Olive COTTON, Orchestration in light Enlarge 1 /1


Australia 1911 – 2003

Orchestration in light 1937 Place made: New England, New South Wales, Australia
Creation Notes: Wollomombi Gorge, Wollonombi Gorge, New England
Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph

Dimensions: printed image 24.1 h x 27.4 w cm sheet 25.4 h x 28.2 w cm backing sheet 33.2 h x 33.4 w
Acknowledgement: Purchased with assistance from the Helen Ennis Fund
Accession No: NGA 92.965

Cotton took this landscape early one morning at Wullumbi Gorge in the New England tablelands, during a camping trip with Dupain. It is remarkable for both the way the light transforms the landscape into quivering energy and the way Cotton makes sense of that enigmatic experience in pictorial form. As its title suggests, the photograph recalled for Cotton – who trained as a musician as a girl – a musical composition, particularly ‘the beautiful graduation in tone going from a bass tone to a high treble at the top of the picture’.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra