Though isolation can be challenging, Israeli photographer Erieta Attali’s work showcases the beauty of seclusion. Attali is internationally renowned for exploring the relationship between architecture and landscape. Her work interrogates how the placement and surrounding terrain of a building form part of a two-way dialogue. Glass Wood House #3, by Kengo Kuma is part of a 2015 series which saw Attali return several times to seminal Japanese architect Kengo Kuma’s house in New Canaan, Connecticut to create her work. She captures the ever-changing relationship between the house, a modernist pavilion of glass and wood, and the luscious, deciduous forest in which it is situated.

Though isolation can be challenging, Israeli photographer Erieta Attali’s work showcases the beauty of seclusion. Attali is internationally renowned for exploring the relationship between architecture and landscape. Her work interrogates how the placement and surrounding terrain of a building form part of a two-way dialogue. Glass Wood House #3, by Kengo Kuma is part of a 2015 series which saw Attali return several times to seminal Japanese architect Kengo Kuma’s house in New Canaan, Connecticut to create her work. She captures the ever-changing relationship between the house, a modernist pavilion of glass and wood, and the luscious, deciduous forest in which it is situated.

Attali’s Chalet C7, by Max Núñez and Nicolas del Rio, pictured above, shows a bunker-like chalet 2990 metres above sea level. Nestled among the Andean Tres Hermanos Mountains, the building overlooks the Inca Lake in Portillo, Chile. The sparseness of the landscape suggests a form of isolation, yet the warm light emitted from within the building provides a sense of homeliness. Here Attali explores the tension between human-made shelter and extreme landscapes.

Attali’s Chalet C7, by Max Núñez and Nicolas del Rio, pictured above, shows a bunker-like chalet 2990 metres above sea level. Nestled among the Andean Tres Hermanos Mountains, the building overlooks the Inca Lake in Portillo, Chile. The sparseness of the landscape suggests a form of isolation, yet the warm light emitted from within the building provides a sense of homeliness. Here Attali explores the tension between human-made shelter and extreme landscapes.

Buildings themselves have the ability to take us to another time, another culture and another place. David Stephenson’s Dome series captures domes from across the world, such as this vision of Rome’s Pantheon or the Great Synagogue in Szeged. Gazing at the antiquity and intricacy of these structures, we can picture ourselves in Ancient Rome or present-day Hungary. Stephenson’s series proposes the idea that religious architecture can create a sense of spiritual transcendence within us, as nature does, and that both can manifest the sublime.

Buildings themselves have the ability to take us to another time, another culture and another place. David Stephenson’s Dome series captures domes from across the world, such as this vision of Rome’s Pantheon or the Great Synagogue in Szeged. Gazing at the antiquity and intricacy of these structures, we can picture ourselves in Ancient Rome or present-day Hungary. Stephenson’s series proposes the idea that religious architecture can create a sense of spiritual transcendence within us, as nature does, and that both can manifest the sublime.

We find ourselves surrounded by the beauty of nature on the island of Dauar in Eastern Torres Strait, depicted by Meriam Elder, Segar Passi. Tracks from a great nam (turtle) are seen in the foreground, as recently hatched baby turtles begin their journey into the ocean. Pictured in the background of the painting is Mer, also known as Murray Island, Passi’s home. Mer is known for its fertile oceans that mark the beginning of the Great Barrier Reef, known in Meriam Mir language as Opnor. Fewer than 500 people live on this small volcanic island, which is home to an extraordinary abundance of plants and animals. Here, sardines form massive shoals along the shoreline, and a wide variety of fish and birds come and go, marking the change of the seasons.

We find ourselves surrounded by the beauty of nature on the island of Dauar in Eastern Torres Strait, depicted by Meriam Elder, Segar Passi. Tracks from a great nam (turtle) are seen in the foreground, as recently hatched baby turtles begin their journey into the ocean. Pictured in the background of the painting is Mer, also known as Murray Island, Passi’s home. Mer is known for its fertile oceans that mark the beginning of the Great Barrier Reef, known in Meriam Mir language as Opnor. Fewer than 500 people live on this small volcanic island, which is home to an extraordinary abundance of plants and animals. Here, sardines form massive shoals along the shoreline, and a wide variety of fish and birds come and go, marking the change of the seasons.

In a mystical setting at the Temple of Vesta, which dates to first century BCE, two friends enjoy their surroundings, with one playing a pipe while the other listens, or perhaps sings along. Painted by French artist Claude Lorrain, the calming scene captures Tivoli, located south of Rome, which was once a popular destination for visitors to Italy and for artists to sketch. Lorrain is renowned as one of the first professional landscape painters, as well as one of the genre’s greatest exponents. He was a skilled etcher and his influence spread quickly throughout Europe as his images were disseminated widely through prints. Lorrain’s popularity reached its peak in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when British collectors and landscape artists admired his virtues as one of the pre-eminent artists of his time.

In a mystical setting at the Temple of Vesta, which dates to first century BCE, two friends enjoy their surroundings, with one playing a pipe while the other listens, or perhaps sings along. Painted by French artist Claude Lorrain, the calming scene captures Tivoli, located south of Rome, which was once a popular destination for visitors to Italy and for artists to sketch. Lorrain is renowned as one of the first professional landscape painters, as well as one of the genre’s greatest exponents. He was a skilled etcher and his influence spread quickly throughout Europe as his images were disseminated widely through prints. Lorrain’s popularity reached its peak in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when British collectors and landscape artists admired his virtues as one of the pre-eminent artists of his time.

A wittier depiction of friendship is shown in Australian photographer Geoffrey Collings’s 1936 photograph English Derby. Trading race-watching for tea-sipping, these women enjoy a moment of calm together in the sun, a scene to which many of us can relate. While Collings was working in London, the documentary film movement was gaining strength. In this photograph, we can see the influence of the art form on Collings’s work as he sought to capture the beauty of everyday moments. The composition of the photograph sees us drawn to the faces of the women, framed by a sparse sign behind their heads which is juxtaposed with the cluttered grass surrounding them. This arrangement highlights Collings’s humanitarian approach to capturing his subjects and evokes fond memories of time spent with friends.

A wittier depiction of friendship is shown in Australian photographer Geoffrey Collings’s 1936 photograph English Derby. Trading race-watching for tea-sipping, these women enjoy a moment of calm together in the sun, a scene to which many of us can relate. While Collings was working in London, the documentary film movement was gaining strength. In this photograph, we can see the influence of the art form on Collings’s work as he sought to capture the beauty of everyday moments. The composition of the photograph sees us drawn to the faces of the women, framed by a sparse sign behind their heads which is juxtaposed with the cluttered grass surrounding them. This arrangement highlights Collings’s humanitarian approach to capturing his subjects and evokes fond memories of time spent with friends.

From an English racecourse to a waterpark in southern Italy, you can almost hear the children laughing, music playing and shrieks of joy throughout Carsten Höller’s 2011 Amusement park series. Amusement parks are a recurring motif in Höller’s practice, and many of you may have visited Golden mirror carousel at NGV’s Federation Court in 2014. The images in the series, including Gallipoli splash rainbow, illustrate the artist’s interest in perceptual theory, physiology and playfulness. They appear blurred and bright, invoking a visual instability and exhilarating rush associated with the delirium of amusement parks. The highly saturated, out-of-register colour printing also serves to invoke technicolour motion photography and colour separation, which was popular in the mid twentieth century. Immediately, we are transported back to earlier, more nostalgic times.

From an English racecourse to a waterpark in southern Italy, you can almost hear the children laughing, music playing and shrieks of joy throughout Carsten Höller’s 2011 Amusement park series. Amusement parks are a recurring motif in Höller’s practice, and many of you may have visited Golden mirror carousel at NGV’s Federation Court in 2014. The images in the series, including Gallipoli splash rainbow, illustrate the artist’s interest in perceptual theory, physiology and playfulness. They appear blurred and bright, invoking a visual instability and exhilarating rush associated with the delirium of amusement parks. The highly saturated, out-of-register colour printing also serves to invoke technicolour motion photography and colour separation, which was popular in the mid twentieth century. Immediately, we are transported back to earlier, more nostalgic times.

I look forward to when we can journey through art together again in the Gallery.

Take care,

Tony Ellwood AM
Director, National Gallery of Victoria

I look forward to when we can journey through art together again in the Gallery.

Take care,

Tony Ellwood AM
Director, National Gallery of Victoria