Tuesday 27 July 2010


No photos allowed inside the exhibition, so here's one of the outside of the gallery, complete with reclining figure (or whacked woman, if you prefer a reference to Melbourne's less arty, more Mob, side).

It was good - lots of variety in artist, subject, style; a handful of famous pieces by household names; and plenty of new stuff for the uneducated like me (who had to give up art after the fourth form in order to do physics and Latin). I especially liked, given my time of life, the one by an artist whose name I hope will come to me eventually, of the portly old widower with wife's portrait in one hand and crumpled hanky in the other, wistfully looking at two pretty young things walking past his garden bench and taking no notice of him whatsoever. And the enviably pearly complexions of the girls in Renoir's paintings.

I confess, there was as much entertainment from the other punters as the paintings themselves: mainly the parties of little kids giggling at the nudes, their teachers manfully trying to keep them focused on technique. "Look at this one! Where's the light coming from?" "From that lightbulb up there, Miss."

Plus there was a pirate with hat, bandanna, bare chest and waxed moustaches taking a deep interest in the works. And lots of arty-type women in scarves, hats, long coats and boots who could have just stepped right out of one of the larger canvases.

And outside, buskers, joggers, suits and schoolkids; trams and a horse-drawn carriage; river with boats and fancy bridges; lots of buildings, new and old, designed to impress; and sunshine and crisp air. Nice. All within easy walking distance, too, from our classy little boutique hotel, Causeway 353, right in the centre of the city. Perfect.

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