Posted by Aboriginal Art Directory | 05.10.10
Author: Andrew Taylor
The National Gallery of Australia flung open its new narrow doors for the first time on Thursday night to 1000 guests including Culture's spies who reported that while the new entrance is impressive, "you wonder how it will cope with a blockbuster exhibition".
New display spaces featuring indigenous art are clean and crisp but some are a bit poky and lack the warmth of the nearby National Portrait Gallery. "Given the number of spaces, you'd expect this area to be a lot bigger than it is."
By comparison, the gallery's Gandel Hall is spacious and grand, which says something about the priorities of our cultural institutions these days – fund-raising first, art second.
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Strangely, the decision was made to hold speeches outside (one does not voluntarily remain outdoors on a September evening in Canberra).
Guests were warned to dress for Arctic temperatures, and a chill wind was certainly blowing by the time the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, spoke.
Ms Bryce's speech was described as "rubbish" by our spies "and left the impression that it was written by someone who had only just been introduced to the joys of using a thesaurus".
In contrast, NGA boss Ron Radford gave an entertaining speech that dwelled on the provenance of the marble in the toilets.
Gallery: National Gallery of Australia
Contact: Brenda L Croft - Senior Curator Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art
Telephone: +61 2 6240 6502
Address: Parkes Place or GPO Box 1150 Canberra ACT 2601 Parkes Parkes 2601 ACT