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Existence really is an imperfect tense that never becomes a present.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1874)

Waiting, whether torture or bliss, is paramount to the human experience. It is a notion that, at its core, questions our existence, and as existentialist author Nietzsche notes above, we can wait forever and still never discover an answer. But we humans wait for more than simply an answer to why we exist...

NG Art Gallery is proud to present Waiting - A Still Life a major group exhibition opening Tuesday 30 June 2009, 6 - 8pm.

The exhibition will be officially opened by guest speakers Richard Aedy presenter of ABC's Radio National Life Matters and Dr David Booth (Genetics of MS Research Group, Millennium Centre, Westmead Hospital). The exhibition will explore the concept of humanity's tendency to constantly be in waiting, in anticipation for the next. In close relation to this concept, the exhibition will support MS Research Australia's Foundation 5 Million (MSRA & F5m) campaign, contributing to their aim to raise $5 million for MS research. A percentage of the exhibition artwork sales, as well as proceeds from several special events to be held alongside the exhibition at NG Art Gallery and Mission Restaurant will be donated towards MS research.

For most of us, waiting adds poignancy to our lives. As children and teenagers, we wait to attend school, to go on holidays, learn to drive, to earn money, to leave school. As adults we wait for the perfect love, and when we think we've found it, we wait for more money to create the ideal home, we wait for retirement so that we can truly enjoy our lives, and sometime soon after we might find ourselves waiting for test results to reveal whether or not we might be waiting to die. Anticipation, sister to waiting, can be delicious. We wait in line for concert tickets and our rewarded with our prize; we wait for the birth of a longed-for child; the arrival of a lover from overseas. If we expect our waiting has a positive outcome, we are happy to wait.

Or perhaps waiting can symbolise hope? People with MS today wait for stem cell research to relieve them of their pain. Doctors speak of possibilities, there is hope, so they wait, and the waiting might limit the despair. Then there are those who wait without hope of a cure, who wait for a place in their ideal heaven, or simply wait for pain to cease. Waiting for a short while may add to a rich live, but waiting without hope, for some, is hardly living at all. A dynamic selection of some of Australia's most interesting artists (30 in total) have been invited to interpret the brief Waiting - A Still Life, including Alan Jones, Craig Waddell, Angus Wood, Leslie Rice, Susan O'Doherty and Angus McDonald, to name but a few.

In addition to the exhibition, Justin Miller, chairman of Sotheby's Australia will facilitate a silent auction of a selection of key paintings at a special Feast for the Senses dinner to be held at Mission Restaurant on Tuesday 7 July, 6pm. These paintings will be donated, as additional works to those hung in the exhibition, by Wendy Sharpe, Peter O'Doherty, Janet Laurence, Juliet Holmes a Court, Rachel Fairfax, Ann Cape, Bernard Ollis and Noel McKenna and will contribute significantly with 100% of the auction sales to be donated to the F5M campaign towards MS research. There will be a live performance by renowned harmonica player Jim Conway and guitarist Matthew Roberts.

The evening will be convened by former ABC presenter Richard Morecroft who will discuss, with MiIler, Buying, Collecting and Investing in Art, followed by a dinner with wine. Tickets are $150 per head for this very special event. There will be a second Feast for the Senses dinner held on Sunday 26 July, 4pm that will feature a special performance by the Sydney Omega Ensemble, followed by dinner with wine and a discussion between renowned Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe and acclaimed Australian writer David Malouf on - A Life as a Scoreā€¦on a Page Amongst Words. Tickets are $150 per head for this exclusive live music and art event.

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