HE may have been 61 when he suddenly passed away last month but Alan Sisley had big plans ahead of him and one was to go into politics as an independent.
The life of the man at the helm of Orange Regional Gallery for the last 23 years will be remembered at a memorial service tomorrow afternoon.
His colleague and friend for those years, assistant director Brenda Gray, spoke this week of her heartbreak since his death.
“I can’t even think about it without him,” she said.
Mrs Gray said despite the illness that plagued him, Mr Sisley had big plans for his future.
“He wanted to come back until at least when the museum was built,” she said.
“Then he wanted to write a book and then go into politics, he wanted to be the next Peter Andren.”
Mrs Gray said while he had been battling illness he was “getting better” until his sudden death as a result of complications from surgery.
She said there has been an outpouring of grief through letters and cards to gallery staff from community members left reeling.
“They’re really, really long letters and cards about Alan and reminiscing about Alan,” she said.
On show from today at the gallery is a memorial exhibition featuring around 20 of Mr Sisley’s favourite works with the public invited to come along.
“We hope the Orange community come and all the people who came here for years and people who had a lot to do with them,” she said.
“He had an eye for good art that had depth and meaning.”
Tomorrow’s memorial will feature guest speakers along with videos, music composed by Mr Sisley and morris dancing.
The memorial commences at 2pm with the public invited.
Mr Sisley’s memorial art exhibition will be on show at Orange Regional Gallery until Sunday.
Gallery opening hours are 10am to 5pm today and tomorrow, and noon to 4pm on Sunday.