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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Harriet Schwarzrock

spaces between movement and stillness

Daily from Saturday 13 February 2021 until Sunday 1 August 2021

Ticketed entry required - free

Ticketed entry is in place for all visits to the Gallery. Your booking lets you wander through all the galley spaces. Phew! No need to worry about what you want to see!

‘The heart is often regarded as our emotional centre. Working with this form allows me to contemplate many aspects of being.’

Harriet Schwarzrock’s new work explores notions of emotional processes and their physical manifestations. ‘From the subtle yet essential electricity within our bodies, I am fascinated by this interplay between the invisible and the visible, between our extraordinary similarities and differences.’

In spaces between movement and stillness, the artist has embraced science and experimentation to create visual wonders: glass, inert gases, and electricity combine into an array of organic forms, producing a captivating field of colour and movement. ‘Sometimes they have a warm glow, much like an aurora contained in a bottle; in others there are lightning-like lines meandering around the form. Although the gases are invisible, when excited by electricity they reveal subtle effects and differences.’

The creation draws reflections on the role of the human heart as our central, exquisitely responsive ‘engine’. When we’re relaxed, the heart beats at a slow and steady rhythm; when excitement takes hold – for example, in the first throes of true love – the cadence might crank with the beat of a wilful, wild machine. Luminous alone, the myriad tones and permutations of spaces between movement and stillness also echo the boundless forms of love in our autumn-winter exhibition, Australian Love Stories.

Working with glass
Video: 5 minutes

Related information

Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown, 2006 (printed 2020) Peter Brew-Bevan
Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown, 2006 (printed 2020) Peter Brew-Bevan
Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown, 2006 (printed 2020) Peter Brew-Bevan
Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown, 2006 (printed 2020) Peter Brew-Bevan

Australian Love Stories

Family, friends, fanatics and foes (and everything in between!)

Upcoming exhibition

from Saturday 20 March

Reconnect and reflect with our new major exhibition, Australian Love Stories (in real life!) as we explore love, affection and connection in all its guises.

Kath & Kim, c. 2011 (printed 2020) John Tsiavis
Kath & Kim, c. 2011 (printed 2020) John Tsiavis
Kath & Kim, c. 2011 (printed 2020) John Tsiavis
Kath & Kim, c. 2011 (printed 2020) John Tsiavis

Australian Loves Stories tour

Daily event from Sat 20 Mar until Sun 1 Aug
2:30pm

Is love all you really need? If so, what kind of love? Join us for an exhilarating look at love in all its guises – from lust and longing, drama and devotion, to seduction and scandal.

CJ Bowerbird
CJ Bowerbird
CJ Bowerbird
CJ Bowerbird

Late night love stories

Poetry slam: all the languages of love

Fri 26 Mar
5:00pm

Join Australian Poetry Slam Champion CJ Bowerbird and some of Canberra’s best spoken word artists in an evening of poetry, performance and love.

Portrait of Ambrose Patterson, 1901-02 Hugh Ramsay
Portrait of Ambrose Patterson, 1901-02 Hugh Ramsay
Portrait of Ambrose Patterson, 1901-02 Hugh Ramsay
Portrait of Ambrose Patterson, 1901-02 Hugh Ramsay

Slow Art Day

Lingering look

Sat 10 Apr
1:00pm

Rush in and slow down for Slow Art Day. This global event has a simple mission: help more people discover the joy of looking at and loving art.

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2021
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.