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Breathtaking Australian landscapes at Tarrawarra
From the welcome to country to the welcome address by Daniel Besen, the opening of Tarrawarra Museum of Art's latest exhibition of Australian landscapes was full of pleasant surprises. Brooke Collins, a local Wurundjeri woman, did the honours usually reserved for (as she put it) the 'old fellas' and took the audience on an eagle's eye tour of the landscapes of her forebears: a wonderful introduction to the scarifier, a commissioned work by Aboriginal artist Judy Watson inspired by the museum's Yarra Valley location.
Daniel Besen spoke of his childhood growing up around artists like Bruce Pollard, Rosalie Gascoigne, John Olsen and Fred Williams. Gascoigne's Promised Land 1986 features in the exhibition, and Daniel spoke of being encouraged to touch the work by Pollard, who told him: 'When you feel the knots of the wood you're experiencing the beauty and harshness of the Australian bush.' He thanked his parents Eva and Marc for the gift of providing him with 'fuel for a fire that has been a lifelong passion.'
Part 1 of the exhibition showcases the great modernist pioneers like Drysdale and Nolan, and more contemporary artists like Brett Whiteley, Ben Quilty and James Morrison, while Part 2 will consider the psychological and emotional power of place that has been evoked by artists such as Arthur Boyd, John Olsen and Tim Storrier.
The panoramas contained both inside and outside the exhibition space are uniquely Australian, and take advantage of the tremendous depth and strength of the Museum's collection, donated by Eva and Marc Besen.