Sunday, January 30, 2011

ballets russes at the national gallery...

I have been to textile and costume heaven.
Last Friday I treated myself to a leisurely afternoon at the National Gallery of of my favourite places in this here national capital of ours :) Actually, one of my favourite places in the whole wide world.
Here's the new facade...pretty spectacular don't you think?
This was my first visit since the grand re-opening of the gallery with its new spaces last September and I wasn't disappointed. The new indigenous galleries are just superb. I've always loved the totems and they look so wonderful in their new space.
But I went to see the Ballet Russe exhibition. The NGA has one of the largest collections in the world of costumes and other bits and bobs from this ballet company, founded by Serge Diaghilev in Paris in 1911.  Here's just some of the fantastic costumes...
 This one above was my favourite and is actually a male costume...who would have guessed...I'm going to have a crack at painting it. It will look lovely on my new white walls if I can do it justice :)
Don't these look modern even today...nymph costumes
second favourite coming up...
As always when I go to the Gallery, the exhibition blew me away. It is such an incredible place...and a ten minute drive from home...

So much awesomeness...but how in the heck did they dance in these? They must weigh more than the dancers...even when they're dripping wet (the dancers not the costumes...ballet is hard work or so I'm told)

And outside the gallery (oh how I wish you could take photos inside...why can't you I wonder? You can in the Louvre)...there is a major installation called within, without by James's hard to describe walk into it...the photos don't do it justice...well mine don't anyway :)
...and of course I had to buy the book didn't I? It has the most beautiful close-ups...
and perhaps I bought a few other things as well despite the year of living frugally (I put them under the category of 'learning stuff')
Go here for more fabulous images from the Ballets Russes exhibition and explanations about the ballets and costumes.
all except the last two images are from the NGA website


  1. 'Frugal' means not spending more than you have to - sometimes you have to. Simple!

  2. Half those Ballet Russes getups would work well as maternity frocks (my bug bear is the revoltingness and huge cost of maternity clobber-utterly Shameful)They look a bit Easton Pearson- always a good thing.

    Don't panic re frugality- like Decluttering and acquiring a share portfolio, I see it as a Journey.

    Meanwhile I think it''s sensible to purchase some life enhancing products within your means that'll bring some low calorie Joy.

    So there.

    Any visits from my California Gardeners yet? x

  3. I love the detail of the costumes. Whenever I see theatre costumes, I am always amazed at the workmanship and like you am amazed that the actors/dancers can wear some of them - they look so heavy! Very beautiful!

  4. The dresses are beautiful! I love the nymph costumes the most for some reason...something I could imagine wearing on a beach with a sun hat perhaps! Thanks for the tour, Kerry!


  5. That looks stunning, I love the first nymph dress, I could wear that today!

  6. How wonderful! How about we do a trade for a day? My MONA for your NGA? Love the look of the architecture, a very important part of the experience :)

  7. Aah, two of my favourite things...ballet and the NGA! What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, Kerry! I LOVE that first Nymph costume, so soft and floaty! I love the totems too!! Thanks for sharing your visit! Hope you have a fabulous week ahead ~ Txx

  8. What a wonderful space Kerry, definately somewhere I should put on my list of things to do/see. Love the totems and I can definately see myself wearing that first nymph dress xx

  9. Kerry, I do love costumes of any kind. Amazing the thought and hand work that goes into these.

  10. What a wonderful place to visit. I would have been in 7th heaven too. I love costumes and the whole magical ballet world. The nymph dresses are gorgeous. I am still chuckling about Faux Fushsias low calorie joy. Deb

  11. Dear Kerry,
    First of all, what a wonderful building.....from the outside, it's magnificent. I love all of these costumes but, my favourites are the Nymph costumes.....I would wear them on a daily basis. They are so gorgeous. You are very lucky to have such a fantastic place to visit. You must find inspiration for your paintings at every step. I am sure that in, maybe a few posts time, we will be treated to a painting of yours from this exhibition. I know that you will be onto it fact, I reckon that you have a paintbrush in your hands as I type this comment !!!! Oh, and I adore that jacket and waistcoat in the last photograph. I would wear it in a heartbeat. XXXX

  12. Wow how lucky to be so close to the NGA. Such amazing costumes, and certainly not for the physically frail.
    Books fall into the expanding your horizons category and it's essentially food for the brain; you have to eat right?!

  13. Stunning costumes - I wish they would take this exhibition on tour!

  14. I was brought up on ballet as my aunt used to dance with Robert Helpmann. Instead of going to the UK with him she married and introduced ballet to country towns! We would go to every performance of the season every year for years and she used to say that a ballet dancer was the fittest and strongest athlete of all!
    Those costumes are glorious I am so envious you have something like this as your neighbor!!! xoxo

  15. What amazing costumes! Must have been a fantastic exhibit to see. I remember we had a similar exhibition here in Perth a few years back and I found the items on display so breathtaking. Hope you're having a wonderful weekend Kerry x

  16. What a great way to spend your day. The detailing on the costumes is just exquisite. It would make a lovely piece of art, Kerry. xx

  17. I too am a signatory to 2011 The Year of Frugality ... but who doesn't get suckered into a Gallery Shop? I usually skip out of them with bags swingin' in the wind!

    Those costumes are beyond exquisite aren't they ... wouldn't you just love to put one on and escape reality for a nano-second?

    Love your style!

  18. Oh, do paint it; we want to see more of your work. These are beautiful, rich and intricate costumes, made with such dedication and care. Humanity goes up a notch for me as I look at them.

  19. ok, sorry but tonight blogger bites the big one ...twice it ate my comment, twice!

    suffice to say, gorgeous gorgeous experience to be had by the looks of it, and hanging out to see the painting, will be genius for sure. you have the touch!


  20. Wow ! The costumes are great. How can anyone do something like that ?!
    And I really want to visit the museum some day :)

    Yes, Paris and Louvren !!!


  21. These are fantastic! I love ballet costumes :-)

  22. Real treasures in your backyard Kerry. Can't wait for the painting. And so nice to have a little time for yourself enjoying something that you so obviously love so much. Pleased the first day back at work went well today my friend. xx

  23. What a fantastic outing Kerry, wow. Great photos too. A proper tour! And even if you're being frugal, you're allowed to buy a book anyday :)

  24. I've come by way of MMMC. So nice to discover your blog. I spent my teens in the Can and used to visit the National Gallery often. Can't believe how different it looks with the new facade! And I just heard about the James Turrell yesterday. Looks gorgeous. Love it when you can truly 'experience' a work of art.

  25. Kerry, that's splendiferous. You've saved me the admission fee. You know, I can see some of those get-ups fitting in your wardrobe. I seriously think you could carry them off :o) No serioulsy. The patterns are so YOU. Despite the lack of feathers... and absence of pink in the palette.

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