Picture this: a balmy summer night with the sound of crickets humming in the distance….
Rejoice, art lovers! One of Australia’s greatest cultural institutions—the National Gallery of Australia (NGA)—is bringing their exhibitions home to you.
While their doors remain closed, the NGA is opening up their online resources for art lovers, knowledge seekers and Australia’s future creatives so they can explore the joys of the gallery without leaving the comfort of home.
We may not be able to physically explore the wonders of the NGA, but with virtual exhibitions, on-demand talks and at-home activities, the aesthetes among us are sure to find something to fill time and ignite passion.
Explore your own Art from Home
Led by some of the greatest artists in Australia, and created in collaboration with the Gallery’s Learning team, Art from Home brings together the fun of art with the COVID-safety of home.
Using materials that can be found around the house, choose from a range of downloadable activities that encourage art lovers to try their own hand at creating. From building horse rider sculptures like David Wallace to making toilet-roll-koalas with Know My Name artist Karla Dickens, each project combines learning with creative fun.
Experience the exhibition like never before
From Art Nouveau to the Pacific Arts, the National Gallery of Australia has an evolving collection that contains over 155,000 works of art, all available online. Log on to see digital displays of exhibitions, including Know My Name Part One or take a virtual tour to see the largest collection of Australia’s First Nations art from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander galleries.
For those who have always wanted to know more about the works in the National Gallery, curatorial videos are also available online to help art lovers learn the nitty-gritty about the exhibitions. Project 1: Sarah Lucas is an epitome example—bringing together curator Peter Johnson’s insights into the exhibition, and one of England’s most influential and unapologetic artists, it’s a look at the artist’s recent sculptural works, and some of her earliest photographic works.
Get into Art Talk
Have you ever walked into the NGA and wondered how the staff perceive the art? How it makes them feel, what special memories it may hold for them? Every Thursday, NGA staff and artists take part in Art Talk, sharing the works of art that carry value in their lives and inspire new ways of thinking about the world.
For those more interested in the art of building design, an archive of the Contemporary Australian Architects Speaker Series is available, dating back to 2011. Showcasing the latest work of renowned Australian architects, you can learn about the design process, hear first-hand the passion of the architects, and learn about some of the big issues in design and sustainability.
Listen to art come alive
For those with a penchant for history, the NGA podcast series and exhibition audio tours will turn back time and change how you perceive the influence of art on Australian culture.
Start with Tim Ross’ Constant to dive into the formative power of art and its undeniable constant presence in life. To hear a new perspective, listen to James Gleeson interview 98 Australia artists in their studios in the oral history collection, a significant resource and an insight into how art has influenced Australia over the years.
Talks and tours from major exhibitions are also available on demand including the Botticelli to Van Gogh: Masterpieces from the National Gallery London talks and tours which provides a deep dive into the exhibition, European art and how to tackle the gender gap in art history.
Watch the world of the NGA come alive
All available on demand, connect with the NGA’s world digitally.
Watch The Know My Name Conference celebrate all women as artists, activists, researchers, intellectuals and mentors, with keynote speakers such as Professor Griselda Pollock, awarded the 2020 Holberg Prize for her contribution to feminism and art history; and Worimi woman and Narrm/Melbourne-based educator, curator and academic Genevieve Grieves.
The story of the last monumental abstract painting by American artist Jackson Pollock and how it became part of Australia’s emerging national art collection in 1973 is also available to be streamed. Jackson Pollock: Blue Poles explores the controversy of the NGA’s most famous painting, looking beyond the sensationalism of the global headlines of the day and studying how it contributed immeasurably to Australia’s cultural heritage.
To learn about First Nations artists Vernon Ah Kee, Julie Gough, Mabel Juli, Yvonne Koolmatrie and Ken Thaiday Sr, the This Place: Artists Series is also available online. Stream the episodes for free and gain a new understanding of First Nations art.
Discover all this and more at nga.gov.au.
FEATURE IMAGE: Sarah Lucas, TITTIPUSSIDAD, 2018, installation view, Project 1: Sarah Lucas, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2021 © the artist.