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Classic Australian art from Casino Canberra going to auction: own a piece of Canberra history

By Amelia Stephenson 12 July 2018 0
An extensive range of classic Australian art which has been displayed in the Casino Canberra since the early 1990s will go to auction this month. Photo: ALLBIDS.

An extensive range of classic Australian art which has been displayed in the Casino Canberra since the early 1990s will go to auction this month. Photos: ALLBIDS.

In a rare opportunity to own a piece of Canberra’s history, a range of classic and iconic Australian artworks from Casino Canberra will be auctioned off and sold to the highest bidders over the coming weeks in preparation for the casino to update and refresh its collection.

Following the opening of the original temporary casino at the National Convention Centre in 1992, the Casino Canberra that we know today, opened for business in 1994 with former Prime Minister Bob Hawke and the ACT Chief Minister Rosemary Follett among the list of distinguished guests that attended the large opening party, where Bob Hawke also famously claimed the title of winner of the golden roulette ball which was used for the first spin of the roulette wheel in the temporary casino.

The collection of artwork which has been displayed in the casino and its foyers since the early 1990s will be auctioned off to the highest bidders this month on Canberra’s-own auction site ALLBIDS. The artwork which was originally purchased from local sources with an emphasis on Australian history, wildlife and culture, includes various major and commissioned pieces that represent once-in-a-lifetime purchases.

One piece of particular note is the commissioned Seasons” set of four 2 x 1.9 meter wide paintings which have been displayed at the casino for many years. Composed by Frank Hodkinson (1919-2001), a celebrated Australian artist following WWII who exhibited extensively in both Australia and Europe in the 1960s including in the Tate Gallery ‘Colonial and Contemporary Art’ exhibition and ‘Contemporary Australian Painting’ at the Whitechapel Gallery, these beautiful paintings would make for a great investment and addition to a collection.

The famous “Seasons VI” oil on linen composed by Frank Hodkinson.

The famous “Seasons VI” oil on linen composed by Frank Hodkinson.

Other major pieces that are expected to generate significant interest include the collection provided by Peter Griffen (b. 1948), which draws inspiration from a unique combination of the classical painting of the Renaissance, the serendipity of abstract expressionism, and the natural landscape imagery of both Australian and international Indigenous art.

“High Roller” oil and collage on canvas by Peter Griffen.

“High Roller” oil and collage on canvas by Peter Griffen.

In total, the collection includes more than 75 pieces from a range of local artists with varying price points, with some pieces anticipated to sell for as little as $50, while others are expected to fetch over $20,000.

While many of the pieces included in the sale are in keeping with the 1990s design, the superior quality pieces possess a timeless appeal, offering buyers a rare opportunity to own a unique piece of Canberra’s cultural history.

You can view the complete catalogue of artworks included in the sale on the ALLBIDS website, with bidding set to conclude on 25 and 26 July.

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