A few weeks ago I added a couple of posts to this blog about an art exhibition by the late renowned Tasmanian artist Max Angus titled Aspects of the Derwent from the source to the sea.
I did not have a copy of the exhibition catalogue and encouraged any reader who had a copy to let me know. I imagined the publication would contain only a list of the names of each work of art and the price and not contain photographs, nevertheless I did believe reading it would be instructive. I hoped to learn the locations which Max Angus painted along the Derwent River. Unfortunately a copy of the catalogue has not surfaced.
Since then I have been working through microfiche at the State Library of Tasmania looking at The Mercury newspaper hoping to find a review of the exhibition. From Googling I knew the exhibition’s title and the year – 1990. Thankfully that information limited the search. In addition, the watercolour painting, purchased from the exhibition by my friend’s mother, was dated October 1990. Yesterday I found the gallery list in The Mercury on the 6th October 1990 providing the information that the Aspects of the Derwent from the source to the sea exhibition was already open at the Freeman Gallery and would continue until October 22nd. Since the exhibitions at that venue typically lasted 14 – 21 days, probably the show opened around the 5th October.
With continued research I was fortunate to find the exhibition review in the Saturday Weekend Arts of The Mercury newspaper for the 13 October 1990. I was particularly interested to read a few of journalist Susan Leggett’s comments:
“This very large exhibition – 64 works in all – is a powerful, careful and stunning collection.”
“Angus has read and evoked the nature of the turbulent, dynamic entity …” when referring to the Derwent River.
“He has not only painted images of a real river travelling along its course, but created a sort of separate reality for it – an extra dimension.”
“It is all well observed and stunningly translated.”
The image included with the article is of the painting Yachts on the Harbour. The friend mentioned elsewhere in this post, is an avid sailor on the Derwent Harbour. I wonder whether she was out there that day when Max Angus painted this picture and her yacht is in the mix.
Last but not least, since the painting belonging to my friend’s mother was painted in October 1990, then the paint was hardly dry before being taken into the Gallery for hanging.
I’m afraid that this exhibition was well before my sailing days – I (the sailing friend mentioned above) do love the painting in the Mercury article – it captures beautifully the movement of the yachts, which I imagine are rounding the Nutgrove (N) mark. This lies just off Nutgrove Beach, and it seems so close to shore that it always makes me nervous we will run aground. My dad was an avid painter, and loved to paint boats, though he didn’t like being in them (otherwise I may have begun sailing at an early age!). Whenever he sold one of his own paintings he would put the money towards buying the work of another artist – usually a fellow Tasmanian.
I love your Dad’s support for the arts. Every little counts and I suspect there are probably lots that you have seen enter the house over the years.