Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

The Sculpture Garden

As I have mentioned in earlier posts The Sculpture Garden is an integral part of our National Art Gallery.  Unlike the gallery itself it is not subject to opening hours and visitors are free to wander through it at any time of the day (or night).

Some of the works I love, some are not to my taste, and I find some incomprehensible.  One at least of the works set me thinking... wondering just what sculpture is.   As is so often the case, my visit reminded me just how much I don't know.  About anything and everything.  I am however very happy that the Sculpture Gardens are here, and also grateful for the public art which is so prolific in my city.  There are lots and lots of sculptures in the garden and if I was to show them all, this would be a very long post, so I am only going to feature some of them. 

So again, come wander with me.

I am going to start with some pieces I find incomprehensible, which is not a criticism of the works, but a reflection of my ignorance.  I don't understand them, and don't know what the artists were trying to achieve.  They are certainly eye-catching.

And the same piece from a different angle.  This one is by Mark di Suvero and is called Ik ook (which is Dutch for me too).
It is a huge piece.  Over seven metres high and seven metres wide.

This is by Robert Klippel and is called Number 751.  The gallery has a number of his sculptures and none of them speak to me any more clearly than this one.

Then to some more conventional sculptures.

This is by Aristide Maillol and is called The Mountain.  If I was the model I would not be flattered by the title he chose.  At all.

These are by Rodin.  The first are studies for The burghers of Calais, and the last are shots of The Burghers from different angles.  Apparently in the 14th century six leading citizens (or burghers) surrended themselves to save their town of Calais from King Edward the Third of England.  They are depicted as starving, dragging their feet and facing the fact they are about to die.

This is by Gaston Lachaise and titled 'Floating figure'.  I doubt the truth of the title.  I am pretty certain she wouldn't float.

 Anthony Gormley's 'Angel of the North'.  Apparently this is one tenth the size of one near Gateshead in England.  The figure was apparently cast from the artist's body, with the wings made separately.

Then to more abstract images.

Clement Meadmore's Virginia seems to defy gravity.  It is an enormous piece of steel and is balanced on two small points.  It looks light and flexible - and apparently weighs over eight tonnes, despite being hollow.

 Bert Flugelman's Cones is also delicately balanced.  I was fascinated by the reflections of the surrounding trees - and unwary photographers.

Then to the one which had me questioning my definition of sculpture.  Rightly or wrongly I had always considered sculpture to be static. 

Fujiko Nakaya's 'Foggy wake in a desert:  An ecosphere' defies that definition.  It is made up of fine clouds of artificially created mist, drifting through the trees and a marsh pond.  It moves and changes with the breeze, the light, and even the numbers of people wandering through...

Further thought reminded me how silly my definition was.  Art is viewed differently by every individual, based on their life experience, mood, time of day...  So how can it be unchanging.  And why should it be?

I am only going to inflict show you two more sculptures in this post.  One which I found discomforting, and the other I loved.  Both are near the fog sculpture which waved tendrils of mist around them.

The discomforting one first.

It is entirely appropriate to feel uncomfortable here.  Dadang Christanto's 'Heads from the North' comes out of his experience of social and political injustice when growing up in Indonesia.  The sculpture is made up of 66 bronze heads and is a memorial to victims of violence following an unsuccessful military coup.  Dadang's father was one of the many who disappeared.  Dadang was eight at the time.

These are slit drums, by unknown artists and come from the Malampa Province of Vanuatu.  The sounds were incredible.  The carvings represent the faces of ancestors.  Magic would sometimes be invoked by a drum's creator to ensure that the ancestral faces were properly evoked, and the deep resonant sounds of the drums is said to summon the ancestors.

Do you wonder we spent happy hours there and will go back?

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Sunday Selections #324

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files.
The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.  Clicking on any of the photos will make them embiggen.
Like River I usually run with a theme. This week has been busy.  Weeding, weeding, weeding.  Planting, planting, planting.  All of the bulbs are finally in the ground.  Hooray.  Except that someone who shall remain nameless has ordered a whole lot more.

We have had some truly beautiful weather.  One absolutely glorious day we ignored the garden and went back to the National Art Gallery, where we spent a happy two or three hours.  We didn't go inside - but wandered through the Sculpture garden (which will get a post of its own next week) and through the gardens more generally. Come wander with me.  The Gallery is set beside Lake Burley Griffin, and much of the gardens (but not all of it) is filled with native trees, bushes and plants.

I always think of wattle blooming in Spring.  I was obviously wrong about this variety, and the little balls of sunshine were very welcome.

There is lots and lots of seating, of various sorts, dotted about the gardens.  

The mystery of the photo above will be revealed in my Sculpture Garden post.

This is in Fiona Hall's fern garden.  And there are seats here too.

On the way home, this orange blaze caught my eye.  A lovely thing.

Apologies for the teeny-weeny text.  Blogger is messing with my mind.  I keep changing it, and it keeps changing it back.