Exhibiting at McClelland Gallery and Sculpture park
Forty Years of Australian Art History from the Rockhampton Art Gallery in Queensland
McClelland Gallery held the opening for both the “CREAM” exhibition and “Waves and Water“, the photographic exhibition in the adjacent gallery space on Saturday May 10th.
The Curator of the Rockhampton Gallery gave a brief talk about the exhibition before the opening and gave some insight into the development of the gallery in Rockhampton and the initial acquisition of major artworks during the 1970s.
Because of the foresight of the committee in charge of purchasing for the new gallery, this collection has some of the best examples from some of Australia’s iconic artists starting with Grace Cossington-Smith in 1940 through to a drawing by Brett Whitely and a beautiful landscape by Arthur Boyd which I had never seen before.
Because of the generosity and grants from various groups and government departments such as the Australian Arts Council the Rockhampton Gallery has been able to grow its collection of Australian artworks purchased in the most part directly from the artists, thus putting money back to enable them to keep producing the works that we now hold so dear in other galleries around the country and overseas.
I very much admire any gallery or collector that is willing to invest in living Australian artists so that we can keep our “industry” producing, growing and developing creatively both here and overseas.
The exhibition is a travelling one and will move on to other venues after McClelland which holds the honour of being the first place this collection of paintings is being shown. I went around the exhibition at least three times to check out the paintings and drawings. Some are just stunning and a few are ones that I have only seen in books, so to be able to stand so close the them is amazing.
Speaking of standing very close to iconic works, I was able to stand within a metre of the iconic Max Dupain print “Sunbaker”. It would have to be one of the most famous and iconic photos of the last century and is amongst a group of beautiful prints of photos taken by Max. The theme of the beach and Australiana of the 1940s to today in this photographic exhibition goes nicely with the paintings in the other gallery space. There is a very large black and white print on one of the other walls by a more recent photographer taken from under the water looking up at swimmers which is breath-taking – and HUGE!
There is something here for any person interested in art or photography. The paintings and the prints are all beautifully presented and very interesting, especially if you want to look into the development of art and photography in Australia over the past seventy years or so.
I am looking forward to a revisit soon with my classmates and tutors from TAFE, as I was told that an excursion to this event has been looked into. My thanks to the staff and management at McCellland for getting together such great event.
Speaking of great events, to finish off, after our art chat on Saturday, the official opening was held for both exhibitions. Some wine and very tasty nibbles were on offer as well as very entertaining speakers. I am so glad I took the time to visit and participate and as always I was given a warm welcome which makes volunteering and being in the arts community all that more enjoyable.