About the project

In 1986, sculptor Ian Gentle moved to the coal-mining coastal community of Clifton south of Sydney and set up his studio in the dilapidated School of Arts building. For many young people, Ian was the first artist they had ever met, and his famously cluttered studio the first they had ever set foot in. A free-spirited educator and an inspiring mentor, Gentle had a huge influence on the young people who came into his wild orbit, instilling in them a deep love of art and culture.

Launching in December 2023, The Gentle Project explores the life and work of Australian artist and educator, Ian Gentle, and the ripple effects an artist living in a small community can have over generations.  With two exhibitions and a range of public programs and workshops at Wollongong Art Gallery, an exhibition in his former studio at the Clifton School of Arts and the launch of a new book, Ian Gentle: The Found LineThe Gentle Project celebrates the life and work of an extraordinary artist and his ongoing legacy