Belinda Lindhardt

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A day out at the Art Gallery

Yesterday, I took myself off to the NSW Art Gallery -

No kids just me and the art, woot! It was a great day busy I was very tired and got lost finding it at one point. I had a bit of weird paranoia going on as I am not used to spending the whole day with no one to talk to surrounded by lots of people i felt a bit vunerable but that left me by the end of the day luckily.

It was really amazing as I walked around remembered parts of the gallery which i must have seen in primary school and some paintings from that time (just goes to show some of it sinks in). When I entered the Australian art room iit was great to see a few of the artists / artworks I had chosen to study in highschool so those memories came flooding back they felt like they were old friends.

To begin with I walked through the 19th century eurpoean art section and was I awed at seeing such large fabulous works. Then went to visit the Dobell Art Prize and contemporary galleries. They were good .. I recognised some artworks by Grace Cossington Smith. see the link below. In my opinion the one which one the Dobell looks much better on the internet than in real life. I stood and looked at it for a while it I can see why they chose it but .. yeah .. leave that one up to you guys. One thing to note is that all of the artworks were extremely large dimensions .. from someone who tends to work quite small I was amazing to see the work and level of detail in some of these larger works.

After this I went and had a coffee on my own no kids, no mummy I want, no spilling of coffee / sugar, no loud screeches and getting up and down off the table ... but there was also no smiles, no hugs, no mummy I love yous or little funny scenarios going on .... how torn we are as mothers...I enjoyed my coffee in peace but I also missed the company :)

Just as I was about to go see the aboriginal artworks they announced that a guided tour was about to begin so after a moments hesitation off I went up to take the tour. This was by far the highlight of the day. The lady was a volunteer guide called Norma she was fantastic so took me a couple of other people on the highlights tour of the 18-19th century European and Australian rooms I had already been in. I saw many more works I originally has missed she had so much information and stories about various artworks and artists and "the times" of what was occurring in the world and the thoughts of the people. Interesting things she noted was the distinct shift in what was being produced from one period to another the early period alot of the work was very formal foreground, middle ground and background. then this changed and we saw the shift to the artwork being more about the people and being drawn into various subjects and historical events particularly after the French revolution where people were freer with subjects, thoughts etc.

One the of interesting points was many of the paintings of Sydney in the earlier days showed alot of pollution, apparently Sydney was a very dirty city .. and there was a few painting from pristine bush looking back over the dirty city I don't know why this was news to be but I found this interesting.

She also pointed out on a few of the artworks particularly of French artists, how they began to leave parts of the canvas exposed .. it was apparently a style that began to emerge and after she pointed it out was able to see it in a few artworks

She also noted the transition of what occurred when artists had access to tube paint... from previously where they were mixing paint she showed areas where artists where squeezing the paint directly onto the canvas and manipulating it this way ( I have to try that) one particular one of note here was Frederick McCubbin - ON THE WALLABY TRACK, 1896
She actually talked about this one for a long time and this painting is one I had studied in one of my art classes at highschool ... she talked about how the painting drew you right into the scene and how until in this point in time this type of scene hadn't featured in artworks it was a significant shift. Also of note was the use of different colours such as mauve and blue and pinks in the foliage where previously it would have been painted in a classic style of a green. You could see where the leaves and handfuls from the earth had been used to create the effect he has in the foreground scraping the paint away.

We also saw a few works by Tom Roberts whose work I also recognised.
A few particular portraits which were done beautifully were interesting as she actually explained that they were advertisements for Australia to get ladies and gentlemen to come out here. Everyone thought at the time that the place was very rough and ruggered and convicts everywhere .. so the advertisements show ladies beautifully dressed in fine clothes in order to say that we were and doing fine. I found this really interesting also as you forget just the distance barriers these artists had at the time.

So onto some of my own photos of the day ... firstly I have to apologise they aren't that good .the guards kept watching me I did ask if i could take photos they said it was ok but I felt self-conscious... . and obviously I couldn't use a flash but I wanted to show you all I was there!!!! :)

First up for those of you who took up the Waterhouse project earlier this year .. there he is .. a waterhouse !!!! :) I have to say I was excited to see him there... I didn't take up the project but I do remember seeing this one in Katherine's and Maggies posts.

Next up all in the one area on the bottom row there you have Pissaro who I haven't studied but for some reason this painting seemed very familiar to me so I must know it. then you have a monet which I didn't recognise as Monet at first but nonetheless it was, some of the other paintings there are recognisable .. but there on the back wall there .. there sits van gough ... so woot it was exciting to be there with these ones.

The next couple were paintings that just struck me .. the first one is called "The First Born " by Gaston LaTouche -(better pic at the link) The lighting and story of this one was just fabulous and a sad story ..i was looking at this for a while.

This next one by the artist Eioth Gruner the light and mood of this one was just absolutely stunning and again another one which draws you in ... This artist i will have to research some more on i really enjoyed his work.

Finally I wanted to show this work .. which was just gianormous .. by Edward John Poynter - The visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon. This work was also just inspiring it had so many things going on in it that I just wont attempt to explain .but the way he could achieve that is just amazing this would have been at the time of mixing his own paints apparently as well.

To finish up this was a fabulous day I also took some great tree pictures which I will post for you tomorrow. As a note to myself and everyone reading this if ever you feel at a loss for inspiration or just feel like your in a rut with your art go visit a gallery it does wonders !!!

Frederick McCubbin -
Tom Roberts -
Gaston LaTouche -
Grace Cossington Smith -
Elioth Gruner -
Edward Poynter -


Rose Welty said...

Belinda, I'm jealous...a whole day to yourself! Sounds like it was a really good trip. Museums are always inspiring, I need to arrange a trip soon!

Valerie Jones said...

Belinda, I feel like I went to the museum with you! And the whole day to yourself! I'm so glad you had a nice time.

Belinda Lindhardt said...

Thankyou Rose and Valerie. I must apologize for the typos in the post, i was posting via a dialup account and it was just so difficult to see what i was posting there this is the first time i could see it in full :)

A Reason to Paint said...

Fabulous! I really enjoyed your visit to the gallery Belinda.