Crio’s Q? Art and sport?

It is baffling that Art and Sport are sometimes viewed as unlikely partners.

This should not and never has been true.

Examples abound.

Annually the Footy Art show at the Artist’s Garden kicks off the finals and captures the bond (from Friday 5/9…stay tuned for details).

Visit FedSq any time and at the free NVG Australia view classics including Nolen’s wonderful “Footballer” (I’d always wrongly believed it was Keith Miller)

Our site now also has an Almanac Art tab (

And, until October 26, The Ian Potter Museum of Art (The University of Melbourne, Swanston St, Parkville 83445148 hosts the fourth Basil Sellers Art Prize

The Basil Sellers name will be familiar to many of our readers, especially its association with the sculptures that have been commissioned for the SCG – the Steve Waugh one gained plenty of publicity at the Test a couple of years ago (as an aside, Basil is also the father of former Test cricketer, Rex – the only Rex Test player?).

For many of us, our first experience at curating is the childhood bedroom wall……WEG posters, cricket action shots, pop stars and such.

And, if we’re honest, a “poolroom” gallery is stored in a “bucket” file in our minds. Maybe it is just the “Jezza” snap, Ali standing over a strewn Joe Louis or a Tony Greig spruiked commemorative limited edition “spun out” Warney wicket bought late on a sportsman’s night whim!

Perhaps there’s a wishlist from your memory – I always reckoned to see Graham Cornes’ eyes as he landed with the ball and the understanding that Glenelg’s dreams lay with him alone in 1973. What a picture that would have been!

What was your home gallery growing up?

Could you, like me, easily list fav sculptures, photos, paintings and books that are sports related?

And what is on the walls of your dream shed?


  1. A Salute to the Great McCarthy by Barry Oakley
    Half-time at the Football bt Dave Warner

    and this pretty comprehensive essay on the topic of football, art and culture by Stephen Alomes:

  2. Steve Alomes is a regular contributor to the Almanac – as footy writer, historian, satirist and artist. He spoke at our 2012 GF lunch.

  3. matt watson says

    I built my dream garage several years ago. It is 9x7m. One wall is dedicated to North Melbourne and features premiership posters, news articles and caricatures.
    The opposite wall is dedicated to WEG premiership posters, but the 1998 poster will never be hung,
    Half of the long wall is dedicated to boxing, plenty of Tyson, Bernard Hopkins and Holyfield. The other half features more North Melbourne posters, AC/DC posters along with cricket posters, stickers and autographs.
    I had every poster laminated before mounting them.
    One of the roller doors is a hero wall, containing the names of deceased VFL/AFL stars.
    My garage is a homage to sport. It is finished off by the pool table, big screen television and beer fridge…
    I believe there should be more art about sport, but my garage walls can’t take anymore.

  4. As a young ‘un I cut out and treasured a Spooner cartoon of AB, from the winter of 1989.
    Steely-eyed, playing a flashing square drive.
    Brilliant detail.
    And instead of a bat, he wielded a giant axe.
    Long lost. But, as you say Crio, in the memory.

  5. Dave Brown says

    Photography has always been my medium of choice, Crio (suspect it points to a lack of imagination on my part). One of the rooms at my place is featured with crowd shots at Norwood games from the early 1900s (standing room only) along with the Cooper’s ‘Go the Redlegs’ poster, which has two stubbies of sparkling ale at an angle as to suggest, well, red legs (how could one resist their two great non-human loves in the one photograph?).

    Basil Sellers has also commissioned the statues that will appear/are at Adelaide Oval including the great one of Barrie Robran and the statues out the back of the members that effectively have Gillespie bowling to Lehmann. I am also looking forward to the statue of George Giffen, as he was a test cricketer and (sorry) kicked Norwood’s first goal.

  6. Crio,
    As you we’ll know, my wall was covered with selected lift out posters from Racetrack. I can remember Gunsynd with K langby up, Naisko (R Quinton) and especially recall the difference in build between Crown Jester (bull) and Best Western (greyhound). There were probably 20 of them that got interchanged as other favourites came along. Can’t recall any footy ones making it to the wall really in those days as most of the VFL mags were black and white newspapers. I still have several copies of one of the weeklies (Football Life?) that had a colour front cover but these were never cut up.
    The garage was where the pop stars were allowed on the walls. Suzi Quatro, Gary Glitter, Marc Bolan, Queen, The Stones, B B King, Bowie, Slade…you get the picture. There was also one great poster of the first “Rock” event held at the the new Adelaide Entertainment Centre which I attended and included Mississippi (forerunner of Little River Band), and Moonshine Jug And String Band (The Angels) among others that I have forgotten
    Great memories indeed! Wish I had taken pictures of those walls.

  7. Also Crio, it was Sonny Liston that Ali was standing over imploring him to get up and fight, not Joe Louis.
    I have that poster now.

  8. Favourite sport-related art – Edgar Degas’ Horse Racing series from the 1860s, capturing the attitudes and expressions of jockeys before a race, horses heads high or noses down, racegoers of the era…. In the same way as Degas was interested in painting and drawing his famous ‘Dancers’ series, it’s all about the groupings and the human form in action.
    Wish I had – a photo of me, overcome with excitement at having picked the winner of the Melbourne Cup – Bart Cummings’ Gallillee in 1966.
    Books (no posters allowed on my wall!): A Pony for Jean was a favourite, and Black Beauty.
    My Friend Flicka on the TV! There, you see… you can have art and sport ;)

  9. It’s not exactly a recent phenomenon.
    The Bendigo art Gallery at the moment has a special exhibition…
    “Selected from the British Museum’s world-famous Greek and Roman collection, this major international touring exhibition will give audiences the rare opportunity to see over 100 historical works including the impressive Discobolus; an iconic marble statue of a discus thrower from the second century AD.”

  10. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Tennis Girl

    Dogs playing cards

    Dogs playing pool

    Channel 9/Adelaide Permanent Centrals 1981 team poster (in red shorts)

  11. Swish, my mate had the tennis girl on the wall in all his flats when we were kids. Unforgettable. Less enthused at the dogs playing cards – you ptobably nicknamed them Saywell, Jones, Morey, Skinner, Mulholland, Cochrane…

  12. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says


    I was kidding about the first three pieces of art, but you left out Wilson, Mobbs, Nicks, Johns, Norsworthy, Haughan and Casserly as possible names.

Leave a Comment