AGNSW The National 2017: New Australian Art
In March 2017, the exhibition The National 2017: New Australian Art presented the latest ideas and forms in contemporary Australian art across three institutions: Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW), Carriageworks and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA). This was the first of a six-year initiative spanning three biennials in 2017, 2019 and 2021.
The Nelson Meers Foundation supported the AGNSW's team to specifically develop a single major website for the project to deliver content about the exhibitions, participating artists, their practice and their works in a fully responsive digital platform for mobile, desktop and in-gallery.
From the beginning, full accessibility was one of the primary objectives for the website, with approximately 15-20% of the budget allocated towards access functionality and content. The frontend was designed by DMG and the underlying web platform was built collaboratively by digital teams from the Gallery and MCA.
The website places access front and centre, incorporating it into all parts of the site. The code adheres to the highest level of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and all video content includes captions and audio content includes transcripts and Auslan.
The website provides a robust framework for the addition of accessible content as The National partnership continues in the next two exhibitions. Work is currently in progress for audio descriptions of all artworks featured on the website to further enhance user experience into the future.
The National website was nominated as a finalist in the 2017 AMY (Australian Interactive Media Industry Association) Awards and has been recognised by Accessible Arts for its commitment to accessibility principles. The Gallery's head of digital engagement presented about the project to the August 2017 ATAG meeting, sharing knowledge and expertise as an accessibility leader.
This project serves as an inspiration and exemplar for future development of the Gallery's primary website.
Since the launch of The National website at the beginning of March 2017, there have been:
• 32,000+ online visitor sessions and
• 110,000+ page views.