A Day at the Art Gallery

What a great day we had at the art gallery. It was my first time there. I was in awe of all the paintings. I was able to see Australia through the eyes of the early white Australians. Then I could see the very different way the Aborigines did their paintings.

Our blog this week is to pick a painting that spoke to us. I picked “Bailed Up” by Tom Roberts. When I was a young girl we were told many stories about family members. One story that stands out the most is this.

There was a young couple who had married. They went to Melbourne, in their own buggy, for their honeymoon. They had been travelling for days. One day they were held up by bushrangers. They told them to take everything they had, but please spare their life. The bushranger asked them what they were doing. He explained they were on their honeymoon. The bushranger then gave them the money and items back with a little extra money and told them to go on their way. Then they heard “Have a long and happy life.” At the next town, they told people what had happened to them and were told: “that sounds like the Kelly Gang.” They were so grateful and never saw them again.

Bailed Up By Tom Roberts (1895)

Tom Roberts - Bailed up - Google Art Project.jpg

This painting stood out to me because as a child I loved the stories of bushrangers. In year 6 our teacher read the story of Captain Thunderbolt. He made us feel like we were in the story. From then on I have been interested in the history of bushrangers.

 In the painting, I see a bright sunny day. The landscape is rugged and brown. A tree has been put across the track. I can see the wealthy in the stagecoach and they are being held up. This must have been a terrifying time for them, even though Roberts has made them look like they are very calm and casual. They look like they are having a nice chat with them. They don’t look worried or scared. The bushrangers don’t look hard or threatening. In this time in Australia there were only two types of people, the rich and the poor. So to help keep them surviving the men have been made to rob from the rich to buy food and things they need. To me, it is a Robin Hood story.

Roberts has made this painting look bright, even though it is mainly in browns, it is more colourful then some other paintings we have seen. This is a typical way we see early Australia in the early days. There is no aggressiveness and Roberts has put the romance in the painting. To me, this is a beautiful painting.  

6 thoughts on “A Day at the Art Gallery

  1. This is a fabulous blog about your art gallery visit Jenny: what a fabulous story! And you describe the painting itself with beautifully imaginative words. Great work. Some of your sentences need a few extra components. I have made some corrections below. Please make these changes in your blog and get your learning partner to help explain some of the issues.
    Thank you for your great work!
    Editing Needed (and some workshop follow-ups- see Purdue Owl for help: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/1/
    * My first time there. = It was my first time there. [ Complete sentence needed ]
    *Seeing Australia through the eyes on the early white Australians.= incomplete sentence = I was able to see Australia through the eyes OF the early white Australians.
    *Then seeing the very different way the Aborigines did their paintings.= Then I could see the very different way the Aborigines did their paintings.
    Sentences need SUBJECT/ VERB/ OBJECT…..
    *When I was a young girl we were told of many stories of family members. One stand out the most is this.=
    When I was a young girl we were told many stories ABOUT family members. One STORY THAT standS out the most is this.
    *They look like they have a nice chat with them. = They look like they ARE havING a nice chat with them.
    *….or threating. = ….or threatENing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jenny,

    What a wonderful entry! I am glad your first visit to the Art Gallery was with Michael. One of my favourite parts of studying literature with Michael is our visits to the Gallery, where we get to connect the work we are reading and studying with other artists and art forms. It’s great how literature and visual art are so connected.

    I enjoyed reading your family story regarding the young honeymooners who were held up by bushrangers. I can see why you responded to Robert’s painting so much. What a powerful personal connection, I thank you for sharing this with us. I am left wondering if it was indeed the Kelly Gang they encountered. Much like the bushranger, I hope your relatives did indeed have a long and happy life.

    From what I remember, Roberts’ mixture of naturalism and symbolism wasn’t appreciated on its first showing, but I feel it captures the unique Australian `she’ll be right, mate’ attitude that we have come to celebrate. It seems that those being held up are quite calm and almost accepting of the robbery. As you write in your blog, it appears the passengers are having a good ole chat to the bandits!

    Your analysis of Robert’s painting technique is very insightful. Robert’s was part of new wave of Australian artists who wanted to exhibit the real Australia- the people, the scenery and the colours of the land. He studied Impressionist and Naturalistic on a tour of Europe and I think this is very evident in this painting. Robert’s and other emerging artists, presented works that depict the reality of Australia, bathed in colour and light.

    I thoroughly enjoyed your blog and I hope to read more of your entries in the future!

    ACU Student

    Liked by 1 person

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