THE visual arts community in Canberra is abuzz with news that the National Gallery of Australia’s summer blockbuster for 2012-13 will be an exhibition of works by the French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, says arts editor HELEN MUSA.
When she contacted two senior staffers at the gallery, they would not confirm the story; nor did they deny it.
Both said that the director of the NGA, Ron Radford, was very particular about confidentiality regarding coming exhibitions, but that it was expected, as soon as all the paperwork on sponsorship was signed off, that he would make a public announcement, possibly soon after the Second Indigenous Triennial opened at the gallery.
The creative director of the Canberra Centenary, Robyn Archer, has said several times that she was hoping for an earlier-than-usual announcement for the gallery so that the exhibition could appear in the Centenary’s official program.
A Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition would be a significant coup for the NGA and an accessible and popular follow-up to the two previous blockbusters, “Masterpieces from Paris” and the recent Renaissance show of paintings from the Accademia Carrara, Bergamo.
Toulouse-Lautrec became a popular culture figure through his colorful posters and paintings depicting the Parisian demi-monde of the Post-Impressionist period and in more refined circles he was respected along with Cézanne, Van Gogh, and Gauguin.
The congenital condition which meant that the artist was the height of a child was dramatised in the 1952 John Huston film “Moulin Rouge,” which revolved around his friendships with prostitutes, rogues and dancers.
Philip’s Paparazzi challenge
REAL Estate agent Philip Kouvelis has a challenge for anyone who fancies themselves as a bit of a film buff.
The part owner of Paparazzi @ Garran, Philip says he’ll buy lunch for anyone who can name all the movie stars on the walls of the suburban cafe.
“If you look around you, you see that the cafe is Paparazzi. It’s got an ‘I want to be seen here’ type feel to it,” Philip says.
Paparazzi manager Natalie Mitchell agrees with Philip that it’s the best cafe in Canberra.
“Being suburban, it’s very customer focussed and we give that little bit extra. There is very much a community feel here,” she says.
It seems it’s one big happy family at the Garran shops as Paparazzi is owned by Philip and Marion Neilson. Marion also manages Philip Kouvelis Real Estate.
“It’s rare that owners own a business for 10 years and it doesn’t change hands and it’s rare that somebody works with you for 10 years,” he says.
“It goes hand in hand with my business, Philip Kouvelis Real Estate. “Marion has worked with me for over 30 years and that’s amazing.
“If there is a common link, it’s me. People stay with me because I’m a good person.”
Market on the move
THE popular Fash ‘n’ Treasure markets have been held at the charming Old Bus Depot building for the last time.
At last Saturday’s market the space was fully booked and as the market continues to grow, organisers have decided it’s time to move on to EPIC.
The market has new owners, too. Cathie and Stephen Wall have been running the Baby and Kids Market and the Canberra Wedding Fairs for many years.
They say EPIC has heating for winter and cooling for summer, dedicated change rooms for men and women, and mobile change rooms that will be placed around the building.
All good news for the shopper, but the catch is the new, more expensive home means there will be a $3 entry fee to browse the market.
Made for walking
“THERE’S no wonder Canberra residents are born walkers,” says healthy lifestyle magazine “Prevention Australia”, which found Canberra as the number two most-loved walking “towns” in Australia.
And “CC” does love a good walk!
The magazine says it’s our “sunshine, challenging hills, lake views, national monuments and parks” that’s most loved.
“Prevention” editor Jacqueline Mooney says she was impressed with the hundreds of votes received from supportive local and visitors (take that, Canberra bashers!).
We were pipped at the post by Melbourne (pfft!), the magazine said of the number one spot: “While our southern capital has a reputation for European-style cafes, exclusive fashion boutiques and quirky backstreet bars, it’s a prime location for dedicated walkers, too.”
Rounding out the top five was Noosa, followed by Shepparton and Adelaide.
The competition was a national initiative by “Prevention” that “celebrates the health benefits of walking while publicly recognising the country’s most-loved walking areas”.