Gardens and sculptures at the National Gallery of Australia

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The gardens of the National Gallery of Australia are some of Canberra’s best kept secrets.

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The National Gallery is designed to have outdoor ‘rooms’, all with Australian native plants. The soft greys, blues and greens blend together to make tranquil settings such as this.

Water, our most precious resource, features throughout the gardens.

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These grounds are perfect settings for sculptures.  This is Gaston Lachaise’s Floating Figure…. could there be a better backdrop for this lovely sculpture?

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A fog sculpture, created by Fujiko Nakaya from Japan is rising up from a pond of water…this is a wonderfully cool and shady spot, very popular for summer weddings.

The Cones Sculptures designed by Bert Flugelman are shining through the trees.

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This sculpture, The Angel of the North, has, over time, become my favourite. It is a maquette produced from the original Angel of the North by Antony Gormley in Britain.

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Quite by chance we had seen one of Antony Gormley’s sculptures in the crypt of Winchester Cathedral in England, this one is called simply Sound 11…a mysterious life-sized statue of a man contemplating the water held in his cupped hands.

I like his sculptures and I was pleased to know that we had one in Canberra.

Antony Gormley had the north of England firmly in mind when he created The Angel of the North, and he is quoted as saying that people interpret the statue in their own way, and take ownership of it.

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I think the Australian Angel of the North is perfectly placed at the edge of Lake Burley Griffin, surrounded by the sights, smells and sounds of the Australian bush capital.

She seems to be watching over the city in a quiet, protective way.

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20 Replies to “Gardens and sculptures at the National Gallery of Australia”

    1. Yes, the pears are right in the front of the gallery, I’m sure that is because they are so striking. The rusty looking angel takes a while to grow on you!

  1. I must admit I did a double take on seeing the Angel of the North, having visited the original in Newcastle. The gardens around the Australian Angel look beautiful.

    1. Yes, we saw a glimpse of the original Angel of the North on the BBC series Vera. She seems to fit both landscapes quite well.

  2. I didn’t know you had an Angel of the North in Canberra. As you say, what an ideal spot, overlooking the lake. What a lovely collection, from the fog to the fruit. Thanks for sharing Gerrie. Somewhere else to add to my Canberra list 🙂

  3. It is always a delight to visit you and learn more about your surroundings. I love the sculptures especially the pears and was very surprised to see an “Angel of the North” in Canberra! We have an Anthony Gormley sculpture in Dorset too (see my 17Aug 2015 post.) Sarah x

    1. Thanks Sarah….yes I think this sculpture should have a sign saying Australian Angel of the North….. Very confusing!….I don’t think this one is as big as the one in the North of England. I’ll look up your post with an Antony Gormley sculpture.

  4. That floating figure and the fog garden are just beautiful! I looked twice at the Angel of the North too…Anthony Gormely’s Iron men are on a beach not far from us, I’ll post a pic or two next time we visit. They are rather eerie.xxx

    1. Oh I’d like to see a pic of the Iron men…..I agree that some of his sculptures are a bit eerie. Glad you liked the floating figure (one of my favourites) and the fog garden.

  5. I loved these gardens and sculptures, in fact I thought Canberra had some of the best gardens and public (free) places to visit in all of Australia. I could live there, but unfortunately Jack would find the winters far too cold. I enjoy revisiting them in your posts.

    1. Glad you enjoyed Canberra, Pauline, it is lovely having so many gardens and parks….but I know what you mean about the winter…it is a long cold winter by Aussie standards!

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