COVID-19 Update

Due to the public health restrictions required to manage COVID-19, we came to the inevitable decision to put c3 and its program into ‘hibernation’ for a period of at least six months from late April 2020. As we consider the increased and ongoing negative impacts of the pandemic on our operations, we have regrettably had to extend this hibernation into early 2021. Thank you for your support and for understanding the many challenges the Convent and the community, especially artists, are navigating during this difficult time. Please sign up to our newsletter here to receive updates about our reopening.
c3 is a Not-For-Profit gallery run by the Abbotsford Convent Foundation, that incorporates elements of traditional publicly funded galleries and that of an artist-run model. It presents the large-scale access outcomes offered by public and institutional galleries, yet remains firmly anchored within a community based,
artist-run philosophy.

c3’s gallery space comprises six individual rooms. The curatorial vision encompasses a wide range of art forms, including contemporary and experimental art, design, web based art, architecture, craft, fashion, community based projects and performance/sound works. c3 supports projects that demonstrate new and innovative approaches towards the production of art and ideas.

Risk and experimentation are encouraged.

A core practice of c3 is the development of professional practice skills for artists. A comprehensive hands-on approach is taken to assist artists in the realisation of quality exhibition outcomes and maturation of individual practice particularly in terms of curatorial refinement, and professional and ethical conduct.

c3 forms a key element of the Abbotsford Convent Foundation’s vision to be a unique arts, culture and learning project that fosters and connects artistic, community, heritage and visitor experiences. The gallery brings contemporary art to a large and varied audience with visitor numbers averaging up to 4,000 visitors per exhibition.
The Abbotsford Convent Foundation has committed considerable resources with a view to ongoing long-term support of c3.

Accessing the gallery
c3 is wheelchair accessible: you can access our side door on the right hand side of the gallery. Ring the doorbell and our Gallery Attendant will come to let you in. For assistance, please call 03 9416 4300. Guide/assistance dogs are welcome throughout the Abbotsford Convent grounds and buildings. (Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times) If you have any particular access needs, please don’t hesitate to contact the gallery.

To find out more about accessing the broader convent precinct, click here.

Gallery 1 – 4 can be approached as singular galleries, or as one large space for ambitious projects and group shows.
Gallery 1 is a light filled space that has one hanging wall and ample floor space for installation practice. Galleries 2 + 4 suit small to medium projects in a wide variety of formats and Gallery 3 is well suited to small, intimate projects and AV work.
Gallery 5 is a large, versatile and flexible space that can accommodate a wide variety of outcomes. Large-scale sculpture, installation/spatial practice, 2D work (large or small) or exhibitions that need a large area with room to breathe.
Gallery 6 is the same floor space as Gallery 5 but with a different wall configuration that encourages a number of architectural zones within the space and is perfect for immersive AV work.

The c3 committee assesses all applications and makes its determinations based on originality of the proposed exhibition, quality of previous work, benefit to the audience and artist, experience and ability to deliver the proposed exhibition and political, social and environmental relevance to the site.


The historic Abbotsford Convent, with its grand heritage buildings and hectares of sweeping grounds and gardens, is a major community asset successfully being revived and redeveloped as a creative, cultural and learning hub.

In June 2008, c3 was established in the basement of the iconic Convent building as the site’s first permanent exhibition space. The gallery presents an engaging approach to the presentation of contemporary exhibitions across all forms of artistic practice. The gallery was built on a shoestring, using donated materials, free labour, assistance from local businesses and moral and in kind support from The Abbotsford Convent Foundation (ACF).

c3 fronts onto expansive gardens, Birrarung (the Yarra river) and adjacent bush parkland within its inner city location. The site has a multi-layered and complex continuing historical journey: a meeting point for the Wurundjeri and Kulin Nation peoples, settler occupation, a convent, a university, a large multi-practice creative precinct. The gallery has a reciprocal relationship with community, in that it simultaneously builds and is built by community, allowing for an open, nimble and active curatorial vision.

c3 and the Abbotsford Convent Foundation recognise the traditional custodians of the land and water of the Wurundjeri People on which we work and live.