Monday, 12 June 2017

A tri-party visit to the NGA

We decided to take Arabella (aka Small Person #1 or SP1) to the National Gallery of Australia today, having heard good things about the kiddies play area that had been created where the shop used to be. Before getting in there I thought this image of the ceiling of the underground car park was quite artistic.
For whatever reason SP1 didn't seen at all keen on it and we moved slightly to the adjacent Ramingining Memorial where she had great fun identifying the various wildlife represented on the log coffins.

We then ducked back into the main foyer where this '73 Rolls Royce Corniche (aka to Arfur Daley at least as a Roller) was looking suitably shiny.  It was used by Reko Rennie to make a road movie!
In the triennial exhibition itself they had a movie, on three screens of the Roller's outback trip.
It was a total hoot!  Excellent music and great imagery.  The Roller wasn't so shiny by this stage.

I find this image very tricky as it seems to have movement, at least when viewed at a large size!
Getting into the main rooms and this work by Ken Thaiday Sr (from the Torres Strait, but as far as I can work out not a close relative of Sam Thaiday of the Brisbane Broncos) was quite impressive.
This one - a joint effort by Thaiday with Jason Christopher - is magnificent
The next was this work by Yvonne Koolmatrie was, quite reasonably, titled Echidna, It looked a bit like a hot-water bottle cover, but the spines would contraindicate a good night's snooze.
This next work titles "Assimilated Warriors" by Karla Dickens was interesting to look at.  It was described as being "mixed media": one of the favourite unhelpful descriptions of which the NGA is so fond.
It would surely be interesting to everyone, and culturally interesting, to know these are emu feathers!
This pooch is titled Black Dog (presumably a reference to depression) by Archie Moore who was born in Toowoomba.  As he is from the Kamilaroi people I'd expect his roots to be a bit further west. The most interest is the media he used: taxidermy dog (tick); shoe polish, leather metal (all tick).  Raven oil  - what the heck??  It seems to be a type of black, oil-based, dye rather than rendered down corvids!
Looking down from the First floor this set of glass raindrops were very interesting.  SP1 suggested they were magic raindrops.  Possibly she was about on the money as the work represents the black rain that fell after the Maralinga nuke tests.

The artist Yohnnie Scarce was born at Woomera so definitely has a right to comment about those tests.  Her statement talks about the bomb turning the ground into glass "so it seemed right I made the work out of glass yams."  Apparently there are 2000 yams and it took NGA staff 3 weeks to install it!

Heading out into the sculpture garden the mist sculpture was going great guns: presumably the high ambient humidity assisted with this.
No Gorillas were harmed in taking these photos.
We then moved into James Turrell's Skyspace "Within Without".   This is a view of the sky from within!
I finish with a couple of shots of the middle of the work, with a bonus SP1, to give a sense of scale.

Another very good outing.

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