Over coffee at a beachside café at Balmoral beach Paul made a drawing of Guillaume Tourniaire, the amazingly youthful French orchestra conductor who is presently in Sydney to conduct with the Sydney Opera.
They discussed music and the beauty of clouds. The previous evening Paul had enjoyed Guillaume’s inspired conducting of The Pearlfishers by Georges Bizet and he had been tempted to draw the gorgeous spectacle on his (silenced) IPhone but refrained, realising that the light from the screen may irritate others. Born in Provence France Guillaume studied piano and conducting at the Geneva Conservatoire.
He knew from a very early age that music was to be his life. Singing in a children’s choir in Provence crystallised in his mind the idea of making music with others –
hence his love of conducting and our good fortune as part of his worldwide audience.
Creativity starts young. It is never ending. Later in the day Paul found a happy familial subject in a young artist drawing an IPhone intent sibling.
Artist David Fairbairn won this prestigious award for 2012 with a masterly layered portrait of deep thought growing out of the act of simultaneously viewing and understanding. Such is the confidence and vitality of his line that the viewer comes away energised.
Next door to the winning work is an elegant study in levitation by Ben Smith that similarly engages the viewer in thought. The seeming effortless simplicity of this fine work is as diverting as any possible UFO undercurrent.
Michael Muir has found his own style; a richness that rewards us with magic, sunlight and colour, which belies the serious thought and draughtsmanship beneath.
There were many other standout works in this exciting exhibition which shared the Mosman Gallery space with the new Neil Balnaves Gift Bequest Collection.
The inspired collector Neil Balnaves has demonstrated great wisdom in gifting a comprehensive collection. Here, for all , is a lesson on how to collect. Do it with your heart! A gentle oasis of romantic works of an earlier time engages young and old. It is to be hoped that other Mosman benefactors will now come forward to submit works of this genre and period to the Director of the Gallery. If they are accepted they could be added to this splendid collection of Sydney Harbour paintings.
Perhaps if the Mosman Gallery cleverly provides a blank space near the collection with a sign in a suitable gilt plaster frame saying “Your gift painting here!” the cue will be provided for this happy eventuality.
The Mosman Art Prize, which was judged by Anne Flanagan, Deputy Director of the AGNSW, is on view from 21st July till 26th August. The must visit Balnaves Collection is an ongoing exhibition.
On Wednesday 18th July a mother Right Whale and her newborn calf visited the sheltered waters off the Principality of Wy
The prince’s first knowledge of it was a noisy helicopter hovering over the Principality. One of the artists in residence informed him that the helicopter was circling whales, which were swimming, just offshore. Surfboarders, kayakers, snorkelers, yachters and put boaters were in close attendance together with several helicopters seen to have photographers hanging out to get the best image of this unusual occurrence. It is not known if the mother whale was pleased by all of the attention.
The symbol of our larger neighbour, Mosman, is a whale. To the prince the scene was symbolic of the geographical relationship that exists between the Principality of Wy and Mosman Council. Here was a large whale and a tiny one swimming together calmly in Balmoral bay.
A princess has just reminded him that the symbol of Wy is a dolphin, not a whale. We thank her.