Operation Art 2021 – Touring 50 Exhibition – Virtual exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales

Duration: 4:54

Transcript – Operation Art 2021 – Touring 50 Exhibition – Virtual exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales


HEIDI WINDEISEN: My name is Heidi Windeisen and I'm the Operation At Project Officer at the Arts Unit. Boys and girls, welcome to The Operation Art Touring 50 Exhibition here at The Art Gallery of New South Wales. We are so excited to have your artworks hanging on the wall here. And I'd like to introduce to you, Leeanne Carr, who is Education Manager here at the gallery. She's going to walk you through the exhibition and have a little talk about a few of the works hanging here this year.

LEEANNE CARR: Thank you Heidi for that introduction. My name is Leeanne Carr, I'm the Education Manager here at The Art Gallery of New South Wales. Firstly, I'd like to acknowledge that we're on Gatito land, of the E oronation and pay our respects to the elders' past, present, and emerging. So here we are at Operation Art, I'm so excited to see it as an exhibition here at the gallery.

When I first saw these works, there were among hundreds of works that were entered for Operation Art. The excitement that you can see in this art making, to see the passion that students placed into their work for other kids. And knowing that it will go to Westmead Children's Hospital and actually inspire other children is really why we love this exhibition. I want to take you on a journey. I want to show you a couple of words and see what you think. Come along.

So here we come to a particular work that I was attracted to because it really reminded me of an Australian artist called Jeffrey Smart. And Jeffrey smart is a mid 20th century artist who really looked at his everyday world. He looked at landscapes and urban landscapes in particular, where he was really looking at the detail and trying to capture those moments that we sometimes take for granted or rush past.

So this particular work here is really about standing still and taking in the moment. And I think from 2020, we all learned to do that. Other things that I was really attracted to were looking at the local environment. And I know this is a state exhibition, and a lot of children were looking at what was in front of them. And here we have a student that was looking at the Harbour Bridge. And how iconic is this image, right?

And what we have are also Australian artists that considered these subject matters as well. One in particular was Grace Cossington-Smith, who in the early 20th century was really interested in looking at the cityscape of Sydney. And the Harbour Bridge was one of her iconic subjects. Let's have a look over here and see some more.

Along with Grace Cossington-Smith Smith, you also had another Australian female artist Margaret Preston, who was looking at the domestic, the interior, thinking about what was really close to her. And things like flowers in vases was something that she would look at and start placing her artistic style over. So how wonderful to see that students are also looking at this subject matter as well.

And then, of course, being Operation Art, we have this love of animals. And we're always very excited to see what animals will appear when we see this exhibition. And here we have a portrait of a bee. An artist like John Olsen or Brett Whiteley also love to capture the essence and the movement of animals. And here you see this fluid line that actually captures what the animals were doing as well.

But look at all these wonderful animals that you see in this exhibition. You have birds and bees, cows, all sorts of different animals in all sorts of ways that artists have interpreted it. And I'm talking about children as artists because this is what Operation Art is about. Here we are at the gallery, next door in this particular space is art express, the Year 12 HSC showcase exhibition. And then just around the corner, we have great artists that are well known and established. So how wonderful to have this exhibition here. I hope you enjoy having a look around.

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