Andrew Sayers, the artist, came as a surprise to many who were well aware of the achievements of the talented scholar, curator and Director, (including inaugural Director of the National Portrait Gallery of Australia 1998 - 2010). It had always been Sayers' intention to 'flip sides' and dedicate time to a career as a practising artist. This exhibition of gouaches from 2010 - 2015 reveal an artist concerned with capturing a sense of space and asserting his love of rocks, sea and sky.
The gouaches were painted en plain-air, statements citing "the challenge of taking a sheet of paper into nature and capturing something of a place and a mood." They are an expression of Sayers' delight in travel, in capturing the essence of a landscape, especially coastal views, and expose his passion for geology through depictions of rocky places. An exploration of geological time is also a feature of these works, of brief moments contrasted with longer, drawn-out time, such as the ever-changing sea crashing against rocks shaped over eons.
Through his public exhibition of paintings, Sayers has left an indelible mark as an artist, defining him beyond his successful and celebrated institutional career.