Solanderic Surprises

Solander boxes are austere, functional and safe but inside holds another story. Watercolour works from another world, frenetic splashes of colour, exquisitely studied views of nature and humanity.



I was fortunate enough to be part of a tour of the watercolour works held by the Wollongong City Gallery and Louise Brand the curator was open enough to take a peek inside one of those Solander boxes that held works that made me go AHHhh.

Each box contain works based on physical proportions so the contents of this single box held watercolours by Samuel Elyard from the 1800s to Ian Fairweather & Tony Tuckson in the 50’s and 60’s. I’ve always considered watercolours and sketches the underwear of an artist. So it was great to see these pair of artists stripped down to their grungies.

The Fairweather was in a fragile state, as all his works seem to be, but that frailty is the beauty of his work. The complete antithesis of the instability of materials  came in the strikingly vibrant indigenous art of  Kitty Kantilla done with ochres. Flaunting her timeless materials.

It was a beautiful glimpse of some wonderful watery works that we are fortunate enough to hold in the collection.

The works pictured here have links to their sources and are not the beautiful works I saw.  Unfortunately the gallery has neither the time nor the funds to have digitalized their collection as yet and I was too excited to take photos.



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