ArtGeo Cultural Complex
4 - 7 Queen Street, Busselton
ArtGeo Gallery: 08 9751 4651
Courthouse: 08 9751 4217
Where art and heritage meet
A few minutes walk from the foreshore and Busselton’s famous jetty, this heritage-listed complex features an historic courthouse, a stylish contemporary art gallery, artists’ studios, craft workshops, an acting school, repertory theatre, courtyard gardens and a café.
Once linked by horse-drawn tram to the jetty, the Courthouse played an important role in Busselton’s settlement history, as a lock-up, land agency, post office and savings bank. The original limestone buildings date from the 1860s. They include the original courtroom, police station, bond store, gaol cells and stables. A new courtroom was added in 1897. Build in brick and exposed wood, it’s a fine example of colonial federation architecture.
Picture this – a ship pulls up at the jetty and off-loads its cargo. Goods like tobacco, beer, wine, dried fruit, potatoes rise, canvas, mineral oils and salt were taken by horse-drawn tram to the Courthouse bond store where they were until the appropriate tax or excise duty was paid. Its wood-block floors are made from jarrah. Jarrah is so hard wearing it was shipped overseas from Busselton and used a street paving in Britain and America.
Walk through the Courthouse and feel the history within its walls. The imposing 19th century courtroom and the row of primitive gaol cells evoke a vivid sense of its original purpose. The Courthouse now operates as a retail outlet for regional arts and crafts and offers heritage tours of the complex.
Opposite the Courthouse, a building with a 1930s neo-classical façade houses ArtGeo Gallery. This stylish ‘white cube’ space is used for temporary exhibitions sourced regionally and Australia-wide. Annual events include the City of Busselton Art Award for contemporary Western Australian art. [Insert image What have you seen my blue-eyed boy? by Ron Nyisztor, winner City of Busselton Art Award 2014]
The story of ArtGeo Cultural Complex begins with the history of settlement in Busselton. Today it’s a centre for the creative and performing arts featuring:
- Acting Up Academy of Performing Arts
- Busselton Art Society
- Busselton branch of the Wood Turners Association of Western Australia
- Old Post Office Tea Rooms
- Settlement Art Project
- Stables Studios
- Weld Repertory Theatre