Art Gallery of WA – State Art Collection

Sometimes life holds some joyous surprises. I wandered into Perth on the weekend and ended up visiting the Art Gallery of Western Australia. Since I can never work out who holds what copyright, I’ll share an old photo of the gardens outside it, rather than the artworks inside — which is a shame because the art is good.

Anyway, once inside the gallery, I pursued my usual strategy of not knowing what I wanted to see, but just looking. That brought me to the Your Collection 1800-Today exhibition and in particular to its Your Collection 1800-1920: Here and There section which was housed in the older section of the gallery, a location that worked perfectly.

Having a memory like a sieve, I can’t tell you the names of the artists or their creations, but I saw wonderful old glass, paintings of life a hundred years ago and fabulous watercolours and sketches of Fremantle and Albany. The latter was fun to try and match current day landscapes to those of more than a century ago. I do remember that a painting by Arthur Boyd finally showed me why he’s so famous. Though I wish I could remember its name! The mountains in the background heaved with life.

The exhibition was a lovely experience outside of time. Quiet, reflective and yet humming with the energy of much-loved art. It reminded why I like the Art Gallery of WA: It always offers a visitor a welcome and a gift.