WINE TO AID THE PALETTE
Lady Huxley, wife of the former Vice-Chancellor of the ANU, admires the medium in which ‘A View from a Kitchen Window 1968′ was executed.
Sixteen flagons of wine were provided for the well attended opening of the ANU Art Group’s exhibition, ‘Wattle Street’, at the Menzies Library last night.
The director of the Australian Sculpture Centre, Mrs L. O’Brien, who opened the exhibition, described it as “intelligent gaiety”, and the group’s president, Mr John Knox-Knight, of Hackett, said their aim was to send up Canberra suburbia.
He added that they hoped to lull the senses of those attending with the wine so they would buy the exhibits.
Exhibitors called their works by names like ‘Lady with TV’, ‘What a Lovely Hat’, ‘Canberra Crescent’, ‘Bargain Day’ and ‘Yard Talk’, which is a painting of two housewives talking over a garden fence.
Miss Lesley Foskett, 19, of Garran Hall, and the president of the ANU Art Group, Mr John Knox-Knight, of Hackett, with “Wham’,by Mr Knox-Knight.
One of the exhibits, ‘View from a Kitchen Window 1968′, by Miss Sally Mussen, of Griffith, consisted of clusters of broccoli stuck on a board. The artist’s fiance, Mr J. Maiden, of Garran Hall, said, “The work is very perishable, and by the end of the exhibition will probably be called drought”.
He entered a work called ‘View from a Kitchen Window 1967′.
Mr Knox-Knight’s exhibits included a large plaster brolga coloured pink, and two brightly painted plastic garbage cans “which would de light any sanitary inspector”, he said. He confided that unless his works fetched a good price he would have difficulty in paying the rent.
The catalogue notes included a mock-epic poem called ‘The Suburb’, which ended with the lines:
No sexton tolls our bell;
Electric chimes ring out for England’s sake
From Aspen Island in our sinking lake,
The lake, which though polluted and impure,
A tourist highlight and an open sewer.[i]
[i] 1968 ‘WINE TO AID THE PALETTE.’, The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), 3 July, p. 3, viewed 24 May, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article107060914