Royal Academy of Arts: Australia

Today for the second part of school we went to the Royal Academy of Arts and saw the Australia exhibit. It was wonderful! Here's a 30 second promo:

Terms I wrote down while observing the artwork (Not all - but many of these orbit around the indigenous work): 

  • Mosaic-like
  • Dreams/Dreaming
  • Repeated Patterns
  • Fine Textures
  • Spirits
  • Sacred
  • Ancestral (Lands)
  • Energy
  • Dots and Lines
  • Lines and Shapes
  • Earthy
  • Dry and Arid
  • Synthetic Polymer Paint on Canvas
  • Natural Earth Pigments on Canvas
  • Red, Tan, Black, White
  • Black, Cream, Tan, Red-Brown
  • Golds/Yellows
  • WHITE (dots and lines) (and mixing colors with white)
  • Sky Blue, Ochre, Sage, Putty
  • Light and Shadow
  • Atmospheric
  • Rose, Greens, Tans, Yellows
  • Pink, Green, Blue, Purple
  • The Edges Which Fire Creates

I did note that there was a golden or yellow-based quality to many of the pieces. I believe that must have to do with the natural lighting that exists in Australia? I have never been there, and have had minimal tugging at my heart to go…but I think I would feel very at home in the landscape. It's an adventure I want to have. 

I also noticed, after leaving the indigenous room and moving into a later period when Australia was being colonized and had English and then German influences - how the emphasis on light and shadow played into the artwork (many were oil paintings) - many times a dark foreground, with the light in the background. I don't know if this was typical of that era and style in German painting and so it seeped over as they migrated south…that would be my guess, but I could be wrong. I do like this technique however and have always been drawn to light and shadow in paintings since I was very young.

How can I incorporate that element effectively into the garden? I ponder that - and I believe it will be a driving force for my next design.

Below are some of the pieces shown in the exhibit - though funny enough that none depict that strong dark foreground with the light in the background.  

The first image is a still from an 8 minute video of Shaun Gladwell riding in the Mundi Mundi - which did pull my heart (I have a thing for small machines and riding gear - and raw landscapes).  It's the introduction to the entire exhibition and I feel it set the mood well.