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Emboldened by my experience in art galleries in Warsaw and Częstochowa, I strode into the Shoalhaven City Arts Centre, camera at the ready.

I was greeted by a sign unequalled in my many gallery prowlings. The first demand was that I agree not to “harass, threaten or intimidate facility staff”. The sign also said “no photography”, but the man on the desk looked condescendingly at my camera and said “You won't be taking any photos worth selling with that. I cowered, and skulked into the exhibition, feeling harassed and intimidated by the facility staff.

The paintings were by Margaret Dredge. I didn't much like them – heavy, dense, lacking a focal point. However, the brush work was fascinating, so I busily appropriated small segments of the paintings and took pleasure in this act of dismemberment.


As I moved through the gallery, the paintings became lighter in both touch and tone, and more to my taste.
And a bright collage called “Kevin” completed my growing pleasure. I think I need a figurative component in paintings that I like.
I finished my visit to the gallery by poking my nose into a very pleasant courtyard.

Coda: As I left the gallery precinct, I was restored to the natural world by this magnificent street tree.

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