An exceptional highlight of my Trip to Canberra has been the visit to the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra. I could have spent so many more hours there… Besides their main exhibitions, their (then) current temporary Hyper Real exhibition definitely inspired me. Visiting cultural and art-focussed museums has grown to be one of my favourite activities in yet unknown cities and countries. Art expresses so much, more than a thousand words could tell. You don’t always necessarily need to study an art piece long enough to understand the artists’ intention, I believe an own interpretation is equally important (I’m sure some will disagree…).
Still, I feel so uneducated regarding traditional aboriginal dot paintings and art, yet by wandering through a bit of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art collection, I finally understood the art a bit more. It’s the largest in the world which comprises over 7500 works and displays, with “The Aboriginal Memorial” as the most memorable one, in my opinion. It is an installation, right by the entrance of the museum, of 200 hollow log ceremonial coffins from Central Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia. It commemorates all the indigenous people who, since 1788, have lost their lives defending their land.
Another highlight of my quick visit to the National Gallery of Australia was the paintings by Albert Namatjira. He actually is one of Australia’s most known artists and has fascinated me with his colourful and timeless captures of the Australian landscape. His exhibited paintings are all so detailed and colourful and definitely don’t feel like they are already more than 50+ years old.
Something completely different has been the Hyper Real exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia. Unfortunately, It was on display only until February 18th, however, the pieces will travel to other Cities worldwide now. For more Info, check out the website with an overview of all the involved artists here. Hyperrealism, paralleling photorealism in painting, began in the 1960s and 70s when a number of sculptors became interested in a form of sculptural realism based on a vivid and lifelike representation of the human figure. From kinetic sculpture to bio art, this exhibition extends our perception of what constitutes the hyperreal.
After a visit, make sure to pay the “hidden” Sculpture Garden at least a brief visit. It’s located in the back of the building and a great experience (and photo location…) is the James Turrell Skyspace right nearby the main entrance to the National Gallery.
Address National Gallery of Australia
Parkes Place E
Parkes ACT 2600