Drew Pettifer

Like so many who currently frequent West Space, I never had the pleasure of visiting the original site in Footscray. Instead my attendance has been limited to the previous Anthony St space and the current one on Bourke St. Both sites exist at a particular threshold, an entryway: a glass sliding door, controlled electronically from the space above. Each time being let in, my experience of visiting West Space has felt like a conscious engagement with a threshold, a deliberate entry into a space.

Outside of an exhibition opening, one needs to be buzzed in via intercom; you don’t just happen upon the gallery, you decide to enter the space. Of course, all galleries have some kind of delineation of space, a division between inside and outside, however blurred it may be. Yet the active engagement with this threshold at West Space is relatively unique in the Melbourne context. Indeed, for an organisation that exists in a vital liminal space – between emerging and established, artist and organisation, local and international – the glass door is a particularly apt metaphor.