Ball's Head, Sydney Harbour
17 Mar 1895 - 02 Dec 1988
Lloyd Rees valued drawing highly and it was an integral part of his oeuvre. Indeed, through the 1930s it was almost his exclusive focus. In 1931 he moved to McMahons Point, on the north shore of the Harbour, where he made many drawings of views towards Circular Quay, Balmain, Goat Island and Ball’s Head.
'The full measure of my highly detailed drawings of Sydney Harbour were done at McMahon’s Point. It was drawing purely for the sake of drawing, for by now, I was well out of the swim of the art world ….Drawing was simply an obsession and I was completely absorbed in the discovery of form and composition. The drawings were by no means naturalistic in the sense of simply selecting a subject and drawing it, for there were things brought in and things left out. They were highly worked and I had an intense interest in the manipulation of them. I drew in the morning and then took the work home and looked at it in the afternoon and if I saw anything superfluous, I rubbed it out.' Lloyd Rees 1985
20.3 x 25 cm sheet
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r., "Lloyd Rees 1931"
Not on display
© A&J Rees. Licensed by Copyright Agency
Where the work was made
Shown in 9 exhibitions
Society of Artists Annual Exhibition (1931), Education Department Gallery [Loftus Street], Sydney, 05 Sep 1931–02 Oct 1931
Lloyd Rees (1942), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 01 Aug 1942–30 Aug 1942
Lloyd Rees Retrospective (1969-70):
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 02 Oct 1969–02 Nov 1969
- Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane Nov 1969–Dec 1969
- National Gallery of Victoria [St Kilda Road], Melbourne 01 Feb 1970–28 Feb 1970
- Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart 17 Mar 1970–13 Apr 1970
- Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide 01 May 1970–31 May 1970
- Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth 18 Jun 1970–21 Jul 1970
- Newcastle Art Gallery, Newcastle 01 Aug 1970–31 Aug 1970
Australian images: Prints, drawings and watercolours from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Dec 1979–28 Jan 1980
Harbour hymns, city songs: visions of Sydney from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 13 Jan 1990–11 Mar 1990
Lloyd Rees Drawings (1995-96):
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 09 Mar 1995–14 May 1995
- Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, Bathurst 09 Jun 1995–16 Jul 1995
- Art Gallery of Ballarat, Ballarat 01 Sep 1995–15 Oct 1995
- Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane 04 Nov 1995–01 Jan 1996
- Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston, Launceston 24 Jan 1996–11 Mar 1996
Big Blue - the painted harbour (1997), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 21 Jun 1997–29 Mar 1998
Affinities: Brett Whiteley & Lloyd Rees (2001), The Brett Whiteley Studio, Surry Hills, 10 Feb 2001–08 Jul 2001
Painting with Pencil - Lloyd Rees: Sydney Drawings 1930-36, Museum of Sydney, Sydney, 12 Dec 2015–10 Apr 2016
Referenced in 11 publications
(Lloyd Rees), Sydney, 1942.
Lloyd Rees Retrospective, ‘List of works: drawings’, pp 11-16, Sydney, 1969, 33. cat.no. 123
Australian images: Prints, drawings and watercolours from the collection, Sydney, 1979, 8.
Renée Free, Lloyd Rees, ‘Part III: Sydney: 1917-42’, pp 23-50, Melbourne, 1972, 41 (illus.), 42, 120. cat.no. D112
Lou Klepac, Affinities: Brett Whiteley & Lloyd Rees, 'Introduction', pp 2-4, Sydney, 2001, 8.
Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, ‘Celebrating Lloyd Rees: a book and show on the Gallery’s collection of his work’, pg. 21-23, Sydney, Mar 2013, 23.
Hendrik Kolenberg, Lloyd Rees Drawings - Centenary Retrospective, 'Introduction', pp 7-19, Sydney, 1995, 11, 16, 43 (illus.). cat.no. 41
Sydney Ure Smith, Art in Australia [series 3, no. 42], ‘Pencil drawings by Lloyd Rees’, Sydney, Feb 1932, 57. cat.no. 15
Big blue: the painted harbour (list of works), Sydney, 1997.
Harbour hymns, city songs: visions of Sydney from the collection, Sydney, 1990. cat.no. 94
Roland Wakelin, Art Gallery of New South Wales Quarterly, 'The artistic development of Lloyd Rees', pp 490-492, Sydney, Oct 1969, 496 (illus.). 'Lloyd Rees special number'