This exhibition formed a central part of the ART150 programme at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne. The exhibition showcased generations of practicing artists who have studied or taught at the National Gallery School or VCA Art.
The exhibition title and concept references the famous 9 by 5 Impression Exhibition held at the Buxton Rooms, Swanston Street Melbourne in 1889. All seven artists in that exhibition, Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, Frederick McCubbin, Charles Conder, C Douglas Richardson, R.E. Falls and Herbert Daly, were National Gallery School alumni. At the time women made up the majority of the National Gallery School student cohort and alumni. It is significant to note that Jane Sutherland, Clara Southern, May Vale, Elizabeth Parsons, Jane Price, who practised en plein air painting and were associated with the development of Australian Impressionism, were not included in the ‘9 by 5 Impression Exhibition’.
In contrast, representation in the current 9X5 NOW exhibition is characterised by inclusivity and diversity of identity, generation and practice.
PHOTOGRAPHY CHRISTO CROCKER