Uncommon Australians: The vision of Gordon and Marilyn Darling

Montalbetti+Campbell Andy Thomas 2002 detail Featuring some of the most iconic portraits in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, Uncommon Australians: The vision of Gordon and Marilyn Darling explores the faces that have shaped Australia at the McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery from Sunday 13 December 2015.

“Over summer, McClelland is delighted to host Uncommon Australians: The Vision of Gordon and Marilyn Darling – a National Portrait Gallery touring exhibition celebrating Australian’s who have made a lasting contribution to the nation,” says John M. Cunningham, Director McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery.

“We believe that it is utterly fitting to celebrate the extraordinary contribution to the cultural life of this nation of Gordon and Marilyn Darling – two uncommon Australian’s,” added Cunningham.

The portraits in the exhibition depict Australian men and women who have made a difference to the history and culture of this nation – from sporting heroes to politicians to activists to philanthropists. They are also a reflection of our shared humanity.

Exhibited together for the first time outside of the National Portrait Gallery, the 39 iconic portraits include:  Nick Cave by Howard Arkley, Eddie Marbo by Gordon Bennett, Jack Bradham by Julie Edgar, Andy Thomas by Montablbetti+Campbell, Johnny O’Keefe by Ivan Durrant, Mick Dodson by Ricky Maynard, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch by Victorian Tapestry Workshop plus many more.

In the late 1980s, on the day that they decided to spend the rest of their lives together, Gordon and Marilyn Darling agreed to pursue a project: the creation of a place that would testify, through portraits, to the ingenuity, intelligence, inquisitiveness and perseverance of individuals who had made a lasting difference to Australia.

In the early 1990s they expressed their vision with an exhibition of portraits they called Uncommon Australians. Over years, their combination of idealism, practical support and persuasive lobbying for an Australian National Portrait Gallery played a crucial part in bringing the institution into being.

Now, the National Portrait Gallery’s collection resides in a superb building, its spaces abounding with portraits the Darlings and subsequent benefactors have funded. Uncommon Australians: The vision of Gordon and Marilyn Darling reveals the National Portrait Gallery’s Founding Patrons as uncommon Australians of the kind they set out to celebrate from the very beginning.

Uncommon Australians
McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery, 390 McClelland Drive, Langwarrin
Exhibition: 13 December 2015 – 21 February 2016
Entry by donation

For more information, visit: www.mcclellandgallery.com for details.

Image: Montalbetti+Campbell, Andy Thomas, 2002 (detail)