A Celebration of 50 Years
Benalla Art Gallery was established in March 1968 and 2018 marks the 50th anniversary.
Since its early beginnings, housed in the Benalla RSL building in Nunn Street, Benalla Art Gallery has grown to become one of Victoria’s most prestigious regional galleries. The striking modernist gallery complex, set on picturesque Lake Benalla and completed in 1975, was designed by Philip Sargeant and Colin Munro.
The Benalla Art Gallery permanent collection is one of the most important public collections of Australian art in regional Victoria and surveys Australian art history across indigenous, colonial, impressionist, modernist and postmodernist eras. 50 years on the Gallery has become a major attraction for both Australian and international art-lovers.
Image: Future Perfect exhibition
This exhibition focuses on portraiture from the Gallery’s collection and includes a variety of themes including self-portraits, commissioned paintings of wealthy patrons, paintings of famous faces and those of family members recorded and remembered.
A portrait is an artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent of the artist is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person. For this reason, portraiture has always been a popular artform as the artist can delve deeply to reveal the true characteristics of their sitter.
Wealthy upper class patrons often commissioned artists to undertake portraits of themselves, family members, pets and livestock as a symbol of wealth, prosperity and rank. Today portraits are everywhere in the form of ‘selfies’. We no longer need to commission an artist to record our likeness. We can do it ourselves and retain full control over how the image is presented to the world through social media.
This exhibition comprises several traditional portrait paintings that increase our understanding and appreciation of the people in them through revealing details about their identity, history, social standing, occupation and character.
Image: Albert Tucker, Maria, 1947, oil on composition board. Gift of Barbara Tucker, 2002.
Benalla Art Gallery is delighted to present this exhibition by one of the pioneers of street art in Australia, Julie Shiels. In the 1980s Shiels was actively involved in several of Melbourne’s street poster screenprinting collectives, responsible for some of the most politically strident and visually striking images of that era. Highly regarded as cultural icons, many of the artist’s posters, originally pasted up around streets and laneways under cover of darkness, are now held in major public and private art collections.
All That Remains focuses on the artist’s more recent street-based work in which she stencils dumped mattresses, couches and chairs with meaningful texts to create temporary public art from hard rubbish. Gleaned from nature strips, the artist transforms these pre-loved remnants of domestic histories into metaphors for the transience of urban lives and spaces.
Image: Julie Shiels, Quoting myself, Robe Street 2007, inkjet print. Image courtesy the artist.