48. Art for Art’s Sake

Much art is to be found in large institutions. It inhabits vast spaces in impressive buildings. The most famous works and exhibitions are peered at amidst a throng of visitors.

More stumbled upon than noticed from afar, are all the galleries and art spaces of local communities and regions in Australia. It was these that I decided to find, specifically ones I had little knowledge of and had never been to.

While spending the weekend in the place of my birth, I took a drive on a hot sunny day along the road from Kurri Kurri to the historic town of Wollombi in the Hunter Valley. As I motored through a vista of green fields, wooded hills, wispy clouds and the occasional farmhouse, the corner of my eye was caught almost simultaneously by a sign and the rear view of a gigantic deep sea diver. In a split second, my brain sparked through Hunter Valley Sculpture Park..Defiance Gallery…Daniel Kyle….Uncle Tim’s Deep Sea Diver.  My body followed, leaving the road and doing a u turn back to the entrance.

What I had happened upon was indeed the Hunter Valley Sculpture Park run by Defiance Gallery in Newtown where a friends son, talented young artist Daniel Kyle had been exhibiting. It was in this context that his mum had told me of the Sculpture Park featuring Daniels uncle Tim Kyle’s wonderful sculpture amongst many others.

I sat and sipped a cool drink under the trees and then wandered about the gardens admiring the pieces and thinking of Daniel and the painting he had done for me of my own place.

Hazelhurst Gallery at Gymea was another I had never visited. I’d scrawled its name in my note pad as a gallery to try to get to during the year. I hadn’t spoken to anyone else about it so it was with delighted surprise that, while spending a weekend with friends, I was told they wanted to take me to Hazelhurst for a birthday lunch/gallery visit.

It was a lovely afternoon with the family..chatting and laughing over a delicious meal, exploring the exhibition and wandering the grounds. In the space exhibiting the work of Hiromi Tango, we all sat together round a small table with equally small chairs to try out our own skills at fashioning anything out of wool.

The regional gallery at Manly, the Powerhouse Museum at Casula and the Objects Gallery at Surrey Hills rounded out my gallery experiences with a variety that encompassed indigenous art and history, graffiti design on tanks, and the inexplicable (to me) marvel of 3D printing.

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