May 23, 2010

The Salon des Refuses 2010. Breaking Unwritten Rules.

It was a Saturday morning no different from any other Saturday that didn't involve work.  However, things soon took a mysterious and mischievous turn.

After breakfast at Baroque, Mr SSG and I went for a stroll through the markets at the Rocks. 

There were unique and colourful shopping bags on display as well as shells filled with lip gloss.  I'll have to come back again soon for these. 

Shells = beach = summer and sun ≠ current weather in Sydney.  Perhaps a shell on my desk will help keep summer on my mind.

Our final destination for the morning was the S.H. Ervin Gallery on Observatory Hill.  However, as it only opened at 11am, there was some time to have a look around the Observatory.

I couldn't help but feel like Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple as I crunched up the gravel path, admiring the lavender and manicured garden on the way.

Was the body found under the weather vane?

Is Miss Scarlet concealing the candlestick somewhere obvious like under the cannon?

I left Agatha Christie to the crime scene and walked over to the gallery where I inadvertently committed a little crime of my own.

The Salon des Refuses 2010 is the alternative Archibald (portrait) and Wynne (landscape) prize selection and originated in 1992 at the S.H. Ervin Gallery, Observatory Hill.  It takes its name and inspiration from the original Salon des Refuses of the 1860s.  These were exhbitions helds by the French Impressionists as a rebellion to the French Academy.  The French Academy held showings of artists sanctioned by them, leaving many other artists of the time with little opportunity to display their work to the buying public.

The 2010 selection panel are art gallery directors and curators in New South Wales.  Their selection of works for display in the Salon are sourced from works entered for the official prizes but were not chosen for the official award exhibition.  

My little crime was, of course, to take photographs whilst I was in the gallery.  I started snapping because though the signs on the wall requested we not touch the paintings, there were no signs saying that photography  was not allowed. It was only after I left with the program that I saw the rule typed on the back page.

So I guess these are bootlegged images.  To redress the situation, I will name the artists under each photo as credit to them.

Left: Poh (Potrait of Poh Lin Yeow, 2009 - Zhong Chen), right: Different Aspects (Self Portrait, 2010 - Qiang Zhang).

Poh's portrait was painted by an artist who shared a studio with her, in her life before Master Chef.

Claudia (Portrait of Claudia Chan Shaw), 2010 - Bruno Graswill.  I especially love Claudia's necklace.  She designed the outfit herself.

Clever Cookie (Portrait of Seja Vogel), 2010 - Symone Male.  Seja is an audiovisual artist herself.  Her medium is presented to her left in a 'downward' series in the manner of how Chinese characters are traditionally written.  The inspiration for the painting was simplicity.

I really enjoyed the Salon des Refuses.  It was thoughtful selection of paintings and the personal notes from the artists were very informative.  I enjoyed this more than the official selection this year.


  1. i see youre wearing the new jacket... very nice :) loving the photos

  2. Looks like a nice weekend.
    I like your coat. I picked up two bargains and put them on layby at Target on Friday.
    I want to post something about the Archibald/Wynne here but will do so on your FB.

  3. danielle: thank you and hope you're well :-)

    Carly: here's to bargains at Target.

    SSG xxx

  4. A blog on the summer spent in Sydney. Its an amazing place to be. A must read for the people who are planning to go for a trip to Sydney in the summers.


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