Brett Whiteley – Art Gallery of NSW – Sydney

During a two month stay in Paris in 1989, Australian artist, Brett Whiteley aimed to do one drawing a day. Some of these are currently on display at an exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW, including these portraits of Colette and Balzac.

brett whiteley colette n balzac

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Magic Pudding – State Library of NSW – Sydney 2

Reproduction of a 1916 sketch for The Magic Pudding on display at the State Library of NSW. As well as being a talented artist, Norman Lindsay wrote his own entertaining text to go with his illustrations. The main characters shown here are a koala, Bunyip Bluegum, a sailor, Bill Barnacle, the Pudding and Sam Sawnoff, a penguin.

magic pudding 2

Mary Poppins – Sydney 2

We first went to Ashfield Park in Sydney’s inner west a few years ago to photograph the Mary Poppins statue. To coincide with the showing of Mary Poppins Returns in cinemas from today, we revisited Ashfield Park last week. Mary Poppins is still there in the children’s playground in the sw corner of the park.

It is not well-known that the author of the Mary Poppins stories was born in Maryborough, QLD and grew up in Australia. Helen Lyndon Goff adopted P L Travers as her pen name in the 1920s, when she moved to London to take up a writing career. Before leaving Australia, never to return, she lived in the Sydney suburb of Ashfield from 1918 to 1924. With her mother and two sisters, she resided in a house at 40 Pembroke Street which overlooks Ashfield Park.

Mary Poppins Ashfield 2

Fremantle Prison – John Boyle O’Reilly

The Western Australian port city of Fremantle has a wonderfully preserved 19th century gaol. Currently on display there is an exhibition titled “Transportation”, documenting the transportation of convicts to Australia from Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. John Boyle O’Reilly was a Fenian prisoner on the Hougoumont, the last ship to bring convicts to Fremantle in 1868. On display, is a copy of his novel, Moondyne, written after he made a spectacular escape to the USA. Also on display is a bound version of The Wild Goose – a hand written newspaper produced by O’Reilly and other Fenian prisoners on the Hougoumont.

Fremantle Gaol 2

Art Gallery of Western Australia – G F Watts

The Art Gallery of Western Australia has recently moved its 19th century paintings into the main gallery space, so that they are now seen in a, literally, new light. “Una and the Red Cross Knight” by George Frederic Watts was painted in 1869 and purchased by the gallery in 1959. It’s subject is taken from Edmund Spenser’s “The Faerie Queene”, an allegorical epic poem in praise of Elizabeth 1.Una and Knight GF Watts AGWA