Art Therapy: “La Trobe’s Art Therapy Masterclass & Workshop Day’ Written and Photographed by Karen Robinson

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INTRODUCTION

Recently a friend and I attended the La Trobe’s ‘Art Therapy Masterclass and Workshop Day‘ at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Melbourne – Australia.  The first of the public lectures covered: ‘The wellbeing effects of participating in art making – what the evidence tells us’ presented by Dr Patricia Fenner – art therapist, course coordinator, Master Art Therapy.  The second public lecture ‘Children and youth – building supportive self-care strategies using art’ was presented by Ms Vicky Nicholls – art therapist, psychotherapist, lecturer.  Meeting Vicky again brought back memories of the time I attended Mind Australia’s Art Therapy Group Sessions for Carers of loved ones with mental health issues where Vicky facilitated the art therapy group sessions.

 

 

 

 

ART THERAPY WORKSHOP

We got to participant in one of the workshops which explored issues such as ‘Who is an artist? Looking at the social currency around the term and identity, challenging the norms’.  This particular workshop was ran by Dr Libby Byrne – art therapist, artist, lecturer and researcher, Master Art Therapy.

 

 

Below here is a photograph of my efforts playing with the kinetic sand.  It was a fun and meaning-full way of being able to engage in storytelling, work through feelings and emotions in a safe, supportive environment.

 

 

Below here, beginning with a blank piece of paper and taking the time to create as we thought about the meaning of being an artist!

 

 

 

 

EXHIBITION ADJOINING LECTURE

Afterwards we took ourselves into see an exhibition adjoining the lecture centre featuring the work of Yayoi Kusama – most celebrated living Japanese artist and other amazing artists.

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

Art Therapy and Creative Writing Therapy really does work, and so important, as it helps people regain their sense of wellbeing, and helps support their loved ones as well.


Please click here to visit my ‘Art Therapy – About’ page where you will be able to find blog links and photographs about other photographic adventures…

© Karen Robinson – March 2018

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POST-TRAUMATIC GROWTH:  Improving one’s sense of wellbeing using art, creative writing, photography, public speaking, blogging – my journey written by ©Karen Robinson.  Please click here for my latest blog news!

Art Exhibition – Ian Potter Centre – “Making The Australian Quilt” Blog Written by Karen Robinson

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15 'Making the Australian Quilt' Exhibition at the Ian Potter Centre - NGV Australia - Photographed by Karen Robinson - August 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

15 Above:  Karen Robinson looking at “Gertrude Mary Day – Hexagon Quilt (stars and tumbling blocks) early 20th century ” at the ‘Making the Australian Quilt’ Exhibition at the Ian Potter Centre, Federation Square, Melbourne, NGV Australia.  Photographed by M. Robinson – August 2016.  NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

 

INTRODUCTION

It was during August this year on one of Melbourne’s mid-winter days that my husband and I decided to take a trip into Melbourne’s city centre to view the ‘Making the Australian Quilt: 1800-1950‘ Exhibition, located at the Ian Potter Centre, Federation Square – NGV Australia.  What an extraordinary exhibition it was to experience!  There were over eighty works inclusive of quilts, coverlets, garments and quilted, patched and pieced works made in Australia or with a significant Australian provenance (NGV 2016).  It also featured 19th century English quilts that had been brought to Australia during its early history (NGV 2016).

 

 

13 'Making the Australian Quilt' Exhibition at the Ian Potter Centre - NGV Australia - Photographed by Karen Robinson - August 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

13 One of the Gallery rooms at the ‘Making the Australian Quilt’ Exhibition at the Ian Potter Centre, Federation Square, NGV Australia.  Photographed by Karen Robinson – August 2016.  NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

 

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

What I also found most interesting were the powerful stories that accompanied these works of art; and the amazing resourcefulness and technical skills of their makers.  Materials used included taffeta, velvet, furnishing fabric, dressmaking scraps, flour bags, possum skins, suiting samples and flannelette; and by cutting, layering, piecing and stitching these materials they were transformed into items of great personal and historical significance (NGV 2016).  Both men and women were makers, and made “within the context of leisure and accomplishment, created as expressions of love and family connection and those stitched out of necessity in an environment of constraint and hardship” (NGV 2016).

 

18 'Making the Australian Quilt' Exhibition at the Ian Potter Centre - NGV Australia - Photographed by Karen Robinson - August 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

18 One of the Gallery rooms at the ‘Making the Australian Quilt’ Exhibition at the Ian Potter Centre, NGV Australia.  Featured in the middle of the photograph is a “Possum skin rug – late 19th century-early 20th century.  Aboriginal Peoples wore rugs similar to this as cloaks, through they were usually much larger, often containing around seventy pelts”  (NGV Making The Australian Quilt 1800-1950 p. 140 – 2016).  Photographed by Karen Robinson – August 2016.  NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

I found this exhibition a wonderful window into a bygone era through the magic of quilt making. In the National Gallery of Victoria’s book titled ‘Making The Australian Quilt 1800-1950’ written by Annette Gero and Katie Somerville, there is a piece on page 47 that describes how makers used quilting to hold the memories and history of their families:

“Author Jennifer Isaacs sums up this idea:  Because patchwork used pieces of material with a long association within the household, these quilts are evocative memory-stirrers for all generations to see them in later years:  each family member is able to point out an old upholstery fabric, the curtains from the kitchen, the cretonne used for this, the muslin used for that, the wool insertion from grandfather’s old trousers, or the tea towels from the kitchen.  In a real sense they are therefore, silent but very eloquent family documents.”

 

 

A SLIDE-SHOW OF IMAGES TAKEN ON THE DAY!

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THE STAND-OUTS FOR ME!

There was so much to see at this exhibition, and so much to understand and appreciate that it would be impossible for me to cover all within this blog.  I am just going to cover some stand-outs for me, and hope that you, as a reader, will someday have the opportunity to view the vast collection of artwork created by these extraordinary makers.  I really could have spent days and days there, it was just that amazingly comprehensive!

NB:  please click here to view the gallery’s artwork labels PDF for this exhibition

 

  • Stand-Out No. 1:   “The Rajah quilt made by unknown convict women”

1 0f 3 'The Rajah quilt made by unknown convict women' exhibited at the 'Making the Australian Quilt - 1800-1950' Exhibition NGV Australia. Photographed by Karen Robinson. NB Images copyright protected

1 0f 3 ‘The Rajah quilt made by unknown convict women’ exhibited at the ‘Making the Australian Quilt – 1800-1950’ Exhibition NGV Australia. Photographed by Karen Robinson. NB Images copyright protected

 

  • The Rajah quilt:  “Is a patchwork and appliquéd bed cover or coverlet made by convict women en route to Australia in 1841 on board the Rajah.  It is the only known example of a convict quilt made on the voyage to Australia.”  (Ref:  The Australian Quilt 1800-1950 Book. page 26  NGV – Annette Gero and Katie Somerville 2016).

 

3 0f 3 'The Rajah quilt made by unknown convict women' exhibited at the 'Making the Australian Quilt - 1800-1950' Exhibition NGV Australia. Photographed by Karen Robinson. NB Images copyright protected

3 0f 3 ‘The Rajah quilt made by unknown convict women’ exhibited at the ‘Making the Australian Quilt – 1800-1950’ Exhibition NGV Australia. Photographed by Karen Robinson. NB Images copyright protected

 

  • Description of the Rajah Quilt:  “This very large quilt measures 325 x 337 centimetres and is a pieced medallion or framed-style quilt with a central block of white cotton.   It is hand stitched with ‘Broderie perse’ appliqué and pieced work, and is decorated with chintz birds and floral motifs.  As a coverlet it has only a front and back with no padding or quilting, and the 2815 pieces of fabric from which it is made are all cotton, with small amounts of linen and silk threads.  The central block is framed by twelve different boarders of patchwork in printed cotton.  The quilt is finished at the outer edge by white cotton decorated with appliquéd daisies on three sides and an inscription in very fine cross-stitch is surrounded by floral chintz attached with ‘Broderie perse’ on the fourth side”.  (Ref:  The Australian Quilt 1800-1950 Book. page 26  NGV – Annette Gero and Katie Somerville 2016).

 

2 0f 3 'The Rajah quilt made by unknown convict women' exhibited at the 'Making the Australian Quilt - 1800-1950' Exhibition NGV Australia. Photographed by Karen Robinson. NB Images copyright protected

2 0f 3 ‘The Rajah quilt made by unknown convict women’ exhibited at the ‘Making the Australian Quilt – 1800-1950’ Exhibition NGV Australia. Photographed by Karen Robinson. NB Images copyright protected

 

  • The Rajah quilt inscription reads:  “TO THE LADIES OF the Convict ship committee This quilt worked by the Convicts of the ship Rajah during their voyage to Van Diemans Land is presented as a testimony of the gratitude with which they remember their exertions for their welfare while in England and during their passage and also of proof that they have not neglected the Ladies king admonitions of being industrious * June * 1841 *”.   (Ref:  The Australian Quilt 1800-1950 Book. page 26  NGV – Annette Gero and Katie Somerville 2016).

 

 

  • Stand-Out No. 2:   “Golda Jean Ellis’s Cheer Up Society Cape”

1 0f 2 'Golda Jean Ellis's Cheer Up Society Cape' exhibited at the 'Making the Australian Quilt - 1800-1950' Exhibition NGV Australia. Photographed by Karen Robinson. NB Images copyright protected

1 0f 2 ‘Golda Jean Ellis’s Cheer Up Society Cape’ exhibited at the ‘Making the Australian Quilt – 1800-1950’ Exhibition NGV Australia. Photographed by Karen Robinson. NB Images copyright protected

 

  • This cape:  “was worn by nurse Golda Jean Ellis of the Murray Bridge branch of the Cheer Up Society.  Murray Bridge was a major railway station for soldiers in transit, and the Cheer Up Society Provided welcome refreshments.  Ellis stitched the cloth badges of servicemen she met to the inside of her cape.  The ribbon for the Distinguished Conduct Medal awarded to private Oliver Neall (later Lieutenant) of the 2/8th Battalion for gallantry at Tobruk is one of the badges sewn on the inside of the cape.  Ellis married Neall in 1943 before he left for New Guinea. AG”.  (Ref:  The Australian Quilt 1800-1950 Book. page 136  NGV – Annette Gero and Katie Somerville 2016).

 

2 0f 2 'Golda Jean Ellis's Cheer Up Society Cape' exhibited at the 'Making the Australian Quilt - 1800-1950' Exhibition NGV Australia. Photographed by Karen Robinson. NB Images copyright protected

2 0f 2 ‘Golda Jean Ellis’s Cheer Up Society Cape’ exhibited at the ‘Making the Australian Quilt – 1800-1950’ Exhibition NGV Australia. Photographed by Karen Robinson. NB Images copyright protected

 

 

  • Stand-Out No. 3:   “Annie Percival’s Patchwork table cover”

1 0f 2 'Annie Percival's Patchwork table cover' exhibited at the 'Making the Australian Quilt - 1800-1950' Exhibition NGV Australia. Photographed by Karen Robinson. NB Images copyright protected

1 0f 2 ‘Annie Percival’s Patchwork table cover’ exhibited at the ‘Making the Australian Quilt – 1800-1950’ Exhibition NGV Australia. Photographed by Karen Robinson. NB Images copyright protected

 

  • This Table Cloth Cover Story:  “For Annie Tait it was family life as a publican’s daughter that led to the making of a table cover and cushion cover from hundreds of golden silk cigar ribbons.  Born in a tent in Silverton, NSW, in 1887, Annie was the third of seven children of her Scottish migrant parents Thomas and Catherine.  By the time her family had settled in Broken Hill Annie was a teenager and her father went on to build and manage four hotels, including the Masonic Hotel, where they lived.  Annie was therefore very well placed to collect cigar ribbons, which were at the time used to merchandise and package up the cigars sold to the patrons of the hotel.  The technique of using cigar ribbons in quilts and other domestic textiles was a well-established form of fancywork.  Some women relied on friends and relatives to gather enough silks – each of which bore the name and logo of the manufacturer – to make an impressive quilt.  It is worth noting how skilfully Annie arranges her silks in regular patterns to make the most of the aesthetic impact of the text and logo designs. KS”.   (Ref:  The Australian Quilt 1800-1950 Book. page 52  NGV – Annette Gero and Katie Somerville 2016).

 

2 0f 2 'Annie Percival's Patchwork table cover' exhibited at the 'Making the Australian Quilt - 1800-1950' Exhibition NGV Australia. Photographed by Karen Robinson. NB Images copyright protected

2 0f 2 ‘Annie Percival’s Patchwork table cover’ exhibited at the ‘Making the Australian Quilt – 1800-1950’ Exhibition NGV Australia. Photographed by Karen Robinson. NB Images copyright protected

 

 

  • Stand-Out No. 4:   “Nursery rhyme quilt”

1 0f 1 'The Nursery rhyme quilt' exhibited at the 'Making the Australian Quilt - 1800-1950' Exhibition NGV Australia. Photographed by Karen Robinson. NB Images copyright protected

1 0f 1  ‘The Nursery rhyme quilt – Unknown maker 1940’ and ‘Annie Ellis’s Dressing Gown’ exhibited at the ‘Making the Australian Quilt – 1800-1950’ Exhibition NGV Australia. Photographed by Karen Robinson. NB Images copyright protected

 

  • The Nursery Rhyme Quilt:  “Scenes from forty-two different nursery rhymes and children’s stories are depicted on this quilt, including the Queen of Hearts, Humpty Dumpty, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Mary Had a Little Lamb and Cinderella.  Many used dress fabrics have been appliquéd onto the quilt using blanket stitch and appear to have had a previous life.  The centre block represents the book ‘Amelia Anne and the Green Umbrella’, which was first published in the 1930s.”  (Ref:  Making the Australian Quilt 1800-1950 NGV Artwork labels page 81-2016)

     

 

CONCLUSION

This exhibition was just so big, and as I stated earlier, I could have, should have, stayed for days and truly immersed myself in the world of ‘Making the Australian Quilt‘.  After reading the stories, viewing the incredible selection of artworks, I couldn’t help but think that this form of art making also served a different purpose.  The painstaking and sometimes laborious endeavours of these makers must have been at times a form of art for therapy.  The hours and hours of dedication applied to such craftsmanship in order to create these now treasured artworks would have hopefully given their makers a sense of great achievement, even if it was, for some, out of pure necessity!

 

30 Karen Robinson having coffee at the 'Making the Australian Quilt' Exhibition at the Ian Potter Centre - NGV Australia - August 2016 NB All images are protected by copyright laws

30 Karen Robinson having coffee with Hubby after viewing the ‘Making the Australian Quilt’ Exhibition at the Ian Potter Centre, Federation Square, NGV Australia.  Photographed by M. Robinson – August 2016.   NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 


© Karen Robinson – October 2016

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Art Exhibition – National Gallery of Victoria – “DEGAS: A NEW VISION” Blog Written by Karen Robinson

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Karen Robinson with Hubby at Degas - A New Vision - Melbourne Winter Masterpieces 2016 - National Gallery of Victoria, Australia NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

Karen Robinson with Hubby at ‘Degas – A New Vision’ – Melbourne Winter Masterpieces 2016 – National Gallery of Victoria, Australia NB: All images are protected by copyright laws

 

INTRODUCTION

Just recently, my husband and I decided to become members of Melbourne’s – National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).  It was a reasonably small fee and membership would encourage us both, in the future, to take time out to view the many wonderful artworks of extraordinary living artists of today, and of those from the past as well.  Over recent years, I have come to understand that art for therapy isn’t just about producing works of art for one’s self, that much can be gained therapeutically, by viewing the works of art of others.  As a viewer of artwork, we are given an opportunity to step into the artist’s world which allows us to better understand their lives as artists, and as people.  We sometimes discover where their sources of inspirations are derived and this in turn allows us to appreciate their dedication to their craft, their workmanship; their mastery; and their pure genius!

 

 

NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA – “DEGAS:  A NEW VISION”

So it was on one of Melbourne’s winter, rainy days that we decided to venture into the city to have a look at the National Gallery of Victoria’s – Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition featuring “DEGAS:  A NEW VISION“.

There would have been literally 1000’s of people there at the exhibition during the time-frame we were in attendance ourselves; and due to being the school holidays there where many mums, dads, grandparents whom had taken on the brave task of bringing their children into see this amazing Edgar Degas Exhibition.  It was also pension’s day, so there was a sea of the elderly and that being us as well, making their way around very crowed gallery rooms.  It was clear from this show of people, that the viewing of art, and in particular an exhibition such as this “DEGAS:  A NEW VISION” was being appreciated by many generations of people, which in turn demonstrates, for me at least, that no matter our nationality, our age, our background, our fortune or misfortune, art seeks our attention and maintains our ongoing fascination which can improve our sense of well-being.

 

A SELECTION OF GALLERY SCENE PHOTOS I TOOK ON THE DAY!

Please click on the images below, which will take you to a slide show, where you can find details for most of the artworks.

 

 

DEGAS ARTWORK LABELS FROM NGV

Please find here below a PDF of Degas Artwork labels as provided by the National Gallery of Victoria for those whom may wish to know more about each of his works as exhibited at this particular exhibition.

DEGAS_ArtworkLabels

 

YOUTUBE:  BIOGRAPHY OF EDGAR DEGAS – Discovery Art Artist History Impressionism (full documentary).  Published on Nov 17, 2014

Edgar Degas was born in Paris in 1834 to an upper middle-class family.  He abandoned his studies at university to devote himself to painting and become a celebrated French Impressionist (NGV 2016).  Life in Paris provided Edgar with a great source of inspiration – from scenes of work and industry to ballet and the theatre, race courses and boudoirs (NGV 2016). His work over fifty years embraced painting, drawing, printmaking, monotypes, sculpture and photography – impacting greatly on modern and contemporary art (NGV 2016).

Below here is a YouTube that very well introduces the life of Edgar Degas.  It’s lengthy but worthy of a watch for those whom are particularly interested in his life and his artwork.

 

 

 MY FAVOURITES OF EDGAR DEGAS’S ARTWORK

The exhibition of Edgar Degas’s consisted of over 200 works from dozens of collections worldwide and make up of paintings, drawings, printmaking, monotypes, sculptures and photography (NGV 2016).  Degas’s exhibition was expansive and really needed days of viewing rather than the little time that my hubby and I had undertaken.  I felt very privilege to have had the opportunity to see Degas’s works up close and not just in pictures or within documentaries – it was a wonderful experience.

There was so much to be enjoyed at Edgar Degas NGV’s Exhibition that I can only list a few of my favourites below.  I particular enjoyed viewing ‘A cotton office in New Orleans’ where it shows a group of men at work, its colouring and the angle of the view of the painting captures so much detailing of the men engaging in their daily tasks; ‘Dead fox in the undergrowth’ where the fox just seemed to be laid out in a resting position but is actually dead, there seemed to be something very sad about this image; and there were many portraits that I found engaging and in particular the ‘Edmondo and Therese Morbilli’, probably because of the story that they had experienced a loss of a child and with this knowledge, you could see the grief on their faces – a sense of sadness and despair.  Edgar Degas’s paintings of the dancers/ballerinas which he is best known for being that they are intimate and personal – I loved, the colour, the movement, the natural poses of the dancers/ballerinas just going about their daily routines.

Please click on the images to view details as provided by the NGV and/or open out the following PDF for more informed/details information about his artwork – DEGAS_ArtworkLabels

Racehorses c. 1895-99 pastel on tracing paper on cardboard 55.8 x 64.8 cm National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa Purchased, 1950. Photographed by Karen Robinson July 2016

Racehorses c. 1895-99 pastel on tracing paper on cardboard 55.8 x 64.8 cm National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa Purchased, 1950. Photographed by Karen Robinson July 2016

1 of 1 Dead fox in the undergrowth 1861-64 oil on canvas 92.0 x 73.0 cm - Edgar Degas - Musee des Beaux-Arts, Reunion des Musees Metropolitains, Rouen, Normandie. Photographed by Karen Robinson July 16

1 of 1 Dead fox in the undergrowth 1861-64 oil on canvas 92.0 x 73.0 cm – Edgar Degas – Musee des Beaux-Arts, Reunion des Musees Metropolitains, Rouen, Normandie. Photographed by Karen Robinson July 16

 

The bather c. 1895 pastel and charcoal 78.0 x 79.0 cm - Edgar Degas - Reading Public Museum, Pennsylvania Bequest, Henry K. Dick Estate. Photographed by Karen Robinson July 2016

The bather c. 1895 pastel and charcoal 78.0 x 79.0 cm – Edgar Degas – Reading Public Museum, Pennsylvania Bequest, Henry K. Dick Estate. Photographed by Karen Robinson July 2016

1 of 1 A cotton office in New Orleans (Un bureau de coton a la Nouvelle-orleans) 183 oil on canvas 73.0 x 92.0cm - Edgar Degas - Photographed by Karen Robinson July 2016

1 of 1 A cotton office in New Orleans (Un bureau de coton a la Nouvelle-orleans) 183 oil on canvas 73.0 x 92.0cm – Edgar Degas – Photographed by Karen Robinson July 2016

 

EDGAR DEGAS’S – LITTLE DANCER AGED FOURTEEN

Here please find a very short YouTube about Degas’s  ‘The little fourteen-year-old dancer’ 1879-81 – Cast 1922-37 bronze with cotton skirt and satin ribbon 99.0 x 35.2 x 24.5cm.

8 of 20 'DEGAS - A NEW VISION' Exhibition NGV July 2016 - Scene Photos taken by Karen Robinson NB All images are protected copyright

8 of 20 ‘DEGAS – A NEW VISION’ Exhibition NGV July 2016 – Scene Photos taken by Karen Robinson NB All images are protected copyright The little fourteen-year old dancer 1879-81. cast 1922-37 bronze with cotton skirt and satin ribbon 99.0 x 35.2 x 24.5 cm Museu de arte de sao paulo, Assis Cateaubriand Donated by Alberto Jose Alve, Alberto Alves Filho and Alcino Ribeiro de Lima (NGV 2016)

 

 

CONCLUSION

We came away from Edgar Degas’s National Gallery of Victoria’s Exhibition knowing we had viewed an extraordinary exhibition, a once in a lifetime opportunity to see and appreciate the artwork of one amazing artist.  Art for therapy at its best for sure!

Reading the National Galery of Victoria Magazine 'Gallery' about Edgar Degas's Exhibition July 2016 - Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws

Reading the National Gallery of Victoria Magazine ‘Gallery’ about Edgar Degas’s Exhibition July 2016 – Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

Written by ©Karen Robinson – July 2016

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Art Exhibition – National Gallery of Victoria – “Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei” Blog Written by Karen Robinson

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No. 1 of 10 Karen and husband at the 'Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei' Exhibition - National Gallery of Victoria - Melbourne Australia 23.04.16 NB Images are copyright protected

No. 1 of 10 Here I am at the front of the Gallery after spending some of my day with my husband viewing the amazing ‘Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei’ Exhibition – National Gallery of Victoria – Melbourne Australia 23.04.16 NB Images are copyright protected

 

 

INTRODUCTION

It was going to be the last weekend where we had a chance to see the incredible exhibition of ‘Andy Warhol & Ai Weiwei’ at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne – Australia.  Training it – into the city of Melbourne was easy and making our way to the Gallery on foot from Flinders Street Railway Station, was a good stretch for the legs!  Once we were into the Gallery itself, it was clear that this was a very big event.  There were many, many people there, and it felt like the whole of Melbourne had the same idea as my husband and I – to see this exhibition before the end of this weekend!.

No. 2 of 10 Karen and husband at the 'Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei' Exhibition - National Gallery of Victoria - Melbourne Australia 23.04.16 NB Images are copyright protected

No. 2 of 10 My husband in the foreground.  We are waiting just inside where the ‘Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei’ exhibition commences with a very large group of people whom are listening to the Volunteer Gallery Guide.  We are all geared up with headphones so that we can individually hear what she has to say about the artists and their work – 23.04.16 NB Images are copyright protected

We had decided it would be best to take part in the ‘Voluntary Guide Tour’ which commented at 11.30am and was free.  Luckily for us, we were able to obtain the very last sets of audio listening devices, so that we were able to listen to the ‘Volunteer Tour Guide’ clearly during the whole of the tour, which took approximately one and a half hours.  It was very informative, and helped both my husband and I understand these artists and their work more fully, in what was such a small amount of time to do so.

Viewing the artwork of both these world-renowned artists Ai Weiwei – Chinese born 1957 and Andy Warhol – American born 1928 and died 1987 – helped me gain a clearer understanding about what drove these two men to be so creatively prolific in their work as artists; what made them distinctive in their field of artistic expertise.

Within the ANDY-WARHOL-AI-WEIWEI-EXHIBITION-GUIDE PDF it stated the following details about Andy and Ai:

Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei explores the influence of two of the most consequential artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries on modern art and contemporary life, focusing on the parallels and intersections between their practices. Surveying the scope of both artists’ careers, the exhibition presents more than 300 works, including major new commissions, immersive installations and a wide representation of painting, sculpture, film, photography, publishing and social media.

Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei have each redefined the identity and role of the artist in society. Parallels also exist between the ways in which both artists have transformed our understanding of studio production and artistic value. Both are also renowned for their engagement with media and communications, and for the cultivation of celebrity and their own persona, in order to speak to social contexts beyond the world of art.

There was so much to see at this exhibition, and so much to understand and appreciate that it would be impossible for me to cover all here within this blog.  I am just going to cover a very small amount of stand outs for me, and hope that you as a reader, will some day have the same opportunity as I have had, to view such a vast sum of work done by these extraordinary artists.  I really could have spent days and days there, it was just that amazingly comprehensive.  NB:  For detailed written information about each of the works of art – please click on link to the National Gallery of Victoria’s AndyWarhol_AiWeiwei_Labels.

 

 

 

ANDY WARHOL’S SELF-PORTRAIT 1986

I particularly liked Andy Warhol’s self-portraits and the insight it gave me about the artist himself.  Being a lover of colour and form myself, I naturally found myself drawn to his silkscreen ink on linen art work.

The National Gallery of Victoria’s artwork labels for his portraits read –

It is perhaps surprising, in view of his self-consciousness and fondness for the anonymity of silkscreen printing, that Warhol produced many self-portraits over a twenty-year period.  In Self-Portrait No. 9 his gaunt, disembodied image floats against a starry black background, partially concealed by a fluorescent camouflage pattern – an eloquent reflection on the nature of fame and privacy in an age of mass media.  Produced only months before Warhol’s death from surgical complications, this haunting self-portrait is sometimes interpreted as a postmodern death mask.

Nine months before his untimely death due to complications after gall bladder surgery, Warhol undertook a large series of iconic self-portrait paintings.  Many viewers and critics alike regard these gaunt staring faces as memento mori, or reminders of human mortality.  Each work centres on a levitating head surrounded by a halo of spiky hair.  Monumental in scale, the works have a melancholic, haunting quality created in part by the use of dark tones and a dense black ground, and in part by variations across the series in the ghost-like negative photographic reproduction.

In today’s galleries, there is the inclusion of labels that have been written ‘for kids’!  I find myself drawn to them as an adult as they offer a simplistic narrative which allows me to gain further information that is sometimes not included in the adult version.  The information is more generalised and I find it just as interesting!

The National Gallery of Victoria’s artwork label for kids about Andy Warhol’s portraits read as following:

This is one of many self-portraits Andy created during the 1980’s.  Andy, always wearing his white wig, stood out from the crowd in New York City.  It was his permanent look and he was never seen without it.  Andy is also famous for breaking the art tradition of painting a portrait with brushes and paints; instead, he used a commercial printing technique called silkscreen-printing.  This technique meant he could produce many pictures in a short period of time – sometimes eighty in one day.  Did you know Andy’s cats used to curl up and sleep in his drawer full of wigs?

No. 2 of 3 Andy Warhol Self-Portrait 1986 Synthetic Polymer Paint and Silkscreen Ink on Linen. Photo taking at National Gallery of Victoria 23.4.16 by Karen Robinson

No. 2 of 3 Andy Warhol Self-Portrait 1986 Synthetic Polymer Paint and Silkscreen Ink on Linen. Photo taken at National Gallery of Victoria 23.4.16 by Karen Robinson

 

 

 

ANDY WARHOL’S CAMPBELL’S SOUP 11:  NEW ENGLAND CLAM CHOWDER, HOTDOG BEAN, TOMATO-BEEF NOODLE O’S OYSTER STEW, CHICKEN’N DUMPLINGS AND CAMPBELL’S SOUP 11 SERIES 1969 – COLOUR SILKSCREEN ON PAPER

It was interesting, to at last – see up front and in person, these most famous images, images of ordinary, everyday items of tinned food.  The National Gallery of Victoria – Volunteer Guide informed us that it was said that Andy Warhol had one can of soup each day for a number of decades!

The National Gallery of Victoria’s Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup 11 artwork labels read –

1-2 Andy Warhol's Campbell Soup 11 Colour Silkscreen on Paper exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria photo taken by Karen Robinson 23.4.16

1-2 Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup 11 Colour Silkscreen on Paper exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria photo taken by Karen Robinson 23.4.16

Warhol’s paintings of Campbell’s Soup Cans were first exhibited at the Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles, in 1962, and he returned to the subject repeatedly throughout his career.  The works’ ready-made commercial imagery, mechanical manufacture and serial production ran counter to prevailing artistic tendencies, offering a comment on notions of artistic originality, uniqueness and authenticity.  The familiar red-and-white label of a Campbell’s Soup can was immediately recognisable to most Americans, regardless of their social or economic status, and eating Campbell’s Soup was a widely shared experience.  This quintessential American product represented modern ideals:  it was inexpensive, easily prepared and available in any supermarket.

2-2 Andy Warhol's Campbell Soup 11 Colour Silkscreen on Paper exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria photo taken by Karen Robinson 23.4.16

2-2 Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup 11 Colour Silkscreen on Paper exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria photo taken by Karen Robinson 23.4.16

 

 

 

AI WEIWEI’S DROPPING A HAN DYNASTY URN 2015

4-5 Ai Weiwei Photographic Triptych - Dropping A Han Dynasty Urn 2015 Artwork exhibited at National Gallery of Victoria photos taken by Karen Robinson 23.4.16

4-5 Ai Weiwei Photographic Triptych – Dropping A Han Dynasty Urn 2015 Artwork exhibited at National Gallery of Victoria photos taken by Karen Robinson with husband in the background 23.4.16

Ai Weiwei’s photographic triptych – Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn was intriguing.  Not just because of the story on the labels as shown below but because of the sheer size of the works and the amazing detailing.  It is not until you come up close do you realise that the photographic pixelation has been created by actual Lego like plastic pieces put together to create these amazing three images.  I kept thinking about the amount of time and energy it would have taken to create such a work; about the skill it would have taken to master the pixelated form using the Lego like plastic pieces.

The National Gallery of Victoria’s Ai Weiwei’s dropping Han Dynasty Urn artwork labels read –

Ai’s photographic triptych Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, 1995, which shows the artist holding, releasing and smashing a Han dynasty vase, is one of the artist’s most iconic works and demonstrates his critical engagement with China’s violent cultural heritage, the artist’s performative action is presented matter-of-factly, with the viewer left to contemplate the event and what might be salvaged from the destruction.  Ai has recreated the image here in children’s building blocks, in pixelated form, attesting to the distribution of images by digital technologies.

5-5 Ai Weiwei Photographic Triptych - Dropping A Han Dynasty Urn 2015 Artwork exhibited at National Gallery of Victoria photos taken by Karen Robinson 23.4.16

5-5 Ai Weiwei Photographic Triptych – Dropping A Han Dynasty Urn 2015 Artwork exhibited at National Gallery of Victoria photos taken by Karen Robinson 23.4.16

The National Gallery of Victoria’s Ai Weiwei’s dropping Han Dynasty Urn artwork label for kids read as following:

Have you ever accidentally broken a vase at home?  In these three photographs we see Weiwei dropping an urn on purpose!  This urn is an ancient cultural relic and is very valuable; however, in ancient China these urns were not precious.  They were produced quite cheaply and in large quantities to be placed in tombs.  By destroying the urn, Weiwei makes us question how we think about the past, and about the importance of ancient objects in our lives today.

 

 

 

AI WEIWEI’S BICYCLE BASKET WITH FLOWERS & WITH FLOWERS PROJECT

No. 4 of 10 Karen and husband at the 'Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei' Exhibition - National Gallery of Victoria - Melbourne Australia 23.04.16 NB Images are copyright protected

No. 4 of 10 Karen and husband at the ‘Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei’ Exhibition – National Gallery of Victoria – Melbourne Australia 23.04.16  Karen taking a ‘Selfie’ in front of Ai Weiwei’s bicycle basket exhibition piece – hopefully Ai Weiwei will not mind me doing so – a sign of the times ‘Selfie’s’ everywhere!  NB Images are copyright protected.

Being a lover of flowers and colour it wasn’t hard for me to be drawn to this installation art work of Ai Weiwei and after reading its background story I found it even more engaging and profound.  The way Ai Weiwei found a non violent way to strongly express his political stance and engage the rest of the world – was pure genius I feel.

The National Gallery of Victoria’s Ai Weiwei’s Bicycle Basket of Flowers and with Flowers Project in Porcelain artwork labels read –

In 2011 Ai was detained by Chinese authorities for eighty-one days without being charged.  Upon his release, Ai’s passport was revoked and his studio placed under constant surveillance.  With Flowers saw the artist place a fresh bunch of flowers in the basket of a bicycle outside his studio on a daily basis in a poetic protest against restriction on his right to travel.  Images of the flowers were posted to Ai’s social media feeds, and an internet movement called Flowers for Freedom emerged.  The project concluded upon the return of Ai’s passport in July 2015.

1-1 Ai Weiwei's bicycle basket with flowers exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria photo taken by Karen Robinson 23.4.16

1-1 Ai Weiwei’s bicycle basket with flowers exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria photo taken by Karen Robinson 23.4.16

In late 2015, in response to the confiscation of his passport by Chinese authorities in 2011, Ai tweeted:  ‘Since Nov. 30, 2013, every morning I am putting a bouquet of flowers in the basket of a bicycle outside the front door of the No. 258 Caochangdi studio until I win back the right to travel’. Ai documented the flowers on his website and social media on a daily basis.  The project concluded on 23 July 2015 following the return of the artist’s passport a day earlier.  Here Ai memorialises the With Flowers project in porcelain, traditionally the most revered of Chinese artistic mediums.

 

 

 

ANDY WAHOL’S FLOWERS 1970 COLOUR SILKSCREENS ON PAPER

1-8 Andy Wahol's Flowers 1970 Colour Silkscreens on Paper exhibition at National Gallery of Victoria Photo taken by Karen Robinson 23.4.16

1-8 Andy Wahol’s Flowers 1970 Colour Silkscreens on Paper exhibition at National Gallery of Victoria Photo taken by Karen Robinson 23.4.16

It was Andy Wahol’s Flowers 1970 Silkscreens on paper that I loved the most and if you know my own artwork, it wouldn’t be hard to know why as I do love colour.  The brightly coloured flowers bouncing off the walls of the gallery was like ‘honey to a bee’ for me and I also do like artwork that can be viewed as a series of images.

The National Gallery of Victoria’s Andy Wahol’s Flowers 1970 artwork labels read –

Experimenting with decoration – one of modernist painting’s most controversial subjects – Warhol’s Flowers prints were exhibited in tight grids at his first show at Leo Castelli Gallery, New York city, in 1964.   A subsequent series was exhibited in Paris, where more than 100 works were hung almost edge to edge, mimicking the decorative effect of wallpaper.  The source photograph, taken by Patricia Caulfield, appeared in the June 1964 issue of Modern Photography magazine.  Caulfield sued to maintain ownership of the image, and while the suit was settled out of court, the issues of authorship and copyright it raised remain relevant to contemporary art debates.

3-8 Andy Wahol's Flowers 1970 Colour Silkscreens on Paper exhibition at National Gallery of Victoria Photo taken by Karen Robinson 23.4.16

3-8 Karen Robinson, me standing along side of Andy Wahol’s Flowers 1970 Colour Silkscreens on Paper exhibition at National Gallery of Victoria Photo taken by Husband of Karen Robinson 23.4.16

The National Gallery of Victoria’s Andy Wahol’s Flowers 1970 artwork label for kids read as following:

In the mid 1960s Andy began producing his flowers series.  For his first exhibition he filled a gallery with almost thirty silkscreen prints.  To make the works of art he began with a magazine photograph of hibiscus flowers.  He cut out the image, increased its size and turned it into a print.  The pictures show the same arrangement of flowers but are printed in many different colour combinations.  Andy often asked his friends for ideas.  For his flowers series he asked them to tell him their favourite colours.

 

 

 

AI WEIWEI’S  –  MAO 1985 OIL ON CANVAS

Ai Weiwei’s political statements conveyed through his artwork offers an insight into his life and also the lives of those whom live within his homeland of China.  It helps Westerners better appreciate the importance of free speech and the value of art being a vehicle to inform others about repressive societies.  His artwork leaves us more informed so that we cannot say we don’t know or understand, so that we can not turn a ‘blind eye’ to injustices.

The National Gallery of Victoria’s Ai Weiwei’s – Mao Triple Portraits artwork reads –

Ai’s triple portrait of Mao subjects the Chinese leader to distortions gleaned from the Western avant-garde movements of Pop, Expressionism and Dada.  As John J. Curley has observed:  ‘The stoical and symmetrical official portrait of Mao was part of Ai’s everyday visual culture in China, and due to personal circumstance, he understood the violence, censorship and oppression hidden behind the facade.  He renders the leader as a caricature, critiquing the legacy of Mao through the combination of a belittling Pop rendition and the violent signs of an aesthetic struggle.  Mao’s power over the people, at least in these canvases, does not extend to Ai’.

1-1 Ai Weiwei's - Mao 1985 Oil On Canvas exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria photo taken by Karen Robinson 23.4.16

1-1 Ai Weiwei’s – Mao 1985 Oil On Canvas exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria photo taken by Karen Robinson 23.4.16

No. 6 of 10 Karen and husband at the 'Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei' Exhibition - National Gallery of Victoria - Melbourne Australia 23.04.16 NB Images are copyright protected

No. 6 of 10 Husband standing in front of Ai Weiwei’s – Mao 1985 Oil on Canvas artwork at the ‘Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei’ Exhibition – National Gallery of Victoria – Melbourne Australia 23.04.16 NB Images are copyright protected

 

 

 

 WEIWEI’S LETGO ROOM 2015 PLASTIC

Ai Weiwei has given this particular installation a very clever title ‘Letgo’ Room when you take into account that LEGO the company, declined to supply Ai with what was required to complete this art work.  Too bad – because it is really amazing and for me – strongly advertisers LEGO’s lack of foresight but in turn Ai Weiwei’s installation becomes a very effective way of pushing his thoughts and ideas to the forefront of the viewer, especially around his ‘exploration of copy and fake’!  What I really loved about this work was that you entered into a cave like experience, but very brightly lit.  The whole enclosure is covered from top to bottom and all over the walls with Lego like plastic and the fact that you could stand on it as well – almost seemed wrong but great at the same time!

The National Gallery of Victoria’s artwork labels for Ai Weiwei’s Letgo Room reads –

Composed of more than three million plastic building blocks, Ai Weiwei’s Letgo Room is a new installation featuring portraits of Australian activists and champions of human rights and freedom of speech.  Ai has chosen people who represent grassroots community activism and advocacy within the fields of international law and academia, social welfare and the rights of Indigenous people, asylum seekers, sex workers and the gender non-specific, among other cultural contexts.  Each subject was asked to provide a one-line statement reflecting their philosophy and views to accompany his or her portrait.

The work attests to Ai’s longstanding commitment to liberty, manifested in his work as an artist, social commentator, activist and public intellectual.  Letgo Room was intended to be constructed from LEGO blocks; however, the LEGO company declined to provide a bulk order of their product due to the purported ‘political’ nature of the proposed work.  Instead, the installation is composed of building blocks manufactured in China, continuing the artist’s exploration of copy and fake.

Ai Weiwei’s Letgo room subjects consisted of Hana Assafiri, Juian Assange, Rosie Batty, Julian Burnside AO QC, Dr Gary Foley, Peter Greste, Abel Guteeres, Stephen Hagan, Jill Jolliffe, Debbie Kiroy OAM, The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG, The Hon. Jean McLean, Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, norrie mAy-welby, Professor Dianne Otto, Cheryl Overs, Archie Roach, Geoffrey Robertson QC, Dr Tim Souphommasane, Professor and Gillian Triggs.  NB:  If you would like to know more about these people – please refer to the National Victoria Gallery’s AndyWarhol_AiWeiwei_Labels.PDF

No. 8 of 10 Karen and husband at the 'Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei' Exhibition - National Gallery of Victoria - Melbourne Australia 23.04.16 NB Images are copyright protected

No. 8 of 10 Karen look up at the ceiling within the ‘Letgo Room’ at the ‘Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei’ Exhibition – National Gallery of Victoria – Melbourne Australia 23.04.16 NB Images are copyright protected

1-10 Ai Weiwei's Letgo Room exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria photo taken by Karen Robinson 23.4.16

1-10 Ai Weiwei’s Letgo Room exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria photo taken by Karen Robinson 23.4.16

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AI WEIWEI’S – CIRCLE OF ANIMALS (IN GOLD) 2010 GILT-BRONZE

Ai Weiwei’s beautiful twelve zodiac golden animal heads glowed in the darken part of the National Gallery of Victoria which draws in you to have a closer look to investigate what are these beautiful creatures.  Ai is constantly asking the viewer of his artworks to think, examine preconceived ideas and thoughts that the viewer may have and to walk away with a new perspective – I really like his thinking!

The National Gallery of Victoria’s artwork labels for Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals reads –

Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals is based on twelve zodiac animal heads which functioned as a water clock-fountain in European-style gardens of Yuanmingyuan palace, Beijing, designed in the eighteenth century by two European Jesuits for the Qing dynasty Emperor Qianlong.  In 1860 Yuanmingyuan was ransacked by French and British troops and the heads were pillaged.  In reinterpreting these objects, Ai focuses attention on the ethics of looting and repatriation, the role of the fake and the copy and power relations between China and the West.

16-16 Ai Weiwei's Circle of Animals (Gold) 2010 Gilt-Bronze exhibit at National Gallery of Victoria photo taken by Karen Robinson 23.4.16

16-16 Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals (Gold) 2010 Gilt-Bronze exhibit at National Gallery of Victoria photo taken by Karen Robinson 23.4.16

The National Gallery of Victoria’s Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals artwork label for kids read as following:

China’s Qianlong Emperor, who reigned from 1735 to 1796, once had a set of Zodiac animal statues just like these created for the gardens of his magnificent Yuanmingyuan palace.  Those statues were stolen, but Weiwei has created this new set which look exactly like them.  The Chinese Zodiac calendar is a twelve-year-long repeating cycle in which each year relates to a particular animal.  These include the dragon, the rat and the ox.  Ask an adult to look up which year of the Zodiac calendar you were born in.  Who knows – you might be a tiger!

 

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No. 9 of 10 Karen and husband at the 'Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei' Exhibition - National Gallery of Victoria - Melbourne Australia 23.04.16 NB Images are copyright protected

No. 9 of 10 Husband standing next to one of the Ai Weiwei Circle of Animals (in Gold) 2010 gilt-bronze at the ‘Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei’ Exhibition – National Gallery of Victoria – Melbourne Australia 23.04.16 NB Images are copyright protected

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

Well – this exhibition was just so big and as I stated earlier, I could have, should have stayed for days and truly immersed myself in the worlds of Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei.  After visiting the gallery and after writing this blog, I feel even more enthused about getting to know the art world more fully.  Art for therapy for sure…now for another coffee!

No. 10 of 10 Karen and husband at the 'Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei' Exhibition - National Gallery of Victoria - Melbourne Australia 23.04.16 NB Images are copyright protected

No. 10 of 10 Husband and I (me behind the mobile phone camera) having a cuppa after the ‘Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei’ Exhibition – National Gallery of Victoria – Melbourne Australia 23.04.16 NB Images are copyright protected

 

Whilst you are here – please check out my home page! Post-traumatic Growth – My Art & Creative Writing Journey – Written by Karen Robinson

Art Exhibition – National Gallery of Victoria – “Art as Therapy”

While you are here – please check out my home page!

After seeing Alain de Botton talk about ‘Art as Therapy’ via YouTube – I was very keen to see what he and John Armstrong, renowned philosophers and authors had achieved at my home town galleryNational Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Australia.  My husband and I decided to take the time to go and see what they had done.  It was a self guided tour consisting of approximately 58 selected works from the collection of the NGV and were located throughout three levels of the gallery.  Each work had two labels beside it; one had been written by a curator from the NGV which listed “details of the work in an art-historial context” and the other label was “written by Alain de Botton and John Armstrong” (NGV. 2014).  The purpose of these additional captions was to “challenge visitors assumptions about themselves, society and how we view art in galleries” (NGV. 2014).

It was an interesting approach to viewing works of art.  Having the extra labels gave myself and my husband, an opportunity to view art works, with an added insight as to what the art work may have been about. It got me thinking more deeply, about each art work and I came away with a feeling of being more fulfilled, than I normally would after viewing a range of art work.  I also came away with more knowledge, understanding and a deeper curiosity about each art work I had viewed.  Now I am not an expert…no not at all – but this is part of the benefit of this whole project/philosophy of Alain de Botton’s and John Armstrong’s – you don’t have to be an expert, you don’t have to be intimidated by the whole process of viewing works of art.  You just have to be human and enjoy the journey of feeling more meaning and purpose about each art work viewed.  This way of viewing art becomes deeply personal and far more engaging in my opinion – art as therapy at it’s best…that is how I found it.

The below slide show consists of photos I took whilst viewing the ‘Art as Therapy’ NGV art work collection. For full ‘Art as Therapy’ label information, please refer to Alain De Botton and John Armstrong’s book ‘Art as Therapy:  Works from the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria – Australia Exhibition.  NB:  A small number of the images are not part of the ‘Art as Therapy’ collection but I found them worthy of their inclusion.

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Following are images of some art works that I favoured and wish to share them with you. Also included is their ‘Art as Therapy’ captions written by Alain de Botton and John Armstrong.

 “Joseph Highmore – Susanna Highmore c.1740-45.  Sickness:  we grow up too fast.  She wears the finery of a fashionable young woman, but underneath she is still really a bit childish and naive.  It wasn’t so long ago that she was playing with dolls and thought her parents were the best people in the world.  The figure in the little oval picture she is holding looks like a winsome young soldier.  Yet what does she know of the difficulties of relationships?  It is not her fault.  Suddenly she has the power to attract mean; if she displays her wrists the right way, puts some lace round her bodice, they are falling over her.  She’s entering into the adult world” (Alain de Botton & John Armstrong. 2014)”

 “Japanese – Sweet container (Kashiki) Muromachi period 15th century – 16th century.   Sickness:  only rare things deserve to be in museums:  It’s always strange to see an object in a gallery that is not terribly different from something that can be bought in a shop.  This particular item may have refinements and a pedigree that set it apart from what’s on offer in High street, but the kinship is definitely there between them.  It might cause a moment’s anxiety.  Isn’t the point of a gallery that it’s a place where you can encounter things you cannot find (let alone buy) anywhere else?  Perhaps we’ve mistakenly fallen into the habit of linking beauty to rarity.  It is actually rather sad to think that only a very few things are lovely enough to deserve special attention.  We should wish for the opposite to be true.  We should hope that the world (and our homes) can be filled with things that are truly delightful and yet widely available.  This little sweet container is hinting at cultural revolution” (Alain de Botton & John Armstrong. 2014).

“Auguste Rodin – The thinker (Le Pensure) 1884 – Sickness:  I say I admire thinking, but in fact I don’t.  We would like to think of ourselves as thinkers.  To be called thoughtful is a very nice complement.  Sadly, thinking can go wrong in so many ways: one circles around the same conundrum, shoots off in distracted directions, or simply feels a bit numb and blank.  The actual prestige of thinking is quite low in comparison with other things:  action, money, fame, physical attractiveness, Auguste Rodin is trying to correct our perspective, to bring to our attention, in a memorable way, to the appeal of thinking (absorbing oneself in reflection, musing on great matters, sticking with a conundrum, working out what one really believes and why).  He is not reciting facts to himself.  We are so familiar with the low estimate of thinking that we rarely notice it.  We take it for granted that with world will be full of aeroplanes, restaurants, car showrooms, hotels, supermarkets and banks (to start the list) that we fail to notice temples devoted to thinking” (Alain de Botton & John Armstrong. 2014).”

At the Exhibition, we purchased Alain de Botton and John Armstrong’s book ‘Art as Therapy:  Works from the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria – Australia Exhibition.  The book can be purchased Online.

Whilst you are here – please check out my home page!  My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy and storytellingby Karen Robinson

References:

NGV. (2014). Art As Therapy Works from the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria. [Map PDF]. Retrieved July 26, 2014

Alain de Botton & Armstrong. (2014). Art as Therapy. Works from the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria. Retrieved July 26, 2014