Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum are located in Faulconbridge, a few turns away from Great Western Highway. Each turn has a large brown sign directing visitors to the gallery, so it is easy to get there even without a GPS. However, such a device may be handy on the way back, as no one cared about marking the route from the gallery to the highway.
My first impression upon entering the gallery was that the artist’s main style (and hobby too) was life drawing. What I found there was the largest collection of naked people paintings () I have ever seen. I appreciated the choice of models which was a far cry from current fashion designers’ predilection for “” image, and Lindsay’s classical life drawing style was an eye-soothing balm after pretentious impotence of pervasive abstract art.
After the gallery we went out to the park which surrounded the house. The garden was not a work of art – rather a framework for it, filled with sculptures and urns made by Lindsay. The statues represented naked figures mostly of mythological descent. It looked like Lindsay not simply illustrated Greek mythology but also extended it as it was the first time I saw a female satyr.
We finished exploration of the premises by lunchtime, so naturally, our next waypoint was “award-winning” Lindsay’s Café. Whoever were the judges, they should have been sandwich lovers as those three-storey culinary creations dominated the menu. Nevertheless, I managed to spot a bread-free option – Italian sausages, which were made of rarely found rough mince and served with delicious wine and red onion compote.
Service was pretty mediocre though. My orange pekoe tea was weak and was served too early; it got disgustingly tepid by the time I finished sausages. Also, I had to chase a waitress to get a pre-ordered apple crumble (which was delicious, by the way). Unsurprisingly, I was not inclined to leave tips.
Non-descript café interior was jazzed up with overpriced drawings. They seemed too cheap to bear Lindsay’s autograph but too expensive if judged by sheer quality. The only graphical highlight was a sign about unattended children. I was really impressed by the crafty placement of the word “free” before the second item whose absence before the first one subtly hinted at the fact that parents would have to bear its cost. I smile every time I remember it. If I had to purchase one picture from that café, I would buy that sign, but it was not on sale.
Before leaving the gallery we popped in the shop to take a piece of art home. There were reproductions of many a fine Lindsay’s painting, but once again feline allure proved unbeatable. Of all things we chose a tea towel and a mug with the Defence Tactics comics.
In conclusion, I can say that a visit to the gallery should be an entertaining experience for any family in which kids already know the difference between the contents of boys’ and girls’ undies. For those who don’t it will be educational too.
Everglades report is coming soon…