….but we are all fabulous.
My first and only previous visit to the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) in Sydney was 9 years ago. I loved it then and since I was unsure whether I would ever return, I drank in the experience and bought the catalogue of the main collection for my Mum and the catalogue of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island collection for myself. Unlike many past experiences which do not live up to memory, this one did not fail.
Firstly there was the wonderful approach through the Botanical Gardens (previously I arrived directly by bus so missed this extra treat). Secondly it was as lovely, cool and airy a space as I remembered. Thirdly, despite an almost-disaster whereby the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island collection is temporarily closed, some of the art has been brought up to the main collection and is now photographable (an added bonus) and the closure only lasts until next week – a great excuse for a return visit if one were needed, which it wasn’t…
We only made it round the 20th and 21st Century Australian galleries as there was so much to see and admire. There is a daily free tour of the Aboriginal Art which we will definitely return for – the works we saw were wonderfully 3 dimensional in some cases and evocative in all with narratives which a tour will hopefully help us to interpret. Here are some of my favourites:
Uta Uta Tjangala, Untitled (Jupiter Well to Tjukula), 1979
Dick Pantimus Tjupurrula, Water and wallaby dreaming, 1981
A collection of items by different artists (Timmy Payungka Tjapangati, Charlie Tararu Tjungurrayi, Uta Uta Tjungala, Unknown)
Bununggu Yunupingu, Hunting Scene with Diamond Sting Ray, 1959
A bark painting
Mathaman Marika, Wagilag Sisters’ Story, 1959
Another bark painting. The story doesn’t end well for the Wagilag sisters who end up, along with some others, being eaten by a python as depicted in the top right hand corner.
A selection of Tutini (Pukumani grave posts), 1958
There was also a fine selection of Australian art:
Brett Whiteley, The balcony 2, 1975
Frank Hinder, Tram Kaleidoscope, 1948
Margaret Preston, Grey day in the ranges, 1942
John Brack, The new house, 1953
Arthur Boyd, Lion’s head in a cave and rainbow, 1969
Grace Cossington Smith, The window, 1956
Grace Cossington Smith, Interior with wardrobe mirror, 1955
Godfrey Miller, Nude and the moon, 1954-1959
We’re hoping to fit in at least 2 more visits to the gallery while we’re here, so watch this space for more pics.