Although the current exhibition of works of one of my favourite Sydney artists, Grace Cossington Smith, has been on at the Art Gallery for nearly two months, I have only just managed to find the time to see it. It was, however, worth the wait. Many of the paintings I had already seen before in other exhibitions and galleries, but there was one that I found mesmerising: Sea Waves, a simple study of the ocean at Thirroul, a pretty little seaside hamlet south of Sydney (famous because DH Lawrence, Bret Whiteley and various other writers and artists have lived there at times).
Of course I was also spellbound once again by The Lacquer Room, a painting that I have loved for a long time -- I once decorated my dining room in colours and furniture inspired by it. The series of images of the Sydney Harbour Bridge being built are quite breathtaking: Grace Cossington Smith really captured the general sense of awe and disbelief that was prevalent in Sydney in the 1930s as this marvellous structure was erected. Would the arch meet in the middle? Would the city ever be the same? In hindsight, obviously "yes" and "no", but you can imagine at the time the doubt and fear in the minds of many Sydneysiders, especially when you see Grace's paintings.
I've been fishing around for another embroidery project, similar to the moonscape which I enjoyed stitching so very much. The Sea Waves painting inspired me -- which will come as no great surprise to those of you who know my obsessions -- and at first I thought that I would reproduce it in stitches: but later (thinking about it on the bus) I felt that I should choose a seascape that was more personal. Though I like Thirroul very much, it's not my favourite beach. Diamond Beach, on the other hand, comes close.
Here is the page of initial notes from my visual journal. Stay tuned for more images of the work-in-progress.