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Exhibition Review: Dutch Flowers

'Dutch Flowers' in Room 1 at the National Gallery marks the onset of spring; the flowering season. But there’s a discomforting undercurrent to these pretty floral compositions of caterpillars, birds nests, insects, fallen petals and withered stems.

The twenty two still life paintings come from the National Gallery’s collection, from 1700s to 1800s and developed out of an increasing interest…

Vogue 100: A Century of Style

Vogue fashion magazine is well known for its excellent and often whimsical photography, providing a portal to escape from the everyday and mundane. This display at the National Portrait Gallery celebrates the centenary of British Vogue (1916-2016), taking a journey through the best of these photographs, present and past, sourced from Condé Nast archives.

Well there’s certainly lots to see.…

The Big Short (out nationwide)

Festooned with sub-prime mortgages and credit-default swops, director Adam McKay’s take on the 2008 economic crash makes heroes of the outsiders who saw it coming, bet against the market and made a killing. At over 2 hours of tightly scripted didacticism it should be a feat of sheer will to sit through the arcane terminology that helped shield the financial wizards who hoodwinked the west. But McKay’s approach is ordered and direct with enough waspish humour to make a decent sized fist of it all. Some good bits of over-wrought acting from Christian Bale and Steve Carrell, with able support from Gosling and Pitt. As sure footed and able as can be, but hardly transparent, as modern terminology would put it. Using other people’s money to bet against the ‘safe as houses’ mortgage market, these greedy fellas helped bring the whole thing down even quicker and with more painfully than might otherwise have been the case. And back in 2016 all is bubbling away quite nicely again.

Bawa

Bawa Cafe is situated on 248 Burwood Rd in the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn; and I noticed something rather familiar about its lush green interior. There’s a calming (Buddhist) simplicity in the design here that’s found in many buildings in Sri-Lanka. It transpires that the interior is inspired by work of Sri-Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa

My Country – Hermannsburg and beyond

This exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, consisting of four rooms of well-spaced works, explores the lasting legacy of painter Albert Namatjira (1902-1959). Namatjira was the first Indigenous Australian to receive commercial success in the mainstream art market, and recognition both at home and overseas. He established the Hermannsburg School of Watercolour Painting in Central Australia…