John Olsen’s Lake Eyre Series

During the 1970s, John Olsen journeyed into Central Australia with a naturalist to Lake Eyre. This remote lake below sea level was usually a dried up salt pan, but on Olsen’s trip it had rained. The area was then overrun by thousands of fish and pelicans.

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The void — John Olsen

Thus, when I entered this section of the exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, the sound of birds echoed off the white walls. Before me was Lake Eyre, but not the perspective you would expect.

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Cooper’s Creek in flood — John Olsen

According to Olsen, flying over Australia gave the viewer a completely different perspective. And so, examining much of Olsen’s work, it was obvious that this was his favoured perspective.

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