Whittlesea U3A Art for Fun
Exhibiting at Parliament House
Parliament House, Queen’s Hall.
The big day dawned! 8th October, 2015 – a day to be remembered for all the Class of ‘Art for Fun’, Whittlesea U3A. Art Classes of U3A Victoria were invited to hang Art in Queen’s Hall, Parliament House and ‘Art for Fun’, Whittlesea U3A was eager and ready to oblige.
All members of our Class met at Epping Memorial Hall at 9.30am and promptly boarded the transport provided by U3A and driven by Peter Rodaughan, who had air conditioning and music, easy on the ears, set to go.
With our tummies aflutter with butterflies we headed towards our destination at Parliament House in the City of Melbourne. An hour later (thanks to Peter’s expert driving through Melbourne’s road-work repairs) we arrived on time, meeting up with two other members of our group.
Two Police Officers guided us through the gates of Parliament House, around the side to where a lift awaited to take us upstairs into Queen’s Hall where a ‘Gallery’ had been set up displaying our work for all to enjoy.
Spending an hour slowly working our way through all the marvellous entries, it all too soon became time for ‘morning tea’ upstairs. Getting from the lift to the actual tea-room took a little longer than anticipated as there were so many incredible, historic artefacts to admire along the way.
Inside, the opulence of the heavy, polished timber long tables and beautifully upholstered red leather arm chairs looked almost too good to use. Needless to say, after placing our orders we gratefully sank down into our seats and waited for our food and beverages to arrive, feeling quite swish (and still admiring all the wondrous, old ornaments and artefacts placed about the spacious room.
The atmosphere swept over us all, filling us with the mood of yesteryear with portraits of former Prime Ministers, Members of Government and dignitaries looking down on us as we relaxed in the very chairs they would have once occupied.
After a half hour, we slowly made our way back down into Queen’s Hall to complete our viewing of the Art displayed before heading across the Road to the Imperial Hotel for lunch. But before our departure, we were told some exciting news. One of our Artists, Kate Deheny, had been approached for the sale of her Portrait, ‘Joanna’, by The Honourable Jill Hennessy M.P.
The excitement was palpable. Each one of our Class took turns in congratulating Kate on her success.
How wonderful to see her face aglow with excitement and happiness. Kate produces beautiful pieces and it seemed only right that her work was acknowledged so aptly on this very special day.
After a delicious lunch we all made our way back over to Parliament House where Peter picked us up and returned us – safe and sound – with tapping feet and happy humming to Epping Memorial Hall.
What a day! What a fabulous memory to have shared with some of the nicest people anyone could wish to know.
Trip to Archibald Prize Exhibition
A fine, wet fog spread over my windscreen eventually demanding windscreen wipers, as we drove towards Epping Memorial Centre for our meeting with our driver, Peter Rodaughan, and the rest of the class joining us from ‘Art for Fun’. The traffic was minimal, nothing like what we were expecting as we breezed along McDonald Road, so we were running way too early. It was 8.15am and we were to leave by 9am. It was a perfect excuse to stop for a hot coffee and an excited chat about the day to come before taking off again to the Centre.
Peter was already waiting for us. It wasn’t long before the rest of the remaining group (diminished due to some, unfortunately, feeling unwell) piled into the van and we were off to Ballarat where the Archibald Prize Exhibition was taking place.
By now the sun was beginning to shine through the windows, creating a warm, surrounding glow within the van.
We discussed (among other things) how this Exhibition may differ from other “Archies” we’d seen during the years.
Coming into the City of Ballarat, we were welcomed by beautiful rectangles of colourful flowers planted along the median strips which graced the Main Road into the City.
And then, we were there!
The Art Gallery of Ballarat – a grand old lady standing tall and elegant – welcomed us with open arms to see the wonders of all the fantastic Artists whose works had been selected to be hung. What extraordinary work! What a diverse array of mediums! I groaned inwardly at the obvious fact that I had so much more to learn – let alone put into practice – before I could only dream of reaching that level of excellence! Not that that detracted for a moment from the pure joy and wonderment of looking at these exquisite pieces.
We took a couple of hours to take it all in – fitting in a cup of coffee – before we purchased a select few items from the Gift Shop then headed down the Road to a Café where we had a superb, affordable lunch.
Then, a leisurely stroll back to our ‘meeting place’ took us to where Peter was waiting to take us back to Epping.
What a fantastic day!
The Archibald Prize Exhibition is so worth a visit! Next year, Whittlesea U3A members (not only the Art Classes) should give it good consideration as it is a wonderful way to spend a few hours of relaxation, education and fun.
With all the amazing talent from Artists all around Australia still being digested, we dreamily relaxed back in our seats while Peter, expertly, calmly and cheerfully, drove us back to reality where our own cars awaited us for our final leg toward our separate journeys home.