Artists across time have been fascinated by the play of the light on the land. In the 19th century, European artists arriving in Australia were captured by the strength and clarity of the light and strove to adapt their traditional techniques to represent it.
This exhibition presents artworks from across Australian art history which explore the changing nature of the light in the landscape, and the real and imagined worlds artists have explored through this lens.
Image: Geoff La Gerche, Six hours on the Murray 1982 (detail), colour etching and aquatint. Benalla Art Gallery Collection.
Drawn from the Benalla Art Gallery collection, this exhibition presents works by Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists celebrating colour and landscape.
Artists include Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Tim Storrier, Ivan Durrant, Siri Hayes, Rover Thomas, Rick Amor, Adnate, Turkey Tolson and others.
Image: Tim Storrier, Incendiary Structure (for Colonial Ambition) 1991, synthetic polymer paint on canvas. Gift of the artist, 2007
Benalla Art Gallery is situated in the heart of North-East Victoria – an area known for its sheep and cattle production, cropping and many other agricultural enterprises. Skills and knowledge have been passed down from generation to generation, enabling cultivation of the land for food and fibre. Whilst there is a certain romantic notion about farming, the work itself often involves hard, physical labour. Devastating natural events such as bushfire, drought and flood are all part of living on the land.
Farming practices are documented and celebrated in this exhibition of paintings from the Benalla Art Gallery collection. Our major benefactor, Laurence (‘Laurie’) Ledger MBE was a local Stock and Station Agent in the Benalla region for many years. As well as managing his pastoral property ‘Wooleen’ near Winton, just north of Benalla, and his work in the agricultural industry, Laurie’s great passion was Australian art. Many of the 150 artworks donated to Benalla Art Gallery by Laurie and his wife Erma focus on primary production throughout Australia.
The paintings in this exhibition are historically and culturally diverse but all share a common thread – men and women working the land.
Image: Freda Robertshaw, Picnic, 1938, oil on canvas. Bennett Bequest, 1998.