Inside the Collection

George Gittoes

Portrait of George Gittoes with artwork
Photography by Anne-Marie Van de Ven © Powerhouse Museum, all rights reserved

Recently I was invited to visit the studio of Australian artist and filmmaker, George Gittoes to inspect his collection of Yellow House Puppet Theatre puppets paintings, ceramics and etchings. Today Gittoes is an internationally renowned filmmaker, but in the Sixties, he was a co-founder of the Yellow House, one of the most colourful contributions to the hippy/psychedelic era in Australia during the late 1960s and early 1970s. This art house opened to the public on April’s Fools Day 1970.

I took this photo of George with one of his puppets during the inspection when George became very animated as he described the puppets one by one. His ‘God / Apollo / Zeus’ puppet is modelled in liquid polystyrene foam (a technique Gittoes mastered while making surf boards) and painted with oils. Gittoes, who loved diving underwater, modelled God to look like the Barrier Reef.

Keep posted for more information about George’s remarkable Yellow House collection of artworks as they enter the Powerhouse Museum collection during the year. As this is my very first curatorial post, I’m looking forward to sharing more of my remarkably diverse curatorial activities as the year progresses.

One response to “George Gittoes

  • The thought of George Gittoes making puppets sets my imagination wandering. I have been to his house to take his portrait for a magazine article on the film Rampage. He had so many paintings and drawings of political commentary in his sketchbook style. Gittoes is almost a caricature of his works. A truly fascinating and energetic man who finds a way to make things happen.

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