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CONCRETE DESIRES

Posted On 25 May 2024
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This entry is part 5 of 25 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#33

NORMAN LINDSAY GALLERY & MUSEUM WORDS/PHOTOS THE BEAR

Do you like boobs a lot? (Yes, I like boobs a lot.) You gotta like boobs a lot… Steve Weber, The Fugs First Album

Norman Lindsay would have agreed. I suspect that he was a fun guy, and he definitely liked boobs a lot. Why else would he have immortalised so many young women in concrete, with special emphasis on their chests? Concrete, I hear you say? A material more commonly associated with getting rid of troublesome people than sculpting them, concrete obviously has its advantages; not least among them being that it’s cheap. But Lindsay was of course more than a sculptor in cheap building materials.

Let’s get the background facts out of the way. The Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum is a stone cottage on a large block of land which also contains some smaller buildings including two used as an oil painting studio and an etching studio. The large garden is dotted with Lindsay’s sculptures. He and his wife Rose bought the property in 1913, and Lindsay transformed it over the years, adding classical colonnades, fountains, paths and sculptures. In the late 1950s, Lindsay began converting the house into a gallery to accommodate paintings, drawings, etchings, woodcuts and ship models made during his life.

Should you be interested in a fictionalised version of Norman and Rose’s life up here you could rent the film Sirens, which has been described as soft-core pornography but is actually a good-natured attempt to juxtapose church and bohemian attitudes to sexuality. As a bonus, you get Elle Macpherson without her duds on.

As you can see, Norman Lindsay was a versatile and possibly hyperactive bloke. To be honest, I think that the ship models are possibly more interesting than the nudes, which are a bit same-ey.

Lindsay died in 1969, and the National Trust bought the place in 1970. The oil painting studio has been preserved as it was at the time of his death with unfinished oils and materials.

These days the place is a popular tourist attraction. It makes a good one-day excursion from Sydney along the Great Western Highway. There’s a café as well, attached to the house and surrounded by figures from The Magic Pudding, one of Lindsay’s enduring works. And lots of concrete (and some bronze) boobs… PT

Norman Lindsay Gallery & Museum

14 Norman Lindsay Cres, Faulconbridge NSW 2776, 02 4751 1067

The gallery is open every day, 10.00 to 4.00 (closed Christmas Day) Entry fees are:
Families $36
Adults $15
Concession $12
Children (6-12 yrs) $6

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