In the final issue of NGV Magazine for 2020 we close the year by celebrating the diversity and complexity of Australian art and design from recent additions to the Collection to favourite artworks.

Digital Exclusives


Dive deep into art nouveau as Amanda Dunsmore, NGV Senior Curator, defines the movement with works from the NGV Collection showcasing how the style took inspiration from the organic forms of the natural world.

A Rare Painting Emerges: Harden Sidney Melville

Sit back and listen to Ian J. McNiven, Professor of Indigenous Archaeology at Monash University read from his essay for NGV Magazine about a remarkable nineteenth-century painting by English artist Harden Sidney Melville that depicts an early interaction between Torres Strait Islanders and European maritime explorers.


Meet the Australian sculptor, filmmaker, performance artist and writer Ivan Durrant in this video from his exhibition at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.


In this exclusive interview for NGV Magazine, Chinese-Australian artist Louise Zhang tells us about the inspiration behind her three works to enter the NGV Collection through the support of MECCA Brands and founder and co-CEO, Jo Horgan.


Read about the new museum-grade varnish MS3, developed by NGV conservators in collaboration with CSIRO, in the Magazine, and then watch Carl Villis, NGV Conservator of Paintings, apply it in this behind the scenes access to the Conservation studios.


In NGV Magazine, Ruth Shervington, NGV Senior Conservator of Paper, writes about the unique experience of caring for Australian artist John Wolseley’s distinct body of work. Wolseley’s use of diverse and sometimes unconventional materials and techniques means each work needs to be carefully examined from a fresh perspective. Take a closer look at more of Wolseley’s remarkable works here.

Dystopia – the last wetland, Gwydir 2184 2012–5

John Wolseley sometimes incorporates animal and insect tracks, as well as serendipitous markings and collage elements into his work. In Dystopia – the last wetland, Gwydir 2184, 2012–15, a deceased young buzzard is flung at the paper, weighted and watercolour is applied. The watercolour pools around the bird, defining the wings and feathers, whereby an imprint is formed and some of the once soft feathers, remain attached in places. Wolseley also used lead fishing weights to impart a lustrous silver-grey line or pattern.

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Natural history of a sphagnum bog, Lake Ina, Tasmania 2013

In Natural history of a sphagnum bog, Lake Ina, Tasmania, 2013, Wolseley has used sphagnum moss as an image-forming material with watercolour leaving behind not only the imprint, but small pieces of the plant matter.

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Flight of ventifacts, Mallee 2006-2011

There are also three-dimensional artworks in the Collection by Wolseley, most notably the works he calls ‘ventifacts’, which are made from good quality robust paper that is released into burnt scrubland to become inscribed by branches and tree remains. These sheets of paper are left for weeks to roam the landscape where they are subject to the weather.

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From the edge of the great flood plains of Garrangari and Garrangali, NT 2012-4

Wolseley incorporates his own form of printmaking and rubbings into his practice. Taken directly from nature and celebrating the wonders of plant, insect and animal life, these may include plant monotypes, the cross section of a termite nest with its carefully constructed compartments, or the sawn section of a tree showing the growth rings and the meandering path of a borer beetle.

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