On our recent trip to Melbourne, it was a hot day (especially for Alex and I who are not used to 30 degree celsius weather anymore) so we decided to escape the heat and check out some fantastic Australian art at the Ian Potter Gallery, Melbourne. Once upon a time I studied art, and being an Aussie, Australian art was something I was very interested in. So I was delighted to be able to share with Alex some of Australia’s best artists and enjoyed re-discovering works by two of my favourite Aussie artists, Arthur Boyd and Russell Drysdale.
Seeing the dot paintings after years away from this type of art bought back good memories of doing this in primary school (elementary school for our American readers) and my childhood travels camping with my parents in central Australia.
The painting here is not one in the series, but is of a similar style that is depicting the human condition Boyd witnessed in inner city Melbourne in the 40’s. Around the same time as Boyd, Sidney Nolan was another famous Australia artist. This is one of his iconic images of the infamous bushranger Ned Kelly, a runaway convict. Kelly is a controversial Australian who has folk law status, but was essentially a murderer.
Below is another famous painting depicting Australian life on the station, which was completed in 1890. Roberts was a key member of what is referred to as the Heidelberg School, and these paintings were often inspired by rural life and capturing the particular light of the Australian Bush. I’m not a huge fan of this style of work, but appreciate it for what it tells us about life in Australia over 100 years ago.
The Ian Potter art gallery is centrally located in Federation Square, entry is from the Swanston Street side. Admission is free and they are open 10am-5pm Tuesday – Friday and 12pm-5pm Saturday and Sunday. They are closed on Mondays.