It was on display in a Redfern warehouse until last year when the Redfern Waterloo Authority (RWA – the state government body that owned the building) told the Syrons it had to go. It is now in a Kennards commercial storage building, which the RWA paid for to keep the collection for six months.
That six months ends on May 23rd leaving the collection in grave danger of being seized by Kennards and put up for auction, which is their policy if storage rental dates are not met.
The Syrons are personally having financial difficulties and are unable to meet the thousands of dollars in storage fees that will come due on that date.
In the words of Keeping Place patron, the Honourable Michael Kirby:
“It would be a tragedy if we couldn’t make sure that we’ve got some facility in all of our great and glorious city where we could put together and keep together this collection and have it properly displayed.”
The collection has been valued at over $1.5 million and the Syrons have desperately tried to keep it as one whole collection in the face of no ongoing support from the government or arts institutions. The situation is desperate and Kennards have rejected all appeals for deferment of the fees. I am asking anyone who may be able to help if there is anything you can do for the Syrons at this late point in time.
Help could come in the form of providing free storage, purchasing one or two of the more important paintings or purchasing some of Elaine’s historic photos. I would also ask anyone who may have appropriate connections to help lobby the new Government (particularly Ministers for Arts, Indigenous Affairs and Tourism) and any potential philanthropists they may know who may be interested in providing storage, purchase or helping fulfil the Syron’s dream of creating an Aboriginal run Keeping Place/Cultural Centre in NSW.
Time is of the utmost importance and if anyone can help us or offer any alternative suggestions it would be greatly appreciated. A solution must be found before the middle of May and I am at my wits end in knowing where to go or what to do next to stop what would be a disaster for the Syrons and for Aboriginal art and culture if the collection is seized by Kennards.
If there’s anything anyone can do to help, please contact me ASAP on 9265 9812 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks in advance.