A bit of culture

Today I visited the National Portrait Gallery here in Canberra to see the Vanity Fair Portraits exhibition before it leaves our shores.  There were photos from its earlier incarnation (1913-193?) and some from its latest  (1983-ish til now).

The work of Annie Leibovitz is truly amazing from the iconic Demi Moore (pregnant) photo to Jack Nicholson and Robert Mitchum and lots of others.

I had a look round the rest of the collection and came to a halt when I came to Mandy Martin’s portrait of Aldo Giurgola, whose firm designed Parliament House.  It’s that shaft of light that struck me.  I’d seen a documentary a few years ago about the commission Mandy received to create a large work to hang in the main Committee Room at Parliament House.  Her work, Red Ochre Cove also has that shaft of light coming down from the top right of the painting and symbolises the light that the committee system can shed on the workings of government and is also a reference to the shafts of light in Tom Roberts painting of the opening of the first parliament  – The Big Picture.

I visited the store while I was at the gallery, mainly to kill some time until a table became free in the cafe and my eyes were drawn to a book titled A Real Possibility of Joy  by Josephine Emery.  The title resonated with me.  And then I saw the subtitle.  A kindred spirit.

I shall buy that book one day.

UPDATE: Having read a number of reviews, I don’t think I’ll buy this book afterall.  Not a kindred spirit at all!


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