Sunday, January 25, 2009

Another favourite...

One of the highlights of our trip back to Australia was being able to see an exhibition of my great grandfathers work on at the Art Gallery of South Australia.
Before moving to Turkey, Senol and I spent many weekends with my Dad framing prints of my great grandfather's work. It was a wonderful time for us - up in the mud brick studio, which is surrounded by gum trees and garden, far away from the noise of the city where we spent our weekdays. The only sounds would be the birds calling out, the occasional possum on the roof or the classical music that would usually be on quietly in the background. Senol would cut the glass and prepare the backing boards, Dad would make the frames and I would cut the mounts. We would spend time together deciding which frame would suit a particular painting and which mount would bring out the colours of the artwork. And of course there were plenty of coffee breaks.

Now every Sunday we go down to our favourite coffee place and I love that they usually have Mozart playing and I think of Dad and miss our weekends framing together.

After spending so much time framing prints it was wonderful to see so much of great grandfather's work 'in the flesh'. The vibrancy of the work is what struck me most. And I was able to see many paintings that I had never seen before. I also loved seeing the development and change in his work when he started painting the Flinders Ranges.

This is the little summary from the Gallery's website:
One of Australia's greatest artists, Hans Heysen (1877-1968), is celebrated with the first major retrospective of his work in three decades at the Art Gallery of South Australia. The Hans Heysen exhibition features more than one hundred works created over the artist's seventy year career.

Born in Germany in 1877, Hans Heysen emigrated to Adelaide, South Australia with his family at the age of seven. After four years studying in Europe, Heysen embarked on one of the most successful careers in Australian art, becoming synonymous with the Adelaide Hills town of Hahndorf, where he worked and lived.

The Art Gallery of South Australia holds the largest and most representative collection of works by Hans Heysen, including more than two thousand drawings, oils and watercolours bequeathed by the artist himself. Included in the exhibition are many of Heysen's greatest oil and watercolour paintings, alongside rarely-seen
preliminary sketches and studies.

Testament to Heysen's national standing, the Gallery has borrowed masterpieces from every major collection in the country as well as from many regional and private collections, to tell the story of Heysen's art. In addition to his iconic ‘gum tree' paintings, the exhibition takes a fresh look at Heysen's lesser-known themes. Hans Heysen traces the artist's development from early student days painting in Europe from 1899-1903, including images of Paris and Venice, to the revelation of barren
landscapes and ancient mountain forms in the Flinders Ranges from 1926.

The exhibition will be touring Australia for about 2 years, including going to the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Australia.

PS. Recently Sharon, creator of the website Expats Moving and Relocation Guide, contacted me about putting one of my stories about living in Istanbul on her site. The end result - 'Manyak Misin?' - a post I wrote after one of my early driving experiences here is now on her website. Sharon sounds like she has many interesting stories to tell as well - she has been an expat in the US, Venezuela and Canada.


Simple Answer said...

Wow! This is where your talent comes from!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful time spent with Senol and your Dad. Precious moments really. And I agree with Simple Answer, artistic talent obviously runs in the family!