William Huggins (attributed) View of the Swan River c 1828–29 (detail)
ISSUE 147 | JUNE 2011
Event highlights | Fred Williams   | Members news | For childrenCompetition
01 Out of the West opens 8 July

Western Australian art from the early days to modern times 

When settlers started arriving in Western Australia nearly two centuries ago, they were mesmerised by the light, heat, long horizons and vast expanses. By the twentieth century, art societies had formed and local traditions had developed. The exhibition Out of the west presents a starting point for visitors to the National Gallery of Australia to explore the art made from these responses to Western Australia, through a diverse range of media, including painting, sculpture, watercolour, drawing, printmaking, photography, video installation, jewellery, furniture, decorative arts and design.

Anne Gray
Head of Australian Art

A B Webb In the Porongorups A B Webb In the Porongorups
c 1924 (detail) National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 2005

Above: William Huggins (attributed) View of the Swan River c 1828–29 (detail)
The Wordsworth Collection, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra,
purchased 2010
Photograph: John Gollings
02 Music at
the gallery

July concert series

The National Gallery of Australia presents a new classical music concert series Hosted by Emma Ayres of ABC Classic FM. The inaugural Music at the Gallery series will run over four Sunday afternoons during July 2011 in the stunning new Gandel Hall.

View more detail here

Single concert or series tickets on sale now through the Gallery. Ph 02 6240 6528
or email NGA

Single performance: $60 ($55 Members)
(lunch / high tea +$45 / +$35)
Full series: $220 ($200 Members)

Photograph: John Gollings

03 Members News

On June 19 we welcome Emmy award winning director Adam Low to the National Gallery for a very special members viewing of his documentary Bacon’s arena.  Adam will present a short introduction and a Q&A session before the screening of the documentary.  The documentary provides an unusually wide perspective of the life and work of Francis Bacon as one of the 20th Century’s great contemporary artists.  For more information about the film click here .  In conjunction with the screening we will be hosting coffee with the curator on the Wednesday prior.  Christine Dixon, Senior Curator, International Painting and Sculpture, will discuss Francis Bacon’s Triptych which is part of the National Gallery’s permanent collection. 

For further information about these events please see below.

Coming in July is Music at the Gallery to be held in Gandel Hall.  Presented by AGB events and the National Gallery of Australia and hosted by Emma Ayres of ABC classic FM this is a must see on the Canberra arts, music and social calendar.  The concerts include performances by Amelia Farrugia, the Lurline Chamber Orchestra, Simon Tedeschi and Rosario La Spina.  (More Info link to website)

Liz Wilson
Manager Membership and Development Programs

  Artonview goes digital

As an added benefit to your membership, the Gallery is now making current issues of Artonview available online exclusive to members, starting with the Winter 2011 issue.

Before each paper issue is mailed out to members' homes and offices, you will receive an e-card with a special link to Artonview.

This also means that you'll receive it before the paper copy. You may also choose to receive Artonview solely as an electronic copy. Just email us to let us know that you would no longer like to receive a hard copy at your home or office.

Back issues of Artonview will also be available online using the same system nga.gov.au/artonview

04 Member’s champagne viewing

Out of the West - member’s special champagne viewing with a talk and tour by exhibition Curator, Anna Gray, on the opening afternoon at 3:30pm.

See below for more special members events

05 Members giveaway

Thanks to Hopscotch Films the first 20 NGA members to respond by email will receive a double pass to special preview screenings of the film - Little White Lies – valid June 10 – 12 click here to enter

Follow link to find out more about the film

Fred Williams Springbrook, Queensland II 1971 (detail) gouache, watercolour, synthetic polymer paint on paper
06 Behind
the scenes Fred Williams retrospective
part 4
Fred Williams Springbrook, Queensland II�1971 (detail) gouache, watercolour, synthetic polymer paint on paper
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased from Gallery admission charges 1983
� Estate of Fred Williams

Above: Detail of same work Fred Williams
Beachscape with bathers, Queenscliff IV 1971 gouache, clay and charcoal on paper National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Purchased from Gallery admission charges 1983 © Estate of Fred Williams

This month we introduce you to our Paper Conservator Rose Peel, who has been busily preparing the Fred Williams gouaches for display in the forthcoming retrospective. Rose has kindly taken the time to share some of the important things that Paper Conservators do. She has also offered a wonderful glimpse into the type of materials Williams used, as well as how he used them and why the colours in these gouaches still look so fresh and vibrant!

What are some of the approaches, treatments or other factors you consider when preparing works for display in an exhibition?

Conservators consider the artist’s intent. If the paper has discoloured for instance because of oxidation (light damage) and that has effected the visual balance of the image do we clean the work to not only remove the soluble acids but assist the relationship between colour and paper to the idea first expressed by the artist.

A particular treatment may be discussed with the curator, with colleagues ― in-house and possibly nationally and internationally. Bound by professional ethics, conservators are not creative when appraising and treating an artist’s work. Conservators work within the constraints of the problem to ensure the work is stabilised chemically and physically to present the work as close as possible to its original condition.

All works on paper are thoroughly documented before treatment is undertaken. They are photographed, condition reported and analysed within the constraints of the equipment and expertise available – given the preparatory time frame.

Can you tell us a bit about the materials Williams used in his gouaches?

Fred Williams was skilled in his application of gouache (a thick opaque watercolour). The majority of gouache paintings, prepared for this exhibition, are painted on French Arches and heavy T H Saunders wove papers. They are strong cotton based papers that can withstand a vigorous artist.

The two deckle edges indicate the paper sheet was made on a cylinder mould machine but has features that imitate handmade paper. Because the T H Saunders paper was internally and surface sized with gelatine it was strong enough to withstand masking tape being pulled from its surface and wouldn’t easily abrade when drawing mediums such as graphite and charcoal were erased.

Williams often applied a wash of colour to the paper first and then the detail gouache was applied to the surface straight from the tube or mixed on the sheet with a brush, dabbed and swirled to suggest a tree, rock, figure, flame. The charred landscape in After the fire 1968 may include charcoal found in the landscape, which was mixed into the paint brining the observed subject to the two dimensional surface.

Fred Williams
After the fire 1971 gouache, clay and charcoal on paper National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Purchased from Gallery admission charges 1983 © Estate of Fred Williams

Because of the thickness of the gouache and different materials used by Williams some heavy impasto areas in his paintings have cracked and flaked resulting in some losses. These damaged areas have been consolidated to prevent further loss and will be carefully monitored, but the spirit of the work has not been lost.

Williams’ invoices record that he purchased substantial quantities of Winsor and Newton Permanent White and Ivory Black designer gouaches that he used with the yellow and brown ochres, cadmium red, cobalt blue and Prussian blue. The thickness of the impasto provides a richness of colour. The more pigment that is applied to the surface the more likely the colour will be retained if protected from the light and if the work is safely stored and displayed.

Further information can be found in Artonview: ‘Cafes and Beaches’, Artonview, vol.30 Winter 2002, p.50-53.  

07 Event
highlights Go to calendar
for all events
and details

FORUM Let’s talk recognition …
Friday 3 June 11.00 am – 3.00 pm
Celebrating Reconciliation Week 2011 with a forum on the theme of recognition. More details

Print sampler
Saturday 4 June 10.30 am
Try your hand at etching and screenprinting in the professional studios at Megalo Print Studio. More details

Shooting the bubble
Tuesday 14 June 12.45 pm
David Turnbull, Assistant Exhibitions Manager, unpacks his tool-kit for a behind-the-scenes tour of objects from the International galleries.
Free | Level 1 entrance

Australian design lecture, in association with the Gallery of Australian Design
Saturday 18 June 2.00 pm
Ramona Barry, curator of Australian chair design survey, in conversation with Dr Robert Bell, Senior Curator. Followed by a drinks reception and viewing of the exhibition at the Gallery of Australian Design.
Free | Small Theatre and Gallery of Australian Design

Caption: L–R Michael Graham-Stewart, Dr Prue Ahrens, Lawrence Foana'ota OAM
Crispin Howarth, His Excellency Beraki Jino, Dr Jude Philp, Rhys Richards, Dr Michael Gunn at the Varilaku: Pacific arts from the Solomon Islands forum

Inuksuit by John Luther Adams for 9–99 percussionists
Saturday 25 June 6.15 am
International percussionists present Inuskuit by Alaskan composer John Luther Adams. This free dawn concert  is curated by Gary France and held outside James Turrell’s Skyspace Within without.

Out of the West lecture series Wed 3 to Wed 24 August 6.00 pm. A series of lectures providing an overview of Out of the West, as well as focusing on specific artists. Each lecture is followed by a focused exhibition tour with a National Gallery of Australia curator. Series ticket $40, $30 members/concession; single tickets $12, $10 members/concession | bookings essential | Small Theatre

Please check the online calendar for further details closer to the date

Walangkura (Jackson) Napanangka Pintupi people Untitled 2009 (detail), National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, acquired in acknowledgement of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations with support from The Myer Foundation, 2010. © the artist licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency

Celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art
Sunday 3 to 10 July

Film: Here I am
Wednesday 6 July 6.30pm
Producer Kath Shelper introduces Here I am, which received a standing ovation at the Adeliade Film Festival.

The Hermannsburg Watercolour School
Thursday 7 July 12.45pm
Franchesca Cubillo, Senior Curator, discusses the history surrounding the Hermannsburg Watercolour School.


Artist’s talks
Saturday 9 July
Fiona Foley, printmaker, painter and sculptor and photographer, speaks about her works Dispersed 2008 (11.00am) and HHH 2004 (2.00pm). >

terpreted tour of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander galleries
Sunday 10 July 2.30 pm
Free | bookings (02) 6240 6519

09 Meet the curator

Anne O’Hehir has worked in the Photography department at the National Gallery for ten years. Her most recent project is Constructed worlds, a new display focussed on Australian and international photography of the 1980s.

What has been your most satisfying moment as a curator?
I always find talking to school groups satisfying: especially when, after describing a photographic process in great detail, like cibachrome for example, someone pipes up and asks “what’s cibachrome?” No really, speaking to people – young or old – and sparking their interest in art and getting them excited about photography is what inspires me most in this job.

If you could curate a solo show of any artist who would it be?
Francesca Woodman. Her extraordinary images manage a kind of lyrical beauty, but with a chilling undertone you can’t quite place. They are all the more poignant when you realise she died at 22 after throwing herself from a window. Google her.

If you were a work of art in the collection what would you be?
I would like to say the Brancusi birds, but I’m afraid I am more like a Diane Arbus photograph.

What is your favourite work not on display?
It would have to be Diane Arbus’ Patriotic young man with flag, N.Y.C. I can clearly remember the first time I saw the photograph hanging in the Gallery only recently after it opened in 1982. It blew me away. I couldn’t believe that someone had let themselves be photographed like that. I think it might be the reason I became a photography curator.

What is the smelliest/ oldest/ most fragile work you have encountered?
ühn. They are made of glass and so fragile it creeps me out to handle them! I’ve stuck fragile stickers all over the box they are kept in to remind me to be careful.

10 For
children View all childrens events

Draw and explore: spot shapes
Thursday 21 July 11.00 am – 12 noon, repeated 2.00–3.00 pm
Ages 5–8, parents welcome

Art and me
August 10.00 – 11.00 am
ages 1–3, to be accompanied
Fridays 10 June, 8 July and 12
An interactive art tour of the Gallery for toddlers.

A little look at art
Wednesdays 15 June, 20 July and 17 August 10.00–11.00 am
Parents, babies and toddlers are invited for a tour of the national art collection.

Connections runs until 18 Sep 2011 in the Childrens Gallery.

Above: Frank Lloyd Wright Window from the Avery Coonley Playhouse 1912 (detail) National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Gift of American Friends of the National Gallery of Australia, Inc., New York, NY, USA, made possible with the generous support of Gordon Darling AFNGA Fund in memory of Marietta Tree, 1994. © Frank Lloyd Wright/ARS. Licensed by Viscopy
11 Around
the country
see full details of all travelling exhibitions

In the Japanese manner:
Australian prints 1900 –1940
is open at Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville until 14 August 2011

Northern Territory
Australian portraits 1880–1960 is open at Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory until 10 July 2011

In the spotlight: Anton Bruehl photographs 1920s–1950s
is open at Monash Gallery of Art, Wheelers Hill from 25 June – 11 September

Albert Tucker, Man's head 1946 
National Gallery of Australia, 
Canberra, purchased 1981

Albert Tucker, Man's head 1946
National Gallery of Australia,
Canberra, purchased 1981
© Barbara Tucker courtesy
Barbara Tucker
From Australian portraits

12 Win

Thanks to Footprint Films you can win one of 10 in-season double passes for Here I am , the striking feature film debut by writer-director Beck Cole, which received a standing ovation at the Adelaide Film Festival.

Simply tell us which portrait in the travelling exhibition Australian portraits 1880–1960 says "here I am" to you the most.

Email marketing@nga.gov.au with your answer and the subject line 'Here I am' before 5.00 pm Monday 30 May 2011 to enter the competition. Tickets are valid from 2 June, with screenings in all capital cities, including Canberra.

Shai Pittman as 'Karen' Photographer: Mark Rogers
13 Support

If your Gallery membership is valid on 31 August 2011 you'll automatically go into the draw to win a trip to Paris for two with a special guided tour of the Musée d’Orsay.  The prize includes return economy airfares flying Qantas to London, transfers to Paris and five nights accommodation at an Accor Hotel.  Valued at $10,000.

Being a Member of the National Gallery allows you to enjoy exclusive exhibition viewings, participate in members-only programs and workshops, be stimulated by engaging events, meet like minded people. Learn more and join

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Moulin Rouge: La Goulue (The Glutton) 1891 (detail)
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Moulin Rouge: La Goulue (The Glutton) 1891 (detail)
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra  
Acquired through the National Gallery of Australia Foundation and the Poynton Bequest, 2010