Massive, plain and as impenetrable as a fortress, the National Gallery is absolutely perfect for its purpose as a storehouse for some of the nation’s most prized and priceless art.
Within the National Gallery’s solid white walls are the expected national treasures, like the breathtaking aboriginal installation just inside the entrance and the legendary Sydney Nolan Ned Kelly series. There are also some unexpected international treasures, like Monet’s Les Nympheas, Matisse’s Jazz, Leger’s Les Trapezistes, Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup Tins and Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles.
Surrounding the National Gallery is a magnificent Sculpture Garden. There’s a silver ball and a cluster pears on the front lawn. A huge wire apple hangs suspended from a wall. Around the back, on the edge of Lake Burley Griffin, great chunks of metal and wood are strewn almost carelessly, across clearings and among the trees. In a secluded corner lines of sculptured heads float on the surface of a pond.
Hours, days, perhaps weeks, maybe months and even years might easily be lost here.