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By Carrie Miller
The latest show at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery is not an ordinary art exhibition, but then there’s nothing average about the person who’s at its centre.
Ace Bourke: A Collector’s Journey reveals a man at the centre of the art world who’s been too busy immersed in life to be concerned with the commodity value of art. Despite being one of Australia’s most significant curators, Bourke’s own collection is not a highly stylised one, instead it’s an ad hoc mix of traditional and contemporary objects, photographs and textiles primarily from Australia and the Pacific, including gifts from now famous artist friends such as Martin Sharp, Michael Riley and Tracey Moffatt.
Personal memorabilia is also on display. For a man with such humility, perhaps the strangest aspect of Bourke’s life is his recent incarnation as an internet sensation. He is one of the two men featured in the phenomenally popular YouTube video which shows him in Africa being reunited with Christian, a lion he owned in London in the late 60s, set to a weepy Whitney Houston ballad.
The show is like a series of personal anecdotes which reveals the significant place of art in the ongoing conversation of life and the generosity with which Bourke has devoted his life to telling this story.
Until September 23
Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, Gymea
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