NGV Magazine

Issue 25
Nov – Dec 2020

In the final issue of NGV Magazine for 2020, we look at the evolution of a 10,000-year-old river red gum into a work of contemporary design, examine a rare Australian Indigenous history painting, and meet some contemporary artists whose work explores cultural identity and storytelling. We also meet a sculpture in Donato Barcaglia’s Love is blind (Amore Accieca) c.1875 that shows how, almost 150 years on, trends may come and go but love, emotion and skilled making always prevail.

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Features in this issue

EXHIBITION Ivan Durrant: Barrier Draw

‘Even with no horse to train, I still retained my trainer’s licence, giving me access to the mounting yard and jockeys’ room. In the rooms there was always tension in the air.’

By Ivan Durrant

DEEP READ Seeing what they saw

‘Harden Sidney Melville’s Torres Strait Canoe and five men at the site of a wreck on the Sir Charles Hardy Islands, off Cape Grenville, North East Australia, 1874, depicts a scene from a rare dimension of Australia’s nineteenth-century maritime colonial frontier, which has previously only been known through historical texts and Indigenous oral histories.’

by Ian J. McNiven and Myles Russell-Cook

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT Louise Zhang

‘To a certain extent, design and art intermingle in my practice. The art comes first and the design is drawn from that. They are very different processes, but they share the same bouts of creativity, experimentation and exploration.’

Louise Zhang speaks to Katharina Prugger

DECORATIVE ARTS The influence of nature

‘Art Nouveau sought to create a modern style that embraced all aspects of life. Growing out of the European Arts and Crafts movements, it drew upon a range of sources for inspiration; in particular, the art of Japan and its reverence for the natural world.’

by Amanda Dunsmore

DESIGN Finding time

‘This strange combination of material and object results in a bench seat that asks more questions than it answers. And that is how, as a designer, Wright likes it.’

By Myf Doughty

RESEARCH Collaborating to conserve

‘Producing a new museum-grade varnish was conceived, researched and brought to fruition through the collaborative efforts of the NGV, CSIRO and Boron Molecular right here in Melbourne.’

by Carl Villis


In the next NGV Magazine: Jan-Feb 2021

The first NGV Magazine of 2021 will be a very special issue, dedicated to the highly anticipated second edition of NGV Triennial.

In this first of two special Triennial issues of NGV Magazine we consider how creativity, design and art can transport us into new spaces, where biology and technology meet and new imagined worlds emerge. We also see how works of art and design that work with light as a medium and symbol, can take us on journeys of enlightenment, invention and self-actualisation, set against the struggles, achievements and questions of histories past.