From Andrew Frost…
For their summer exhibition Hazlehurst Regional Gallery is staging a major Brett Whiteley show. The exhibition features over 60 works including studies and etchings, photographs, sculptures of birds, sharks and bathers, and for the first time in 17 years Whiteley’s Unfinished Beach Polyptych is seen outside the Whiteley Studio.
The Australian cliché is its beach culture, the one things most tourists know about the place and the site of a contest between values of inclusion and exclusion. Since the Shire and its tempestuous recent history began on the beaches of Cronulla, this Whiteley and his work is a fantasy that the beach can return to a place of sensual pleasures. And Whiteley’s vision of Sydney as a place of watery idylls and becalmed harbour bays still retains its persuasion of the good life is possible, why it’s just through the window.
Until January 27
Hazlehurst Regional Gallery, Gymea.
Pic: Brett Whiteley BWS222 (Unfinished beach polyptych) (detail), pencil, charcoal, blue fibre-tipped pen, collage on 6 plywood panels, 216.4 x 733.2cm, Brett Whiteley Studio © Wendy Whiteley.