Royal Australian Mint at 50 @ Dennison St Deakin

The Mint in Canberra turns 50. Time for a celebration. The best celebration is a face lift. The exhibition galleries and the window viewing areas over the manufacturing plant are all being redone but are not finished and when I was there they could not get the introduction video to start. The great thing I liked was a model of the building and panels of history in sequence around the base.

I have included some of the panels and pics of the model complete with cars of the era below.

Web site

http://www.ramint.gov.au

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Myth and memory in recent American landscape photography @ Photospace National Gallery of Australia

The new set of photos exhibited in the Photospace at the National Gallery of Australia explores the photography of a group of people dealing with the intersection between ideal landscapes and the intrusion of the human constructed landscape. The space has been shortened because of overflow accommodation for the Turrell exhibition but the set of black and white shots are each a classic.
The photographers include Frank Gohlke, Mark Ruwedel, Mark Klett and Linda Connor. I have included some web sourced pics because my phone does not do much with high reflection issues with photos behind glass. I wish I could have got Ruwedel’s pictures of the landscapes around US nuclear bomb test sites. They are a site for sore eyes.
Frank Gohlke,

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Mark Ruwedel,
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Mark Klett,
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Linda Connor
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World Of Cricket from the Bradman Museum @ Canberra Museum and Gallery

World Of Cricket from the Bradman Museum at CMAG is one of those targeted exhibitions that gives insight into a popular part of our sporting culture. The Bradman Museum at Bowral is a magn et for cricket buffs and this show came from there. It consists of clothes, equipment, documents, photographs and other ephemera. To a non cricket fan like me the explanations were clear and there were some fascinating bits of information.
There is a large chart listing the time and results of the Prime Minister’s eleven games. Compared with all other prime ministers Howard ran those matches at a much more regular rate than the others. Another exhibit that I loved was a pair of large format pictures of Manuka Oval one in the 1920’s and one recent one. – a great pair.
Some pics below give a flavour of the exhibit. The show is on from Sat 6 December 2014 – Sun 15 March 2015.
The CMAG info page is below:
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In the Flesh @ National Portrait Gallery

This is an unusual exhibition. On some levels it is a shock, on other levels it is both touching and engaging. The types of portraits, their styles, subject matter and media vary greatly.
The Sam Jinks stuff is very confronting in its realistic creations of human sculpture and its comfort with the naked across a big age range.
The ten artists involved are: Jan Nielson, Natasha Bieniek, Patricia Piccinini. Juan Ford, Petina Hicks, Ron Mueck, Sam Jinks, Michael Peck, Yani Floros, Robin Eley.
There are highly stylised colour photos, there are small paintings, large photographs, sculptures of various types, a walk through area with hanging fabric and boxes in which you can feel materials without seeing them.
The overall point is to build a sense of human experience through a body. Each work engages that experience in a different way. I have attached a set of pictures from the exhibition below.
NPG page for the exhibition
http://www.portrait.gov.au/exhibitions/in-the-flesh-2014/

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Spirited – Australia’s Horse History @ National Museum of Australia

It took me months to get to this because of the other stuff on in town. With the summer break shutting lots of galleries I finally got there. I am glad I did. This is an exhibition that the NMA needed to put on. In telling Australians their stories it would be a bad mistake not to tell this one. I am city. I rode on horses as a kid – Canberra was a much smaller place with less to do so we went horse riding. As a nation horses have been such a central part of our formation and developent and this exhibition tells this story well.
I love it when curators put together complex stories with great materials. This is that type of exhibition. There is the early history with accompanying artworks. That is interwoven with great depictions of industry, family life, exploration, warfare, business, farming, sport and other horse uses all illustrated with big and small related objects and lots of well written supporting text.
Below are a few pics taken in the exhibitionIMAG3153

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The NMA page
http://www.nma.gov.au/exhibitions/spirited

James Turrell: A Retrospective @ National Gallery of Australia

What an interesting mind James Turrell has. I had been in his Skyspace installation at the National Gallery before and been entranced by several elements of it, but knew little of the rest of his work. The big exhibition at the NGA has fixed that gap.
I had read publicity material in the lead up to the show but still walked in with only a vague idea of what I would encounter. This exhibition is engrossing and it is fun.
One room has a very large white rectangle on one wall surrounded by flouro pink light. The guy encourages you to sit for a few minutes which adjusts yourself to the strange light. Then when you walk out into the previous gallery it looks like they have given it a quick respray in green
One room has a deep fog filled lit space that looks like you are viewing through thin cheese cloth. When I got close I was so intrigued with its ethereality that I actually walked inside it finding no cheese cloth. An attendant asked me to come back as I was actually inside the artwork.
Another room had a set of bewitching holograms. Further on there was a softly lit fog that looked like a projection on the wall but was really another space of indeterminate depth. He just loves playing tricks with light and space and our perception of them. I wanted to throw myself in works of art. I created shadow puppets on brightly coloured spaces. I have rarely had so much fun in an exhibition.
Turrell is famous for large walk in sculptural creations like the one out front of the NGA. He is a pilot, has a fascination with lots of things including use of craters and natural landforms in getting a sense of light and perception.
I have included some pics below taken from the internet, but feel silly doing it. No 2D jpeg can give any close sense of a Turrell work. This exhibition was a well spent $25.
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21 Portraits @ National Portrait Gallery

Familiar and unfamiliar were my reactions in approaching this set. Rick Amor is a prominent portraitist in Australia and the National Portrait Gallery has put on a charming small exhibition of 21 of his portraits in their entry gallery. On the walls are portraits I have seen in other locations and some I have never seen. There are portraits of people I am familiar with and people I have never heard of. There are painted richly coloured styles and light pencil sketches. There is only one female subject in the set.
John Percival,
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Manning Clark,
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Michael Kelly,
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Dorothy Porter,
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Shane Moloney,
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