A one hour walk around the fascinating
Sydney University Public Art Collection
Tours full refundable within 24 hours.
Meet at University Ave main gates at 11.00am (see map).
Alan can be reached on M: 0419 981 664 for inquiries.
The Sydney University Art collection includes over 7,000 works of art including paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, video, prints, glass and ceramics. Like most other galleries and museums around the world, only the public can see a fraction at any one time.
A one-hour walking tour offers access to aspects of the collection visible on and around campus. The tour conducted by a gallery educator takes in the contemporary and modernist public art as well as some of the most significant architectural works.
Gallery educator Alan Spackman with Dawn Sunrise 1989 by Elwyn Lynn. Mixed media painting 152.0 x 152.0 University Art Collection UA1119.8
Some key highlights of the tour include:
Ken Woolly and Peter Webber’s mosaic columns of photo-microscopy of chemical structures at the entrance to the 1958 Chemistry Building -- the University’s first Modernist building.
A visit to the sculptures of Tom Bass and Shona Nunan and a significant late-career relief by Lyndon Dadswell.
Emeritus Professor of Contemporary Art, Richard Dunn’s The Land (High Hills and the Gorge) 1988-2004, an acrylic painting began at the time of the 1988 Australian Bi-Centennial and resolved in 2004. Dunn proposes a philosophical and abstracted ‘landscape’– on the Australian post-colonial condition and the nation’s complex relationship with Indigenous culture.
Richard Dunn, The Land (High Hills and the Gorge) 1988-2004, Acrylic and moulding compound on cotton duck, 170 x 230cm University Art Collection UA2013.3
Germ Warfare 1994, an acrylic painting by the late Harry ‘HJ’ Wedge, an Indigenous man of the Wirajuri nation. HJ’s paintings often combine black humour with stories of life on the Cowra Mission, where he grew up, but here he depicts the bringing of small pox and other life threatening diseases to Australia at the time of colonisation. In a style reminiscent of comic book imagery, he outlines his figures with wavy lines to give a hallucinatory and disorienting sense of some grim scenes of Indigenous-European contact.
Harry ‘HJ’ Wedge, Germ Warfare 1994 Synthetic polymer paint on canvas 154 x 180 x 4cm University of Sydney Union Collection USU1996.8
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Alan Spackman is a modernist and contemporary art researcher, art educator and artist exhibiting in Sydney. He holds degrees in visual arts, art history, education and museum studies at the University of Sydney. He is a contract Art Gallery educator with Sydney University Museums. Born in Sydney and being a fourth generation Australian, he also shares a wealth of local social history and architectural knowledge on his art tours.