Home' My Ballarat : My Ballarat December 2011 Contents City of Ballarat Community Magazine December 2011
A Royal Exhibition
The Art Gallery of Ballarat invites Ballarat residents and visitors to celebrate
Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee with an exhibition of photographs by
celebrated photographer Cecil Beaton.
Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration features
almost 100 portraits depicting Elizabeth in her many roles as princess, monarch
and mother. The exhibition includes a number of rarely-seen photographs
alongside extracts from Beaton’s personal diaries and letters.
Cecil Beaton (1904-1980) was one of Britain’s most prominent photographers
and designers and his royal portraits were among the most widely published
photographs of the 20th century.
The exhibition explores his long relationship with Queen Elizabeth II, who was
a teenage princess when she first sat for him in 1942. Over the next three
decades, Beaton photographed the Queen on many significant occasions
including her Coronation Day and the exhibition coincides with the anniversary
of her accession to the throne.
The five-section exhibition charts the shift in Beaton’s style from early rococo-
inspired portraits to the starker images of the 1960s.
AN AUSTRALIAN ROMANTIC REALIST
In December, the Art Gallery of Ballarat will bring a major Australian artist
back into the public spotlight.
In his heyday, Michael Shannon's distinctive paintings were as avidly collected
and frequently displayed as those of his near contemporaries. However since
his death from Parkinson's disease at the age of 65 in 1993, his work has
been largely overlooked by critics and the broader public.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue which will bring together
examples of Shannon’s works with essays about the artist penned by major
figures in Australian art scholarship.
Gallery Director Gordon Morrison said the exhibition would contain works
from the entire career of this major artist.
“Visitors will have an opportunity to see works by Shannon that merit
comparison with those of his better known contemporaries who are household
names like John Brack and Fred Williams.
“He was one of the first artists in the post war period to explore the urban
landscape, and his are some of the first paintings of the suburban sprawl.
“Later in his career Shannon ignored the fashions prevailing in the 1970s
and 1980s by returning to the sort of celebration of rural Australia which
was first undertaken by Australian Impressionists of the late 19th centur y
when he painted lyrical landscapes of central Victoria.”
Ballarat played a special role in the Michael Shannon’s early career when
in the mid 1950s he twice won the Art Gallery of Ballarat’s George Crouch
Prize, which was, at that time, one of the richest contemporar y art awards
in the nation.
After its presentation at the Art Galler y of Ballarat, the Michael Shannon
exhibit will tour the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery and the Newcastle
The Art Gallery of Ballarat, 40 Lydiard St Nth, is open 9am to 5pm, daily
(closed Christmas Day). For information, visit www.artgalleryofballarat
Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration is
at the Art Galler y of Ballarat, Saturday 18 February to Sunday 1 April
2012. Admission is $12 adult; $8 concession, and free for children and
Michael Shannon: Australian Romantic Realist is at the Art Galler y of
Ballarat, Saturday, 10 December to Sunday, 12 Februar y. Admission is free.
Below: Cecil Beaton, Queen Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace, 2 June 1953. Colour
photograph. © Victoria and Albert Museum
Above: Michael Shannon The shot tower, 1957. Oil on composition board. Private
collection. © The estate of the artist.
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