|Issue 146 | May 2011
Event highlights | Constructed worlds | Varilaku | Fred Williams | Competition | Children
||Ballets Russes closes 1 May
With Ballets Russes: the art of costume closes this Sunday 1 May, there are still a few days left to visit the Gallery and discover these amazing costumes and accessories by some of the 20th century’s finest artists.
Varilaku: Pacific arts from the Solomon Islands is showing now in the Orde Poynton Gallery. This is the first exhibition staged in Australia which solely showcases art from this area of the pacific. Join us on May 14 for our exhibition focus with the curator, Crispin Howarth.
With Mother’s Day fast approaching why not treat your mum to a special lunch in the Members Lounge. A new winter menu has just been launched with some fantastic offerings prepared by James Kidman and his team here at the Gallery. Open from 10.00 am – 4.30 pm every day.
Keep an eye out for our upcoming winter events program, which for the first time will include a very special concert series to be performed in Gandel Hall. This concert series will be staged over four Sunday afternoons in July and will be a must-see on the Canberra arts and music scene.
Manager Membership and Development Programs
| Henri Matisse Costume for a mourner c 1920 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 1973
Above: Hiroshi Sugimoto White rhinoceros 1980 (detail) National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 1986
space ON NOW
Farrell and Parkin The Young Collective Farmer from the series Red Squares 1986/87 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 1987
Above: Hiroshi Sugimoto White rhinoceros 1980 (detail) National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 1986
Fiona Hall `Starry Night', after Van Gogh 1980 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 1992 © Fiona Hall
Free collection display
until 29 August 2011
Photography in the 1980s can perhaps be best characterised by work made in the studio. Although photographers continued to document the world by going out in to it, others manipulated and altered the image, often appropriating and reinterpreting imagery from the past. Art school-trained, many were informed by various traditions such as Conceptual Art, with French theory all the vogue. It was common that artists, coming from other media, took up the camera at this time as another way of expressing their ideas. Their work asked the viewer to think about the nature of photography itself: less a window onto the world it became instead a means to create new worlds from the artists’ own imaginings.
Following inroads made in the previous decade, the 1980s saw photography elevated to a high art form. It was collected by and hung in public gallery spaces alongside works in other media. In part responding to this development, photographers increasingly worked in colour and on a large scale.
They also often produced series or sequences of photographs, as if one definitive statement was no longer sufficient to convey multi-layered truths about a complex world. The images they created were idiosyncratic, playful, at other times astonishing and mystifying.
The display is in the photospace, part of the permanent galleries and the works are all in the National Gallery collection. Australian photographers included in the display are Christine Cornish, Farrell & Parkin, Fiona Hall, Bill Henson, Hewson & Walker, Shayne Higson, Kendal Heyes, Jacky Redgate, Robyn Stacey and Ronnie van Hout. Photographers selected from the international collection are Robyn Beeche, Christian Boltanski, Ken Botto, Nancy Burson, Michiko Kon, Mari Mahr, Olivia Parker, Cindy Sherman, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Joel-Peter Witkin.
A half day forum titled Tableaux Vivant: 1980s Photography is being held on 21 May, here at the National Gallery, discussing the themes of the decade. Details in forums
Varilaku: Pacific arts from the Solomon Islands is a free exhibition and runs until 29 May 2011
Saturday 14 May 10.30 am
Free for members, $5 guests (02) 6240 6524
Crispin Howarth, Curator, Pacific Arts, discusses the art in Varilaku.
| Roviana Lagoon, Solomon Islands Forehead ornament (Dala) prior to 1908,
on loan courtesy of Museum Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
the scenes Fred Williams retrospective
Fred Williams exhibition poster concept using Strath Creek Falls VII 1979, oil on canvas, private collection
Fred Williams exhibition poster concept using Circle landscape 1965, oil on canvas, private collection
Fred Williams will open on 12 August 2011
We are fortunate to have in-house exhibition designers who work quite closely with a curator in all aspects of the design of an exhibition.
Designer Jing-Ling Chua has taken some time out of her busy schedule to let us know some of the tasks involved in this major retrospective of Fred Williams paintings and gouaches.
How important is it to work with a curator on layout and gallery design in the early stages of developing a major exhibition?
When planning a retrospective, being able to assist the curator in the preliminary stages can be very useful in knowing which works to keep/leave out due to the restrictions of gallery space.
What are some of the joys?
I enjoy the diversity of tasks when designing an exhibition. This also allows me to work with a wide variety of staff within the Gallery. As well as the designing the exhibition layout with the curator, I am working on the resource room with members of Education and the Multimedia team, and the Exhibition shop in close conjunction with the Commercial Operations staff.
What program/s do you use when working on the layout of an exhibition?
We use a computer aided drawing (CAD) program called VectorWorks which allows us to model the exhibition space in 3D.
What are the things you consider first when approaching type face and design for a retrospective of a major Australian painter such as Fred Williams?
The masthead acts as a brand image for the exhibition.
Initial considerations are legibility, readability and how the masthead will be applied—
Above: Some of Jing-Ling Chua’s exhibition masthead designs
this informs the composition.
Fred Williams work is elegant and has a sense of timelessness. It is important that the masthead captures this mood.
How many iterations of a design have you worked through before the ones that you present to the Curator and Director, and those that are then finalised?
This varies depending on each exhibition. I had filled about two A4 pages with suitable fonts before I honed in on roughly five designs to show the curator. I then applied these options to images in our various graphic formats.
What do you think it is about some images that grab people’s attention and work better than others in banner and poster design?
Our banners have an elongated vertical format. With Fred Williams work, I found the composition of his paintings to be so precise and immaculate that taking a detail can sometimes hinder the work. I have found the works with striking geometry, such as Circle Landscape 1965–66, or vibrant colours, as in Iron ore landscape 1981 are very popular.
Read part 2
highlights Go to calendar
for all events
Coach trip: the Archibald Prize
Thursday 12 May 7.00am – 7.00pm
Join us for a luxury coach trip to the Art Gallery of New South Wales to view the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman. More details
CIMF Amazing Spaces Concert Series: Sounding the NGA
Monday 16 May 4.45 pm
The 17th Canberra International Music Festival, celebrating the centenary of the designs of Canberra continues its Amazing Spaces series with musical performances. More details
Wayang Kulit (shadow puppet drama of Java)
Saturday 21 May 2.00 – 4.00 pm
Free | More details
FORUM Tableaux Vivant: 1980s Photography
Saturday 21 May 11.00 am – 4.00 pm
Exploring Australian and international photography from the 1980s. More details
Brave new world
Sunday 22 May 2.30 pm
Tinalley String Quartet ensemble performs Brave new world, paying homage to Haydn, Shostakovich and Debussy. More details
Sundays 15 to 29 May 11.00 am – 12.30 pm
Discover the value of drawing together. Come as a family, a group or an individual. More details
Saturday 4 June 10.30 am
Try your hand at etching and screenprinting in the professional studios at Megalo Print Studio. More details
FORUM Let’s talk recognition …
Friday 3 June 11.00 am – 3.00 pm
Celebrating Reconciliation Week 2011 with a forum on the theme of recognition. More details
All booking enquiries (02) 6240 6528
| Performers of 'Backstage at the Ballets Russes' take a bow
A Wayang Kulit shadow puppet
Brett Whiteley Swinging monkey (2) 1965 (detail) National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 1966, this work appears courtesy of the estate of Brett Whiteley
children Go to calendar for all childrens events
Tales for the very young
Wednesday 4 May 10.30 am
ages 3–5, to be accompanied
$7, $5 child members (free for accompanying adults) | bookings (02) 6240 6524
Margie Kevin, Gallery educator, leads an activity-based tour with stories about the people and places featured in Varilaku: Pacific arts from the Solomon Islands.
Connections runs until 18 Sep 2011 in the Childrens Gallery.
|Iran Hexagonal tile depicting an elegant young man probably 17th century National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, bequest of William F Wells 2003. From Connections
see full details of all travelling exhibitions
Space invaders: australian . street . stencils . posters . paste-ups . zines . stickers is open at UQ Art Museum until 5 June 2011.
In the Japanese manner:
Australian prints 1900 –1940 is open at Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville from 20 May – 14 August 2011
Australian portraits 1880–1960 is open at Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory until 10 July 2011
In the spotlight: Anton Bruehl photographs 1920s–1950s is open at Araluen Arts Centre from 30 April – 13 June 2011
David Hobson and Teddy Tahu Rhodes National Tour 2011
Following their sellout performances in 2009, 'Opera's Leading Men' David Hobson and Teddy Tahu Rhodes return for an encore national tour in October–November. For full tour and booking details visit www.amck.com.au
To celebrate the tour we are giving away five copies of Teddy Tahu Rhodes' new album Serious Songs thanks to AMcK Entertainment and ABC Classics. All you have to do is answer this question—name a recent National Gallery of Australia exhibition which has strong ties to classical music?
Email email@example.com with your answer and the subject line 'Teddy Tahu Rhodes' before 5.00 pm 24 May 2011 for your chance to win.
From the Academy Award winning producers of The King’s Speech, Oranges and Sunshine tells the incredible true story of Margaret Humphreys; a social worker from the UK, who uncovered one of the most significant social scandals in recent times: the organised deportation of children in care from the United Kingdom to Australia. Margaret reunited thousands of families, brought authorities to account and worldwide attention to an extraordinary miscarriage of justice. View trailer
Thanks to Icon Films we have 25 double passes to give away to this film. Respond to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and membership number for your chance to win.
|Teddy Tahu Rhodes
and David Hobson
If your Gallery membership is valid on 31 August 2011 you'll automatically go into the draw to win a trip to Paris for two with a special guided tour of the Musée d’Orsay. The prize includes return economy airfares flying Qantas to London, transfers to Paris and five nights accommodation at an Accor Hotel. Valued at $10,000.
Being a Member of the National Gallery allows you to enjoy exclusive exhibition viewings, participate in members-only programs and workshops, be stimulated by engaging events, meet like minded people. Learn more and join
|Will Ashton Eglise St. Nicholas du Chardonnet, Paris
1925 (detail) National Gallery of Australia, Canberra,