John Olsen at the NAG

Apr 16, 2016

” The river is a strong brown God.” a work being created by John Olsen to celebrate our City.

At the Gallery Tuesday 5th April, 2016 Foundation members and their guests gathered to enjoy the company of John Olsen and his son Tim. What a memorable night- good food, good wine and good company! And there’s more…. a lively conversation between John and the NAG manager, Lauretta Morton, about his memories of Newcastle and his life in general was topped off with a sensitive recitation of T S Eliot’s poem.

With his wicked sense of humour and his enthusiasm for life (and his appreciation of his own life), John was an extremely entertaining guest. Growing up in the Depression, in a house with few books and no art materials, John let loose his constant need to draw on his mother’s cookery books. From those early beginnings, the artist flourished.

And he is continuing to flourish. According to his son and gallerist, Tim Olsen, John’s works are becoming more “luminous” as he ages.


Image: The audience focused on John’s poetic verse.

The Foundation and the Gallery believe John Olsen’s Newcastle work should remain where it belongs – in Newcastle. We are extremely pleased to be working with NAG in supporting this wonderful opportunity to acquire a truly significant work for the already amazing NAG collection. It would be a fitting addition to the Gallery’s existing Olsen collection which boasts examples across John Olsen’s long career. Acquiring such a work can only enhance the Gallery’s (and Newcastle’s) reputation for exhibiting and collecting the best of contemporary Australian art.

Tax time is almost upon us.

The Foundation invites you to make a contribution towards the acquisition. All donations, large and small, are genuinely appreciated. Donations, through the Foundation, are tax deductible. A donation of $10,000 and above will ensure your name is acknowledged (if you wish it to be) in perpetuity whenever the work is displayed.

The Foundation asks you all to be ambassadors for this amazing opportunity for Newcastle.


Image: Jenny Smyth-Davies capturing John’s autograph.