See some of Australia’s history through new eyes in Eugene Von Guerard: Artist - Traveller exhibition in the Art Gallery of Ballarat.
Telling the story of Australia’s most pre-eminent landscape painter of colonial Australia, this exhibition focuses particularly on the artist’s life of travel and adventure, as seen in his sketchbooks, which offer a glimpse into the heart and mind of one of our greatest and most enduring relevant artists.
Curator Dr Ruth Pullin, says the exhibition provides some exceptional content. “I think what makes this artist unique for his time and what gives his work enduring relevance today is the accuracy and scientific precision of his observations of the natural world. He had the rare ability of being able to incorporate all that detail into compositions of panoramic breadth and simple geometry. His aim was to be true to nature, both in the scientific and the poetic sense.”
The fine line between art and personal records are on display in this exhibition for all to see, Dr Pullin says. “These exquisite, very personal sketchbooks are like visual travelogues. They tell the story of the artist’s travels and illuminate his working practices. Thirty-five of his forty-seven sketchbooks have survived intact.”
This new exhibition also has particular relevance to the Ballarat region and Western district, while also providing a more personal exhibition on the artist, providing insights into the artist’s working processes and into the personal experiences of travel as recorded, for example providing access to his previously untranslated old German diary entries.
The exhibition also has a very popular public program that offers a bus tour around the Ballarat region. Dr Pullin says this tour goes through the Camperdown region, which retraces the artist’s March-April 1857, and visit the sites and properties he sketched and later painted, most of which are in the exhibition. This first tour has sold out and a second tour is filling fast.
Passionate about the work in the exhibition, Dr Pullin says the exhibition is a unique opportunity to access these historic sketchbooks. “Major works are on exhibition here…as well as a significant number of works, paintings and sketchbooks, that have never been on public display before.Von Guérard’s detailed observations of the natural environment have ongoing environmental relevance.”
See Eugene Von Guerard: Artist – Traveller from the 24 March to 27 May at the Art Gallery of Ballarat.
Art Gallery of Ballarat
Dates: 24 March - 27 May
Location: 40 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat
Time: 10am – 5pm daily
Cost: Free admission