Sunday, 11 March 2012

Travelling to see art

Part of the reason that I haven't posted for a while is that I've been off travelling to see art!  I've had a couple of weeks off work and did a little tour of NSW - flying to Newcastle, bussing to Port Macquarie, where I stayed wuith my friend, George, for a couple of days, then we drove to Armidale; I took the train to Tamworth - for the main purpose of my trip, to see the fabulous GW Bot, 30 year retrospective, The Long Paddock, then I took the train to Sydney where I spent the day at the AGNSW, ejoying the Picasso and the Kaldor Collection in new contemporary galleries.  I had a lovely time!
Besides Sydney, I'd never been to any of these places before.
I would have liked to spend longer in Newcastle. Enjoyed the walk along the harbour/wharf and out along the breakwater.

   In my short time there I also found the Newcastle Art Gallery where I saw Leaving a Legacy, Margaret Olley's gifts to Newcastle, and Shay Docking - Works from the Newcastle Collection.  They are both well worth a look.  Of the Shay Docking works, I was particularly impressed by those from the 1960s.
Margaret Olley's donation was quite diverse; mostly paintings - from a 1960s Carl Plate abstract work to Ben Quilty's very loose expressionist portraits of Adam Cullen from 2006.  I was particularly attracted to Elisabeth Kruger's lush Taffeta - a large-scale detail of two white roses, reminiscent of Georgia O'Keefe in its tight framing, but with more emphasis upon luxuriance and texture, and Kevin Lincoln's pared down still life, Grey Jug 1999.
Kevin Lincoln Grey Jug 1999 oil on canvas Newcastle Art Gallery, Gift of the Margaret Olley Art Trust 1999
 I was very interested to see three examples of Cressida Campbell's work.  I confess, I'm not sure that I see the point of her process - cutting a woodcut plate, then painting/inking(?) the plate to take a single print impression.  Olley's gift included two such prints and also a painted plate, or a plate retaining the paint after the single  print was pulled.  I was most interested in the plate.  It reminded me of learning in Art History of the  Spanish wooden sculptures that were originally brightly coloured (polychromed - that we would now perhaps see as gaudy.)  
Spent a couple of days in Port Macquarie, enjoying the beaches and the rainforest walk at Sea Acres National Park.

One evening we went for a cruise on the river, where I was pretty excited to see some dolphins.  They were too quick for me to catch on film, but here's the last of the sun on the water.

We spent a long but very pleasant day driving from Port Macquarie to Armidale, along the Waterfall Way, stopping at Bellingen for lunch, as well as three of the falls for which the Way is named!
The modest Newell Falls,

The very spectacular Ebor Falls, with a series of drops, the first image being the upper section, the second the lower.

 and finally Dangar Falls.  I wondered if they had been named for the family of Anne Dangar, a contemporary and great friend of Gace Crowley, who spent most of her life working at Moly-Sabata in France.

We walked out on the Skywalk at Dorrigo National Park.  Shorter than I expected but very high with fabulous views over the valley. Next post, I'll get to the art!