Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery

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The Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery produces and presents exhibitions of Australian and international art as well as important national touring exhibitions. The exhibition program explores a dynamic and diverse spectrum of visual arts practice.

Exhibition catalogues and publications, as well as art objects and gifts, are available for sale in the Gallery shop.


Image of Japanese woodblock artwork

Ukiyo-e: Japanese prints of the floating world

8 February - 28 June 2014

Japanese woodblock prints from the Ronald and Catherine Berndt Collection.

The techniques of Japanese woodblock printing, moku hanga, is identified most closely with the genre of art Ukiyo-e, commonly translated as 'pictures of the floating world'. This was adopted from the Chinese book printing techniques during the Edo period (1603 - 1867) and developed into a distinctive art form, using water-based inks to provide a wide range of vivid colours possessing extraordinary transparency.

Despite early seventeenth century experiments with the use of movable wooden type to produce books, craftsmen preferred engraved woodblocks for book production of small cheap art prints for a mass market. Now known as Saga books, after the town in which they were created, these classic tales became particularly well known. 

Ronald and Catherine Berndt collection many such Ukiyo-e together, starting when Ronald was still at school. Drawn not only from the classical sagas of Japan, the Ukiyo-e depicted a contemporary world of people in their landscape and their society.

Featured work: Woodblock print, Japan, 35.3 x 23.4 cm. RM & CH Berndt Collection [WU8767]


Public program

In accompaniment to the current exhibitions, the Gallery hosts a range of events for the public, many of which are free to attend. For more information, visit the events page.