JUST weeks after Brett Whiteley’s unique painting of Newcastle went into private hands, an exhibition of works inspired by the iconic headland has opened in Newcastle.
Whiteley’s painting Nobbys Head and the Entrance to Newcastle, which sold for $576,000 to an anonymous buyer on August 22, is believed to be his only ever work of Newcastle, despite the Australian artist being familiar with the city.
Nobbys the exhibition opened at the Lock-Up Cultural Centre’s John Paynter Gallery on Friday night.
It features the work of a group of Novocastrian artists known as the Seven Painters, although there are only five at the moment, Patricia Williamsz, Jennifer Finnie, Andrew Finnie, Malcolm Sands and Michael Bateman.
Ms Williamsz told Topics they are passionate painters with day jobs including an optometrist, barrister, physiotherapist and teacher; ‘‘but it’s more than just a hobby’’.
The painter told Topics the group chose Nobbys as their subject because it had worked its way into the city’s heart.
‘‘It’s iconic and is something that can’t change too much,’’ Ms Williamsz told Topics. ‘‘At the same time, some of us live in town and it’s all changed – the hospital, the bowling club, the trees.’’
The group used the exhibition to reflect the changing views and glimpses of Nobbys from the also-changing city.
Another member of the Seven Painters, Andrew Finnie, often paints buildings at risk due to development.
“This may be a last chance to capture some of these less-well-known views of a landscape icon as the city experiences changes and increasing development,’’ Mr Finnie said. The exhibition runs until September 18. The Lock-Up Cultural Centre is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm.