This was an awesome day in Canberra. The exhibition just gives such a powerful sense of how important landscape was in and is to human beings. The whole exhibition is of course anchored in the ideals of Romanticism since it begins with that core Romantic Turner. For Turner and his followers, the miracle, mystery and majesty of nature is something that he was wanting to open his heart to - through his painting. Inevitably his painting became something that could open the hearts of all who came to see his work. With Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats and Blake it is the eye of the artist/ poet/ writer that is the doorway to other ways of seeing the World and responding to what is there. This development - the power of landscape- reached its climax in the work of Vincent Van Gogh who was able to tear away the veils of our habitual seeing and show us the dynamic energy at the heart of the universe and in our own hearts. Standing in front of this REAL Van Gogh painting on Sunday I was overwhelmed by its stark power. I was impressed by the commentator there who said it was painted in and of the grounds of the mental asylum in which Van Gogh was staying at the time. The landscape captures at once the sense of being enclosed, but also of being immensely free within the narrow confines of a tree trunk and a patch of weedy grass.
This painting is called "Pine Trees and Dandelions in the Garden of Saint-Paul Hospital". Here is a professional photo of the original- before it was shipped and packed to Australia:
The exhibition remains open until July... so if you are in Canberra it is certainly worth a look.
If you can't make it there is a very special on-line preview with commentary about the highlights of the exhibition: go there or be square http://www.nga.gov.au/TurnertoMonet/Flash/
PS: if you want to find updated lists of all first, second and third year LJ URLS then scroll down in this journal... or find them all on a single PDF page in your Blackboard "Creativity" portal.