peteg's blog - noise - 2017 03 19 BrettWhiteleyGallery

The Brett Whiteley Studio, with music.

/noise | Link

I think I went to Raper St sometime back in the 1990s. That part of Surry Hills hasn't changed too much, but we'll see how it is when the trams start rumbling down Devonshire Street. I rode over in the dry, while inside it rained, afterwards it was blue skies and even a little warm, certainly good conditions for giving the CB400 a clean. Alongside the doors is a miniature of the iconic Almost Once from the Domain.

Whiteley is a big Dylan fan. The current exhibition is titled naked, but really it's closer to arthouse porn, including some very contemporary POV angles. The draw for me was the permanent installation of Alchemy, and the musical event.

One could spend a few days trainspotting Alchemy. I struggled to think of it as a coherent work of art; more a riot. There's a tiny outline of Australia, a Harbour Bridge, a country road with a Bathurst sign, many funny small drawings. The piece pivots on a single panel that says "IT"; to the left we get something perhaps Eastern (Japan, Vietnam), a little foreign (or weird: Nixon), a little mythical, the interior of Australia, whereas to the right it's the city, the beach, the urbanity, the familiar, albeit with a lot of holes, the odd plug, a man trying to extricate himself from a bathtub plughole, the breathtakingly new at the time: Earth from space. There are more words as the thing progresses. Whiteley paints a lot of figures (fetishizing the bits he finds sexy) but almost no faces; I can only remember seeing his both here and in the similarly famous Self portraint in studio (which sits on a nearby wall). All other faces are photographs. He likes birds, but seemingly not domestic animals.

Whiteley would have made a great cartoonist. He was certainly a man of his times, blowing with the trends. Japan, for instance, fascination for which has contracted to its martial arts, its erotica, or in my case, its motorcycles. Apparently he was mates with Patrick White, at least for a while. I should try to go back on a working day, when it's less crowded.

Their blurb for the music:

This first concert of the year presents the unique ensemble of flute (Emma Lefroy), bassoon (Zola Baldwin) and marimba (Kaylie Dunstan). Join us for an interesting and diverse program, including the stunning Oblivion by Piazzolla as well as Mosaics by Eric Ewarzen being played in its entirety. With its intricately interwoven parts, this work presents a barcarolle, fugue, pavane and a tarantella as an exciting finale.