Brett Whiteley: West of the Divide presents works spanning four decades of the artist’s career. Artworks in the exhibition have been selected by Wendy Whiteley and the Brett Whiteley Studio with a curatorial focus on the enduring connection Whiteley had with the region west of the Great Dividing Range.
Whiteley spent his formative years in Sydney and as a boarder at The Scots School, Bathurst. His artistic talent was noticed and nurtured by his teachers and he would spend weekends drawing, immersed in the countryside and the distinct seasons.
Whiteley returned to the central west of NSW years later after travelling extensively in Europe, America and Asia, and continued to draw inspiration from the region for the remainder of his life. He frequently travelled to Marulan, Lucknow, Oberon, Carcoar and Bathurst sketching and painting intimate landscapes.
Whiteley found sanctuary and peace visiting the countryside; his senses heightened by the willow and poplar trees, meandering rivers, rocks and unique birds, all of which held special significance for him since childhood. These experiences would be constant subjects in later iconic works such as The lyrebird, 1972 – 1973, Marulan bird with rocks, circa 1980, Summer by the River of Plums, 1985 – 86 and Autumn (near Bathurst) – Japanese Autumn, 1987-88.
The exhibition features drawings, paintings and sculptures from the Brett Whiteley Studio and the Art Gallery of New South Wales collections.
Image: Brett Whiteley, Marulan bird with rocks, circa 1980, oil, gouache, collage, rocks on plywood, 153 x 88.6 x 9 cm. Brett Whiteley Studio. Photo: AGNSW © Wendy Whiteley
Born 100 years ago on April 22, 1917, Sidney Nolan was to become one of Australia’s most celebrated painters. He is best known for his painting series inspired by Australian landscapes, legends and history and featuring figures such as the Kelly Gang, shipwreck victim Eliza Fraser, and the explorers Burke and Wills.
This exhibition celebrates Nolan’s diverse career and includes paintings, rarely seen photographs, screenprints and the much loved Glenrowan tapestry, all from the Benalla Art Gallery Collection.
Nolan’s 1949 Central Australia series of photographs ‘provide a window into the life of outback Australia during the postwar era. More than this, they are the product of an artistic eye, revealing much about Nolan’s working process and highlighting the significant role that photography played in relation to his art.’
Saturday 22 April, 2-4pm: Sidney Nolan’s 100th Birthday Celebration
Born on the Street presents the work of two giants of the Australian street art community, Rone and Adnate.
Adnate shares his passion for indigenous cultures by painting large-scale, realistic portraits in the streets. From a graffiti background, he has gained world-wide recognition and captivated viewers with his monumental street art portraits.
Rone has gone from spearheading Melbourne’s fledgling street art movement in the early 2000s as a member of the Everfresh crew, to being a celebrated fixture on the international street art scene. As a street artist he is best known for his haunting, stylised images of women’s faces.
Born on the Street celebrates the passion of two of Australia’s foremost street art collectors, Sandra Powell and Andrew King, and their dedication and support for artists whose work is often thought of as temporary and transgressive.
Part of the 2017 Benalla Wall to Wall Festival, 6 - 9 April.
Saturday 8 April, 4pm: Artists RONE and Adnate in conversation with street art collectors Sandra Powell and Andrew King.
Sunday 9 April, 11am: Exhibition tour with street art collectors Sandra Powell and Andrew King