In this special NGV Collection issue of NGV Magazine we celebrate the many ways that art, design and creativity can offer solace and inspiration. Art connects us to each other, gives meaning to our experiences, invites stillness and silence for contemplation, fills us with love, inspires hope, and provides us with a sense of calm in challenging times.


Author reading: Woolgathering

Melbourne author Alice Bishop offers a reflection on the forgotten art of daydreaming. Perhaps more important than ever, she reminds us ‘to take time to experience, to let ourselves think of the bigger picture and to relish in colours and sensations again’.

Animation: Clara Southern

Take a closer look at the composition of influential Australian fin-de-siècle artist Clara Southern’s An old bee farm, c.1900 and discover some of its hallmarks of the Australian impressionist style, before reading about the work in more detail.


In part two of Life & Times: Her Story, we hear more about the achievements of women artists in the NGV Collection. Listen to NGV Curators on how these artists inspire them.

Portfolio: Grant Featherston’s Photos

Housed in the NGV’s Shaw Research Library, The Grant and Mary Featherston Archive is a wealth of material covering the iconic Australian design duo’s practice from 1946 to 1995. The archive includes hundreds of photographs and negatives taken by Grant Featherston of Australian landscapes, flora and fauna. Grant Featherston’s focus on pattern, movement and form in nature, such as the gentle arrangement of dandelion seeds attached fleetingly to the bud, is captured in these photographs, as seen in the selection below. For Featherston, nature held the answers to design questions: ‘In my mind’s eye the “simple solution” is as nature would have it: minimum materials, maximum effect, like the elbow.’

Hidden treasures from the NGV Collection

In this issue of NGV Magazine members of the NGV team share works from the NGV Collection that inspire and delight them, and we continue to share some personal favourites, including NGV Magazine Editorial Coordinator Paige Farrell’s pick, Girl reading.


Barse Miller Girl reading 1938
By Paige Farrell, Editorial Coordinator, Audience Engagement

This soft, yet vivid watercolour by American artist Barse Miller resonates with me because it depicts the pure delight of getting lost in the pages of a beloved book. The delicate lines, deep blues and indistinct features of the girl’s face allow me to imagine myself escaping into a world of my choosing through reading. Reading has been an immeasurable comfort to me the past months. I have soothed my anxieties by turning to familiar characters in my favourite stories and also found solace and distraction in new books. I like to imagine that the girl in Miller’s watercolour is doing the same, reminding me that while I have been reading in solitude there were no doubt countless others doing the exact same, bringing us together in that unique way only creativity can.

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