When Maria Grimaldi’s sister Anna Grigson asked her if she was interested in opening an art gallery in Sydney, her initial reaction was ‘No! I don’t know anything about art.’ Once she was convinced that it was a very worthwhile thing to do, she told Anna she would help her over the next three years to establish the gallery. Coming from an Italian background, the name Sabbia was the only name that was considered for the gallery. As Sabbia in Italian means sand, which is relevant to both glass and ceramic. 

With a career spanning thirty years Anna Grigson has been a long-standing advocate for the representation and promotion of some of Australia’s premier artists. Her experience crosses many contemporary art mediums, including Asian art, ceramics, glass, Indigenous art, jewellery, metal, painting, printmaking, sculpture and textiles. 

Since opening in 2005, Sabbia Gallery has developed an international reputation under the guidance and commitment of Anna and her co-director Maria Grimaldi, as the premier Australian gallery in contemporary ceramics and glass. It has become one of Sydney’s most prominent commercial exhibition spaces representing the finest contemporary artists working in these diverse mediums. 

The gallery’s work with ceramics includes Indigenous artists from remote Australia. With the intention to try to reinvigorate the Indigenous ceramics art movement Anna has been working with Ernabella Arts in the APY Lands since 2011, and most recently Erub Arts in the Torres Strait, Girringun in Cardwell North Queensland, Hermannsburg Potters in the Central Desert and Tiwi on Bathurst Island. The result is a significant touring exhibition ‘Clay Stories’ running from 2017 to 2019. 

Australian Design Centre acknowledges Anna and Maria for the support they have given to artists and the contribution they continue to make growing a recognition for ceramics and glass.

Image: Courtesy of Anna Grigson and Maria Grimaldi