Sometimes a visit to the National Gallery of Australia can deliver a very nice surprise.
I was there on Sunday to meet someone and thought that I would take a quick look around to see what was left to be seen given their notices that the whole place was undergoing a major reshuffle.
I was surprised to find that they have completed the move of Australia art from upstairs to the ground floor.
Right now there are very few people visiting the gallery. This will change in a couple of weeks when their Tom Roberts show opens and they complete the move of the international art into the upstairs galleries.
When I heard that they were moving the Australian art downstairs and were introducing white walls, I was very skeptical. I liked Australian art being in the upstairs galleries and was very used to the layout. So I had serious doubts about this change.
How wrong I was. The new layout downstairs is brilliant. It works. They have mixed together various mediums in an intelligent manner. And there’s loads of photography – at last!
Gauging by the reaction of the visitors there on Sunday, I suggest it is going to be very popular.
I highly recommend a visit right now.
Now we wait to see what they do with the international works when the move upstairs is done and dusted. And I hear there is to be dedicated photography gallery upstairs as well.
Things are getting better at the NGA!
A word of warning. I noticed that the three hour free parking during the week seems to have vanished. However the weekend parking remains free. So you can guess when I suggest you visit.
PS: While the above is a first reaction (positive) – I may offer a critical review later.