Two contemporary works of art have been purchased and gifted to the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) and will be accessible free to the public thanks to one of Australia’s oldest charitable trusts, the Felton Bequest
The works will premiere at the NGV summer blockbuster Triennial 2023 free exhibition which runs from this month until April 2024.
Reaching Out (2022) is a larger-than-life bronze statue British artist Thomas J Price, one of the most influential British contemporary artists of his generation. This work encourages observers to contemplate issues of race, identity, representation, and power while looking at the sculpture of a casually dress young woman looking at her phone.
The examiner (2023) is a mirror-polished statue of a young man created especially for the Triennial by Berlin-based duo Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset who have challenged and reshaped the way in which art is presented and experienced by exploring themes related to identity, sexuality and the human body, as well as the physical and digital spaces that people create and occupy. This work features a polished stainless-steel man who leans on a Juliet-style balcony. With its reflective surface, the sculpture creates new images as one walks around it, the whole object reflecting and changing the viewer's perception.
The Felton Bequest was established in 1904 and is recognised as Australia’s first great philanthropic gift. It remains the most valuable bequest ever made to the arts in Australia with the artworks gifted to the NGV from the Bequest now valued at $2.8 billion.
“The Triennial years at the NGV are highpoints in the vibrant cultural life of Melbourne and the nation. Alfred Felton was a man who valued art and creativity and his Bequest has been foundational to building the NGV’s outstanding, encyclopaedic collection of art,” said Rupert Myer AO, Chairman of the Felton Bequests’ Committee.
Alfred Felton was a successful merchant and manufacturer establishing businesses in the pharmaceuticals, chemicals and glass industries. In addition to his love of the arts, he was also known for his association with The Esplanade Hotel in St Kilda, where he lived until his death in 1904.
The Felton Bequest divides its income between the NGV and charitable causes that support women and children. It is one of more than 650 charitable trusts managed by Equity Trustees, which distributed more than $120 million in grants and bequests in the past financial year.
“We are proud to be trustee for Alfred Felton’s Bequest which continues to grow and provide the gift of art and funding to causes and programs he cared about in his lifetime,” said Jodi Kennedy, General Manager, Philanthropy and Community Trusts, Equity Trustees.
More about Equity Trustees Philanthropy, including the 2023 Giving Highlights available at www.eqt.com.au/philanthropy.
Download the full Media Release
General Manager – Marketing & Communications
03 8623 5396 / 0403 172 024
Equity Trustees was established in 1888 for the purpose of providing independent and impartial Trustee and Executor services to help families throughout Australia protect their wealth. As Australia’s leading specialist trustee company, we offer a diverse range of services to individuals, families and corporate clients including asset management, estate planning, philanthropic services and Responsible Entity (RE) services for external Fund Managers. Equity Trustees is the brand name of EQT Holdings Limited (ABN 22 607 797 615) and its subsidiary companies, publicly listed company on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX: EQT) with offices in Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. Philanthropy services are provided by Equity Trustees Wealth Services Limited (ABN 33 006 132 332) (AFSL 234528) and Australian Executor Trustees Limited (ABN 84 007 869 794) which are part of the EQT group of companies.