Melbourne’s weather is notoriously changeable so we were hoping for some respite from the heat and humidity we’ve been experiencing here … not to be, as it was hot, hot, hot in Melbourne too.
Too hot to wander the Royal Botanic Gardens so the best thing to do, we thought, was spend time in air-conditioned shops and buildings. Hurrah then for the National Gallery of Victoria, which has a branch on Federation Square (the Ian Potter Centre). We’ve seen the indigenous art before but it’s so interesting that we happily visited again.
What does this have to do with gardening? The photos I’ve chosen all incorporate plant life in them somehow. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
Read a short biography of the artist (a woman).
The name “ghost gum” can be applied to several trees but the tag with the painting identified these as Corymbia papuana (Eucalyptus papuana). Ghost gums shed their bark to show the white trunk underneath, hence the common name.
Desert gums (called Para by the local tribes) are also known as Marble gums. In this image you can see some of the mottling the artist has depicted.
Read more about Nyapanyapa Yunupingu here. And here is a description of how the bark is taken from the tree (Eucalyptus tetrodonta) and turned into a surface for painting. E. tetrodonta and E. miniata are also the most commonly used woods to make didgeridoo.
Also in the gallery is a collection of 19th and 20th century Australian art. On show are paintings, furniture, silverware … and this gorgeous thing:
Olga Munro was an active fashion designer in Sydney from 1926-42. Go here to see a similar kimono-style robe and some embroidery detail. (The blog was started by Munro’s great-granddaughters but hasn’t been updated since 2013.)