Monday, 5 June 2017

Guy Grey Smith, Art Galleries and Virtual Reality


Thanks for visiting.

Distinguished West Australian artist Guy Grey Smith was born in Wagin in 1916.  He joined the Royal Australian Air Force aged 20. A short service commission with the RAF took him near Cambridge in the UK where he met and married his wife Helen. During WW2,  he flew bombers and had to parachute out of his burning plane, was hit by the tailplane receiving severe head injuries and was made a POW in Stalag Luft III. It was here that his interest in art began when his wife sent him artists materials.  When he was repatriated to the UK due to getting tuberculosis in 1944, he also received art therapy.

After the war he attended Chelsea School of Art, one of his teachers being Sculptor Henry Moore.  He and his wife moved back to Darlington, WA in 1947 and set up a pottery but when his TB returned, after 8 months in recovery, they moved back to London where he studied fresco painting at the Central School of Arts and Crafts.

They returned to Western Australia, travelling to the North West which inspired his work.  He set up the Perth Group in the 1950s with other artists to bring the influence of European Modernism to Australia.  He was influenced by Paul Cezanne, Nicholas de Stael and the Australian landscape.

He died from TB in 1981.

Vasse Felix

Torbay Art Gallery of WA 

Horseshoe Range AGWA

Don't the bright Australian colours just explode from the canvases.

Whilst in the Gallery, a few other exhibits caught our eyes.

Antony Gormley

A showcase of modern contemporary glass . .

. . which made you really wonder how it had been made.

Just around the corner from AGWA is PICA - Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts - where we were lucky to take part in a Virtual Reality experience called Collisions by Lynette Wallworth.

About 20 people sat on stools each wearing a VR headset whilst the 360° film was played enabling you to turn in any direction to view what particularly interested you in the film.  It was the story of Martu elder Nyarri Morgan's first contact with Western culture in the 1950s when he witnessed an atomic bomb testing in the South Australian desert.

A truly poignant experience as you are totally immersed,  right in the middle of the action.  I couldn't help but wonder what we all looked like to anyone who entered the room, twisting and turning on our stools.  Have a look at this Youtube clip, if you'd like more information.

So much to see, so much to do!


  1. Not my style of painting, but love the colors. The VR experience sound incredible.

  2. Unusual paintings and what an interesting life he had. The virtual reality experience sounds weird but wonderful:)

    1. It was certainly action packed, wasn't it. I'm sure there will be so much more VR to come soon.