Canberra, Arthur Boyd, Gratitude

Oh NaBloPoMo, could you be any other month than November? January, February, July, August all excellent choices. No?

We take a brief break from Murray / Murrumbidgee / Lachlan River fun times and flash forward to the first weekend in November. After 160 hours of work in two weeks and a pretty hectic month before that I took a well deserved weekend off and drove to Canberra to, as a good friend of mine would say, “Appreciate the f$&@ out of some art.”

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On the road – Lake George.

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Sculpture at the National Gallery of Art

My quarry for appreciation was an Arthur Boyd exhibition “Agony and Ecstasy.”

I very much enjoyed the exhibition, particularly seeing the development of Boyd’s style and the scale, brushwork, light and colour choices of the Nebuchadnezzar series. I failed to feel any sympathy for the artist in his caged painter series. A whole room of enormous, technically brilliant works dedicated to expressing his struggle as an artist to paint and create what he liked, to create for others, to earn money to live and meet other people’s expectations. Poor diminutive tormented artist.

It seems to me that everyone makes these choices and struggles with them. Painter, writer, construction worker, teacher. Follow passion, earn a crust. What to keep and what to forgo. Time spent, time sacrificed. Perhaps it was Boyd’s intention to show how universal these sentiments are and to demonstrate gratitude for every marvellous, heartfelt brushstroke. In tribute, I offer these archaeologists in a cage.

 

 

 

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