Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Day 42 - On The Art Trail

Like all travellers, I have my share of hassles with Internet connections.

Wi-Fi is a useful connection in public places that offer it, but it seems to work better in public libraries and small cafes. Services offered in larger corporate chains are often under powered and serve to frustrate. It's the main reason I choose to extend my date entitlement on my iPhone and use it as my modem.

That all works well until something goes wrong with the phone.

I spent two hours trying to post the last entry here before switching phones - Sue's is my back up - and again this morning, things have not gone well between the phone and I until suddenly, all is forgiven and for no reason I can fathom, everything works again. Little wonder some people become frustrated with technology.

Yesterday was a Canberra day. In the morning and early afternoon, my brother Art, having taken the day off, took us to the National Gallery to see an Arthur Boyd Exhibition and then to the National Portrait Gallery. Along with his wife Ann, we spent a pleasant few hours doing what I do best ... look at art. The Boyd Exhibition - The Agony and The Ecstacy - was spectacular, with a vast array of his work which was representative of his development as an artist. The enormous influence of his father, Merrik, was obvious, as was the influence he had on other Australian painters, including my favourite, the l'enfant terrible, Brett Whiteley. Across his life, he experimented with style but often with recurring themes.

Jack Charles by Rod McNicol
National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery has always been a favourite Canberra haunt of mine, right back to days of it being housed in the old parliament house. Some of the newer acquisitions were impressive. I was particularly taken with a painting by Luke Cornish, a hand cut stencil in acetate with acrylic paint applied by aerosol. The subject, an older Bob Hawke, is caught in a pensive, uncertain pose, opposite to his public life persona of ebullient over confidence. Rod McNicol's inkjet print of the actor and aboriginal activist Jack Charles was stunning. A small but poignant collection of Gough Whitlam prints, photographs and sketches has been mounted to celebrate the life of what our current Prime Minister called a man who WASN'T one of our best Prime Ministers. Arrogance repays arrogance I guess from a man who called John Kerr a hero!

We had coffee by Lake Burley Griffin before retiring for the afternoon. Being able to do these things family always makes them more special.

The evening was spent with friends we met in the UK in 2012, Amanda and Kevin and who we have been trying to reconnect with ever since. A chain of events have stood n the way until now and it was pleasant evening catching up and filling in our back stories for each other. Whilst it was a reminder of the fun we haf with them when our acquaintance was new, these things need to evolve and there was the feeling that may have been happening last night.

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