See Australia’s greatest portraits

PORTRAITS by some of Australia’s most historic painters will grace the walls of Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre this summer.Works by Tom Roberts, Max Meldrum, Sidney Nolan and Margaret Preston, to name a few, will feature in an exclusive exhibition direct from the National Gallery of Australia.

The exhibition, Australian Portraits 1880-1960, features paintings from the late colonial period and into the period of abstraction.

There are 54 impressive portraits by 34 leading Australian painters. The collection distinctly showcases the historical overview of change in portraiture among our artists.

Belinda Hanrahan, gallery director of Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre, said it it was a real privilege to be a custodian of the exhibition.

“The National Art Gallery has only done two exhibitions here at Hazelhurst and this is the most significant one,” Mrs Hanrahan said.

“This has been a few years in planning and was only finalised last year. We have conditions as good as a state gallery — security, humidity control and reputation.”

The centre manager said Hazelhurst had “firmly established its place as a prominent gallery” in Australia.

Among the collection, a standout is a life-size portrait of Nellie Patterson, Dame Nellie Melba’s niece, by Hugh Ramsey, sitting daintily on a cushion, so real that even Mrs Hanrahan feels as if “she could just slip off”.

“The poise and subtle colour of Tom Roberts’s painting transports you back in time,” she said. “Each work feels like you’re just as close up as the artist was.”

Details: Australian Portraits 1880-1960, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre, Gymea, until Sunday, January 29.