A Smart Day Out

19 May 2022 / Story: Bill Short; Photos: Bill Short

Smart Day Out

May 12, 2022

What is a Smart Day out?  A good question which deserves an answer.

 A Smart Day out with South Coast was envisaged to be a day trip to the National Gallery in Canberra who are having an exhibition of Jeffrey Smart’s works in celebration of one hundred years since the birth of acclaimed Australian artist Jeffrey Smart.

 Brian, Anda, Jan and Bill were meant to kick off early on Thursday morning from Milton and meet Dace and Chris at Braidwood. Move to Plan B because Anda and Brian were not able to go.

Thursday morning and the Princes Highway was closed due to a motor vehicle accident near the Sussex Inlet turn off.  Jan & Bill travel to Braidwood via Goulburn instead.  Braidwood road is in a very ordinary condition and Goldilocks is no longer in a smart condition due to mud splattered by a passing car.

Meet Dace & Chris at Braidwood Bakery and after coffee (they were earlier and we were late), set off for Canberra to park at the National Gallery.  Heavy rain on the way across cleans up Goldilocks who is almost smart again. Chris in the lead car takes us on a scenic tour to the Gallery. That was smart of him. Not so smart were the multiple laps of the National Gallery looking for a parking space because too much rain caused competition for spaces.

 We gave up finding a parking space and exited the Gallery to successfully find parking nearby at the National Portrait Gallery. That was smart, especially the walk across to the National Gallery was mostly under cover.  A not so smart quick lunch at the Gallery outdoor café under an umbrella while it was raining and then into the exhibition.

 One of Australia’s most celebrated artists, Jeffrey Smart sought inspiration from the world around him – looking to the environment of urban and industrial modernity – which he transformed through his imaginative sense of theatre and intimate understanding of geometry and composition. These potent and intriguing images have become emblematic of 20th and 21st century urban experience.

 At the end of our tour, Dace & Chris were off to have a look in the Portrait Gallery and Jan & Bill (who were appreciative of a very smart ticket system at the Portrait Gallery which was not accepting payment and allowed us free parking) to Murrumbateman to join James & Guilia from Canberra for an evening meal at the Murrumbateman Country Inn.

 We missed having Anda & Brian on the trip and again at dinner time – you missed a very good exhibition and a bonus something special from one of the waitresses at the pub.

 Bill Short