well as a commitment to the fostering and promotion of local artists, Hilary and Alistair conceive of the gallery as a collaborative venture that would provide an outlet for art that expresses artists’ engagement with life. They believe that art potentially provides the ground on which to imagine a more utopian vision for the future. One of the gallery’s primary aims is to exhibit artists from the Otago region, and New Zealand’s South Island more generally, who seek to represent personal emotional experience, with a view to encouraging reflection on the human condition.
Hilary comes to her role as the gallery’s director after thirty years of experience in academia and an international reputation as a scholar in the area of visual culture. She observes, ‘Popular culture has created a global world that doesn’t always leave a place for “us”. It doesn’t always allow us to discover who we are, to develop images that tell us about where and how we live when we are not inhabitants of a 21st century World City.’ Alistair has enjoyed a long and prestigious career as a scholar and member of the University of Otago, initially as an expert in Tudor literature, later extending his interest in the creative processes to include cinema studies and New Zealand culture. His current scholarship and role as director of publications for the gallery develops the concerns that animated his many earlier books as these pertain to the field of contemporary New Zealand art.
The gallery welcomes submissions from artists working around the world, but especially from those located in New Zealand. The gallery is also available to work with other galleries, architects and other similar parties to assist in the purchasing of artworks on behalf of clients.