Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles: Number 11, 1952 hangs in the National Gallery of Australia, courtesy of one of Australia’s most controversial Prime Ministers, Gough Whitlam.

It is breathtaking in real life.

And being able to wander down at any time into the NGA, and contemplate it, with none of the usual hustle and bustle that accompanies renowned paintings in the galleries of Europe or North America is a real privilege.

In a small town given over to the business of nation running (and the political sideshow which goes along with that) and which, architecturally, wants to preserve its status as a city/monument, life can be a little austere and cynical. It has been a slow, not altogether successful, process finding touchstones of culture, warmth and authenticity in this city. But the NGA, and Pollock’s gorgeous Blue Pols, is one.

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