David Hockney – Current @ National Gallery of Victoria

November 11 2016 – March 13 2017

David Hockney has an exhibition of the last decade of his work in the temporary exhibition space at the National Gallery of Victoria. It is everything I hoped it would be and more. Most of the art was created on and Ipad in a package called Brushes. He has worked from that to then print his work in large multi panel works that area lmost life scale.

You enter the space with red walls and a wall paper like look of maybe a hundred artworks unframed and pinned abutting each other around the outside wall with four large pillars in the centre space that are bedecked with either large portrait layout flat screens of sets of Iphones on which annimations or sequences of his works are displayed.

The second room is a dsplay space on which a famous forest scene he painted is reproduced on all four walls that makes it look life size

There is a long almost palace like room again in a rich red and the walls are lined with portraits of people in David Hockney’s life. They were painted in three days each and there are 82 people done in the last three years.

The feature of this exhibition I loved the most and found almost enthralling were the stroke by stroke creations of artworks. On Flat screens in various places the Brushes app used to create the work can be set to replay te construction of the artwork andyou can sit there and watch as line upon line colour upon colour a final work of art is created as you watch. I found it lots of fun to stand and watch in wonder from some basic lines through to a highly detailed artwork that emerged.

Being from Canberra I have now stood for hours in front of David’s Grand Canyon in the National Galllery of Austrralia. I have seen several documentaries about various aspects of his work and was rapt to be able to spendtime with his most recent decade’s work.


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Glenn Murcutt – Architecture of Faith @ National Gallery of Victoria

I have been a fan of Glenn Murcutts architecture for a long time. I have been a fan of Islamic architecture for even longer. When I found out that Murcutt has been asked to work with the Melbourne Islamic community to prepare a building for them to centre their shared lives on I was excited.

There is currently an exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, Federation square that shows the designs, the developing thinking and the community consultation involved between Murcutt, the community and one of their architects to bring about a remarkable centre for worship, education and socialising. The exhibition did not disappoint and next visit to Melbourne I hope to visit the completed centre.The website has an essay and some pictures of the plans and the build.




Atmospherics—the Geelong Gallery collection @ Geelong Art Gallery

18 June 2016 to 13 March 2017
The core gallery at Geelong has a set of paintings that feature different approaches to representation.The styles and approaches to the construction of the works are engaging and have great use of colour.
Web page
Sample pictures
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A print legacy—in memory of Dr Colin Holden @ Geelong Art Gallery

15 October 2016 to 13 March 2017
One of the rooms at the Geelong Art Gallery is devoted to  a set of prints given to the gallery by Dr Colin Holden. They are varied and remarkable examples of the art of prints.
It is always great to see prints that demonstrate the skills and designs from past generations.
Website page
Sample pictures
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Tricking the eye—contemporary trompe l’oeil @ Geelong Art Gallery

26 November 2016 to 12 February 2017
 A great feature of this exhibition was that the curator  had sourced  a great set of historical examples of this style starting in the 1400s and put them on a sequenced display on a large flat screen in a small part of the exhibition so we the viewers could get a sense of the way this approach developed. Marvelous.The fun aspects of this style of artwork are the surprises. One artist created a set of vents that are not vents but they are randomly displayed through the whole gallery and a by product of their work is that I noticed the artistry of the other real vents for air-conditioning etc I a new way.

Among the displays there is a three dimensional  artwork largely created from carpet. There is a window and carpet that is largely created out of  needlepoint squares, There are heaps of other surprises.

Website page


Sample pictures

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A Human Form @ Geelong Art Gallery

10 December 2016 to 17 September 2017

There is a delightful display area in the Geelong Art Gallery It is downstairs overlooking the grassy square. Its main feature is a set of lit glass display cases that follow a u shape around the walls. Right now the Gallery staff have created a wonderful display of “The Body”. When I read about it I imagined lots of sleek classical lightly clad sculptures. I could not have been more wrong. In the maybe thirty objects there are those almost Jane Eyre  style women made out of decorated bone china There are pitted bronze forms in challenging almost extreme yoga positions. There is a plump suburban woman looking like she is waiting for a bus and there are a small number of classically marble creations area.

The GAG Web pagehttp://www.geelonggallery.org.au/whats-on/exhibitions/a-human-form

I love the choices of objects and have included  some samples below

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Behind the Lines 2016 @ Museum of Australian Democracy

The art of cartooning is one of the great contributions to political understanding and analysis. Funny and profound are often mixed together in one space. Each year the Museum of Australian Democracy hosts a large collection of Australian political cartoons of the previous year on their walls for visitors to see clustered in topical sets.

I love these as an exhibit. It is exciting to see the differences and the similarities. They have samples of lots of cartoonists and many examples of some of the best such as Rowe. They sell the set in a paperback book but to me there is something different about standing and reading them on a wall. I enjoy it and will go back again.

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Bulgari – Italian Jewellery @ National Gallery of Victoria

Some areas of creativity evoke awe in me. High end jewellery is one such area. Bulgari have been a standard setter in the field for around 100 years. Their styles have led the market in decade after decade, Their products have decorated celebrities at all the right events and they still have a reputation for creativity and excellence.

At the NGV right now there is a glitzily mounted exhibition of items from the company’s heritage collection and it demonstrates all the features of their craft. Mounted in glass cases with notes “Do not touch the items” are a collection of sumptuously laid out integration of jewellery,high quality metals and gemstones. There are notes that explain their connection to significant people and events. My phone battery had gone dead so I have put below the gorgeous website of the Bulgari Heritage Collection so you can get the sense of these extraordinary creations.

Bulgari Heritage Page Gorgeous pictures and text


NGV Web page




The Band Played On @ National Library of Australia

The National Library of Australia runs great historical document exhibitions. The Band Plays On was an exhibition that showed the sheet music and ephemera connected with World War One popular songs. The famous and popular songs are on the walls in the music etc. An exhibition like this is uniquely able to give a sense of the sentiment at the time on issues such as nationalism.

A few pics below of the exhibits

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Jeffrey Smart @ National Gallery of Australia

For a long time I have loved the spare posteresque urban paintings of Jeffrey Smart who died i think last year. Blank expanses of colour broken with geometric lines of other intervening urban features create unique takes on our barren urban world.

The National Gallery had installed a wonderful small collection of Smart works on a wall in the Australian Gallery. They are well chosen and represent Smart’s work well.

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