I was hoping very hard that the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition at the National Gallery would be worth the 7 hour return roadtrip down to Canberra and was, for the most part, not disappointed

A car of friends (half asleep after that 7am start), rest stops and nutrition at Maccas

... you have to love Sydney to Canberra road trip traditions.

 

The National Art Gallery is a lovely place, but their strict squirrel-hoarding-like 'no photography' rule has always been something I've never understood.

Banning flash photography, yes, but to have the large majority art appreciators and students spreading your work and making them accessible to people who can't be there in person? I really don't see what the harm is in that.

I suppose the only thing is that it would be very hard to regulate and ensure all cameras comply with the no-flash rule - surely it should be okay to take a photo of a Christian Dior couture gown in a glass box? (flash wouldn't even work on this one, come on)... but apparently not :/ A bit of a downer to start off the visit.

#yolo (but seriously, for your eyes only)

In that vein, if your photography thirst is not being sated by NGA rules, I present to you the hidden gem of the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition: the Family Room. Which, trust me, you do not want to miss out on.

Wonderfully and intricately designed room and atmosphere where photography is welcome, as is drawing and dress up (costumes provided - I managed to rock a rather spectacular moustache, if I do say so myself). The art gallery staff member was lovely and suggested outfits for us.

group drawings~

You could feel the tension of 'oh god, must be really quiet and walk slowly' just dissipate the moment a select few people stepped into the room. We need a room like this in every 'prone to snooty seriousness' art exhibition (which is totally against what Toulouse-Lautrec's art embodied anyway).

I've admired Toulouse-Lautrec's work for a long time (his style and Mucha's are some big influences on my art) so it was wonderful to be able to see his drawings, paintings and poster work up close. Loved his sketches in particular - just so effortlessly expressive.

Funny I'm posting this now - I just got back from another Canberra roadtrip and was actually at Parliament House enjoying a slightly overpriced sandwich and chai latte when the most anti-climactic political event of the decade was happening. Fun times.

I will be down there again for the Turner from the Tate exhibition, if I emerge alive from this semester, because it's Turner and his paintings give me life.