An engraving of a detail of the cavalcade of Horsemen from the west frieze of the Parthenon at Athens is a powerful image.
The Panathenaic procession was an annual celebration in Athens during classical times, recorded in picture stories on the sculptural frieze.
Its iconography features the natural world and human being as a ‘divine entity worthy of exploration and immortality through the arts’.
Playing an important role in the evolution of society and culture, The Horse has been a noble steed and man’s best friend for millennia.
Their story will be explored in artistic, historical, societal and cultural context and ranging from horse racing to the glamour of equestrian imagery in today’s fashion world’.
This includes stunning imagery from ancient Greek vases to photographs and major oils on canvas with saddles, sculptures, riding gear and including a Melbourne Cup.
In Greek mythology Pegasus was the incredible winged horse that emerged from the blood of the Gorgon Medusa, slain by the son of the great God Zeus and Danae, the daughter of Acrisius of Argos, the Greek hero Perseus.
Another Greek hero Bellerophon captured the fabulous steed and his flight with him into the heavens became symbolic of the soul’s immortality.
Pegasus’s story became a favourite theme in Greek art and literature. He served Perseus until his death and afterward went to the home of the Muses, the water that gave the Muses their inspiration dried up and Pegasus stamped his hoof and created a spring.
The chief characters attached to his legend Perseus, Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Andromeda and the sea monster Cetus all are represented in the night sky as constellations.
Drawn from the holdings of each department within the National Gallery of Victoria‘s collection, the exhibition will celebrate this magnificent animal through works spanning a 3000 year period.
The acquisition of the most outstanding equine English artist of his time George Stubb’s ‘lion attacking a horse’ by the NGV in 1949 has provided generations of Australians with an insight into the Romantic view of the school of artists he belonged to.
George Stubbs (1724-1806) was one of eighteenth century England’s foremost recorder of horses, producing at least seventeen works on this theme he was obsessed about and he made studies of caged lions at the Tower of London to achieve accuracy. Stubbs provided viewers of his work with a way of accessing the English countryside in a sublime encounter, one also important for early Australians.
Depicting The Horse and his importance in their lives throughout history has been a considered aim, particularly of ancient man who owed his life and livelihood to the great bond and trust they forged with each other.
The first images we have of horses can be found on the walls of a complex system of caves at Lescaux in south western France, where there are 364 known cave paintings of equines.
In Australian history our early and continuing association with the bush is at the heart of what makes us tick and our love for The Horse.
Phar Lap a giant horse with a giant heart galloped his way into the hearts of millions of ‘Aussie battlers’ by winning the Melbourne Cup in 1930 during the depression.
Having won twenty seven races from thirty starts punters relied on him and when he was taken to America to race in the Agua Caliente Handicap, the world’s richest race at the time in 1932 the whole nation wept when he was found dead in his stall.
During the first decade of the twenty first century finally scientists proved conclusively he had been poisoned as suspected at the time, the results obtained from his preserved hide, heart and bones preserved for posterity following his death.
Australia’s legendary author, journalist and bush poet A.B. Banjo Paterson wrote a poem about the daily lives and struggles of bushmen, shearers and drovers in rural farm country that struck a chord.
There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around
That the colt from old Regret had got away,
And had joined the wild bush horses – he was worth a thousand pound,
So all the cracks had gathered to the fray.
All the tried and noted riders from the stations near and far
Had mustered at the homestead overnight,
For the bushmen love hard riding where the wild bush horses are,
And the stockhorse snuffs the battle with delight.
The Birdsville Race Day in the Australian outback is a quintessential event and experience that should figure high on any Aussie’s bucket list.
The thundering hooves on the dirt track, the cheers of the crowd in the back of beyond, the beers that just fell off the back of a truck and the dust, well the dust makes it a unique event as it invades every nook and cranny of your body.
So Clancy rode to wheel them – he was racing on the wing
Where the best and boldest riders take their place,
And he raced his stockhorse past them, and he made the ranges ring
With the stockwhip, as he met them face to face.
Then they halted for a moment, while he swung the dreaded lash,
But they saw their well-loved mountain full in view,
And they charged beneath the stockwhip with a sharp and sudden dash,
And off into the mountain scrub they flew.
In battle and in times of peace, The Horse has proved an invaluable asset for those who owned one.
Today in Australia the contribution of horse racing to the Australian economy is over $6.2 billion dollars a year, so its a serious industry demanding our respect. Racing and associated activities (breeding and wagering) contribute a little over half, horse businesses, equestrian events and breed events and the maintenance of horses are very large industries in themselves.
Supported by the Victoria Racing Club and Sofitel Luxury Hotels the Exhibition at the NGV International is the perfect showcase for the Horse and Melbourne Cup, held on the first Tuesday in November.
And he ran them single-handed till their sides were white with foam.
He followed like a bloodhound on their track,
Till they halted cowed and beaten, then he turned their heads for home,
And alone and unassisted brought them back.
But his hardy mountain pony he could scarcely raise a trot,
He was blood from hip to shoulder from the spur;
But his pluck was still undaunted, and his courage fiery hot,
For never yet was mountain horse a cur.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2015
St Kilda Road Melbourne
Floor talks by Dr Ted Gott, Senior Curator of International Art at the National Gallery of Victoria will be part of the opening weekend on the 15th August, 2015.
Simon Tedeschi has been described as one of the best exponents of George Gershwin’s music but none other than legendary harmonica player Larry Adler, and it’s easy to see why when you listen to this double disc set.
If you were looking for an alternative title for this disc one could be forgiven for calling it Gershwin Miniatures, as most of these wonderful works are around two minutes in length.
It’s a lot like listening to Chopin Preludes only more entertaining (with no disrespect to Chopin).
Many lesser known works are performed here and they are all delightful, each with it’s own personality and statement to make.
But tunes from Gershwin’s many musicals are also featured, including Porgy and Bess, A Damsel in Distress, Show Girl, The French Doll and Shall We Dance.
The Promenade that opens the disc shows Tedeschi’s great dramatic flair and also his wonderful sense of humour, with pauses at just the right moments.
He brings all the different melodic ideas to life so well that can almost picture different characters, especially with the buoyant and somewhat cheeky melody in the left hand.
Sometimes you just need to colour your world, and last night I did just that.
I had the pleasure of reviewing a fantastic new documentary revolving around the flamboyantly dressed 93 year old style maven Iris Apfel.
If you don’t know the name, it’s more than likely that you would recognise the oversized black rimmed glasses and “more is more” attitude.
The diminutive figure swathed in technicolour reminds us that dressing and indeed life is nothing but an experiment.
An outsized presence in the New York scene for decades, her free spirit is captured beautifully by the late documentarian Albert Maysles.
Born on August 29th 1921, she was once told …
Capturing Italy’s essence, the internationally renowned Brisbane artist David Henderson will present his annual exhibition at Graydon Gallery, New Farm in Brisbane 21st August – Sunday 30th August, 2015. David spends the best part of his year in Italy, painting outdoors in Venice, where he produces works that capture the ambiance and the colour of this unique city in the water. David hosted his first European painting and art history tour of Paris this year and held his first Italian exhibition in Rome in late April 2015. This led to an invitation-only residency at the esteemed Creta organisation.
In the past 12 months David Henderson‘s passion for painting in Italy has grown even stronger with the artist immersing himself in Rome, Florence, Tuscany as well as from his base in Venice. “Italy’s humanised landscapes and harmonious urban spaces have attracted artists for centuries. For me, her subjects are inexhaustible. With every passing hour and from season to season with new possibilities, new moods,” David said. From Roman times water was at the forefront of Italian culture The bath was one of the centres of Roman social life and today Italy’s fountains and gardens have become an opportunity for it to show off the national love of festive display such as David’s wonderful image of the Tartaruga Fountain in Rome.
A centrepiece for the show will be the larger work inspired by the artist’s residency in Rome, Afternoon in the Roman Forum, which David Henderson will be entering into the prestigious invitation-only Tattersall’s Club Landscape Art Prize, which opens in September 2015 in Brisbane. “Whether I am painting famous monuments or lesser known views, what I look for in a subject is a synthesis of light and form. While my practice is based very firmly on direct observation and the plein air tradition, I am as concerned with the enduring characteristics of my subject as with fleeting effects,” David said.
Capturing the mesmerizing qualities of their light and tonality is important. “Since Italy is further from the equator than Australia, light at this hour lasts longer. This means I have a greater window of opportunity to depict it – to get it down on canvas before “I am particularly drawn to the subdued harmony of evening, when the low sun casts surprising patterns of light and shade and its mellow warmth seems to coax the colour out of objects,” David Henderson said. Venice is a favourite.
For many of us Italy today becomes a pilgrimage in search of our own heritage. Its wealth of historical remains and art treasures provide the magnate for us as they document man’s journey from prehistory. In the glorious garden at the Villa Gamberaia near Florence laid out during the eighteenth century the incredible clipped topiary encloses a kind of outdoor boudoir for use on hot summer afternoons in a spectacular fusion of nature and culture captured superbly by DAVID HENDERSON, Graydon Gallery, 29 Merthyr Road, New Farm Friday 21 August – Sunday 30 August, 2015
From ancient Greek vases to photographs and major oils on canvas with saddles, sculptures, riding gear and a Melbourne Cup the NGV explores the horse in history
Sir Simon Rattle conducted Anton Bruckner's Symphony 8 to WOW and WIN the crowd in the Hamer Hall Melbourne, and the audience's standing ovation kept rolling on
Capturing Italy's essence internationally renowned Brisbane artist David Henderson presents his annual exhibition, Graydon Gallery, Brisbane 21 - 30 August 2015
Carolyn McDowall The Culture Concept Circle highlights great works of art in the exhibition at the NGV showcasing Catherine the Great's arts and cultural legacy
StreetSmart Australia's CafeSmart initiative will be held Friday 7th August and they need all our support, Cafe's donate $1 of coffees sold to help the homeless