Thursday, 16 October 2014

Benidgo Art Gallery - An art gallery in the country


While most people travel to Bendigo for the quaint country atmosphere:
Bendigo Fountain
This fountain is quite an attraction
the Farmer's Market:
Bendigo Farmers' Market
Much more fun than your weekly shopping trip to Coles
the abundance of curio shops:
Bendigo - View Street Bazar
I don't think the owners appreciate my suggestion that they sell junk
or simply to go for a ride on the talking tram:

I went there because of the art gallery.
The reason for that was because I discovered that there was an exhibition of Ancient Greek statues (and other pieces of artwork), so I jumped onto the internet, booked my ticket, and took the two hour train trip to this once thriving gold mining town.

Bendigo - Central Deborah Gold Mine
Beats panning for gold any day
As well as the Greek statues there was also an exhibition of Victorian underwear, but since there is a collection of Victorian underwear in my drawer, I saw no real point in going to that exhibition as well. However, since I managed to get a two for the price of one deal when I booked the tickets, I decided to also check out that exhibition.
I must say, it was incredibly boring. 
That is not surprising since I have always considered fashion to be, well, boring. Also, I found the quotes from Christian Dior quite annoying because they kept on reminding me of our society's obsession with looking good. Okay, I thought it was interesting that the word lingerie comes from the French word for linen, and it originally referred to your standard under garments as opposed to the sensuous underwear that we think of today, but even then it was still a collection of mondernish clothes, and I have no desire to spend my time looking at clothes (I can do that in a shopping centre).
So, after a grand total of ten minutes weaving my way through the crowds of people all gawking at store models wearing little more than underwear (if you want to see store models wearing underwear, there is a decent collection at your local Target), I decided to go and check out the rest of the gallery (I also went and saw the Greek statues, but I have spent enough time on that below so I won't repeat myself here).
As with most art galleries, the Bendigo Art Gallery was an eclectic collection of artwork, which is not surprising because I suspect many of these galleries grab what artwork they can: whether they are donated; they actually get money to purchase the art; or they swap pieces with other galleries. At first I thought it was going to be a collection of Australian artwork, but there were a number of European works as well, including one by Albert Sisley:
Albert Sisley - Siene are Suresnes
Albert Sisley - Siene at Suresness: 


I did stumble upon a painting called Milford Sound, which confused me for a bit because I was under the impression it was the same painting that hangs in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, but I then noted that the painting was slightly different, which made me wonder whether artists simply loved the idea of travelling to Milford Sound in New Zealand to just paint a picture of it.
There were a couple of really cool incense burners from China:
Bendigo Art Gallery - Chinese Incense Burner
This certainly make a mockery of the piece of wood that I use
There was even a piece of modern art sitting in the middle of one of the galleries:

Bendigo Gallery - Modern Art
I've seen worse
Actually, the modern art wasn't just restricted to the inside of the gallery:

Bendigo Art Gallery - Mine Monster
Looks like something from Doctor Who
As it turned out, the statues weren't restricted to the temporary exhibitions, as there were some neo-classical sculptures out the back, such as this one:

Bendigo Art Gallery - Apollo & Daphne
Ovid gives some great ideas for artwork
So, even though I was sorely disappointed with the Victorian underwear on display, there was plenty of other artwork about to keep me entertained (though I was entertained plenty with the Greek statues and vases).

A copy of this post also appears on my travel blog.

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