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Friday, 17 April 2009

School holidays

For the school holidays this year we decided to take a family trip to Sydney. The boys were keen to go, though, when pressed, had no idea why? It's a big city? We drove up, stopping overnight at Bowral - home of the Bradman Museum. Yes, we did visit this amazing museum, obviously well funded and extensive in its' coverage of both Don Bradman and cricket.


For the textile lovers amongst you, there was even an exhibition of the baggy green cap and it's construction. For the non-cricketers, it is the cap that is presented to players when they make the Australian cricket side. Iconic.


Bowral is in the Southern Highlands, about an hour out of Sydney and is very picturesque. This is the scene from our rooms that greeted us in the morning.


More about the trip later....


I did, however, want to tell you about the wonderful exhibitions I managed to catch in Sydney.
The first, at the Gallery of NSW was the exhibitions associated with the Archibald Prize (portraiture), the Wynne Prize (landscape) and the Sulman prize (everything else!)
My oldest came along and it was great to have someone to discuss the various works with and what 'should' have won, etc. etc. Yes, he is still happy to be seen in public with his mother. He also came in handy as at approximately 6'4" (sorry not metric for height) we used him as our meeting point, as he's easy to spot above the crowds.
The Art Gallery of NSW is always worth a visit, if only for their very excellent Australian painting collection. All the ones you know! See what's on there at: www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au
The other exhibition I wanted to catch was 'I walk the line: new Australian drawing" at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Circular key. My drawing teacher has work in this exhibition (loved it - portraiture on books on the shelf). This was a broad survey of drawing ranging from stunning strong portraiture, through a traditional drawing executed directly onto the two storey wall of the gallery, to, video works....all drawing!
On a whim, I caught an exhibition by a japanese artist named Yayoi Kusama. I am always drawn to Japanese art and culture, so much so that I wish I could work out a way to travel and study something(???) there. The exhibition was called 'Mirrored Years' and it was absolutely astounding. It too was a survey exhibition covering a broad range of her work.
I can only recommend that you have a look at her work on her website: www.yayoi-kusama.jp There are pictures from the exhibition in Sydney there. Wikipedia also have an entry for her: www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yayoi_Kusama
The exhbition is on till the 8th June, so if you're in Sydney have a look. For more on the gallery have a look at www.mca.com.au
The power of all these exhbitions for me was their breadth. Landscape, drawing, an art life, can be as broad, as diverse as you make it. Landscape can be 'Red reef', a crocheted reef (Yes, I know it's be done before, interesting though that it turned up here and it was well done.) A drawing can be a three dimensional work, intricately executed. And an artistic life can explore different ideas over a long time. (Yayoi Kusama was born in 1929 and is still producing amazing new work)
There was much to think over and absorb.

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