That was an excellent turn up for the Art Gallery Visit. Thank you all for your interest and enthusiasm. It was great to see so many of you after the "guided tour"... dashing around and making the most of the time in this amazing Gallery space. I very much enjoyed linking the themes of many of these paintings with what we have been doing in literature and also sharing some of my artistic enthusiasms with you. I still get excited seeing the way the landscape from the earliest decades of the 19th century so gradually, gradually changes from very 18th century European style images to something that is uniquely Australian... and I love to point out the irony of the fact that it took a group of Australian artists in the 1880s a trip to France to discover how to paint out of doors. That was of course the Heidelberg School of artists which included Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Tom McCubbin... here is a little collection of paintings I snapped that show the change I have just been talking about. First notice how these two paintings (one by Eugene Von Guerard; the other by Jon Glover) show the two faces of early Australian painting. The one wanting to show the massive exotic, man-dwarfing world; the other showing Australia (here Tasmania) like a parkland "ready to receive the plow" as the explorers might have said:
And here is one of the many paintings that show that sudden discovery of the "real" Australian landscape when artists decided to paint "en plein air" or out of doors in plain Latin!... Here is Tom Roberts' "Bailed Up":
And then we noticed how there was that sudden dramatic jump into twentieth century landscapes with the likes of Fred Williams showing us how to appreciate the colour and texture of this strange continent in a totally different way:
Then we say how the contemporary artist Imants Tillers created a new vision of the Australian landscape by referring back to one of the icons of the early 19th Century, Von Guerard's "Milford Sound". Here is Tillers version:
And here is a really useful web-link that will help those of you who are interested to explore this "intertextual" painting:
I spent a fair bit of time talking about Robert Klippel as the artist whose work is a kind of metaphor for what all artists (poets, novelists) do... namely transforming the ordinary and meaningless into things of meaning and beauty... we saw that cabinet full of miniatures made out of all sorts of scraps... and here is one of Klippel's mid size works that we examined:
And here is a useful link to explain what motivates this junk-hunter:
And here is Nolan's version of the sanctified bush-ranger... here presented on a huge wall-size tapestry: Daniel Carney... eat your heart out!
Here now is one of my very favourite artists and images... Arthur Boyd's "Nebuchadnezzar in flames"... apparently this was painted during the time of the napalm bombing of Vietnam... it depicts the legendary biblical king -cast into the wilderness for his greed for seven years-... here in an Australian bush setting!
And to finish off: some of the highlights from the Aboriginal connection- so relevant to our studies in the first weeks of semester. First here is Lin Onus with his amazing Hills Hoist... the aboriginal spirit world reclaiming one of the icons of "our" presence in this country:
And here is one of Ginger Riley's amazing "living" canvasses:
Here is a short obituary for Ginger Riley... you can find quite a bit of info on this artist on the web:
last but not least here is THE CLASS of 06... or the best looking ones in it... both in raggle taggle and in disciplined format: