We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


The Dry Salvages



Colin Lanceley

New Zealand, Australia

06 Jan 1938 – 30 Jan 2015

Alternate image of The Dry Salvages by Colin Lanceley
Alternate image of The Dry Salvages by Colin Lanceley
Alternate image of The Dry Salvages by Colin Lanceley
Alternate image of The Dry Salvages by Colin Lanceley
  • Details

    Other Title
    Dry salvages
    Media categories
    Mixed media , Painting , Collage
    Materials used
    oil and found objects on plywood
    triptych: 187.6 x 374.4 x 18.0 cm overall approx. :

    a - left panel, 183.3 x 122.2 cm

    b - centre panel, 183.3 x 122.2 cm

    c - right panel, 183.5 x 122.4 cm

    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.r. centre panel [part b], red oil "Lanceley 63/64".

    Purchased 1991
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of Colin Lanceley/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Colin Lanceley

    Works in the collection


  • About

    The title of this assemblage, 'The Dry Salvages', is also that of a poem by TS Eliot, composed during the Second World War. In his imagery of rivers and seas embodying the passage of time, carrying human culture within them, the poet turned to the flotsam and jetsam of the past, underlining a way of approaching a new era as potentially fertile territory. In Eliot’s words, Lanceley saw a way of maintaining a poetic or artistic attitude in spite of the fickle impermanence of consumer society.

    'There is no end, but addition: the trailing
    Consequence of further days and hours,
    While emotion takes to itself the emotionless
    Years of living among the breakage
    Of what was believed as the most reliable –
    And therefore the fittest for renunciation.'
    – extract from TS Eliot’s ’The Dry Salvages’ 1941

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 6 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 8 publications

    • Helen Campbell, Look, 'Stuck on you', pg. 16-19, Sydney, Sep 2016, 16.

    • Elizabeth Fortescue., dailytelegraph.com.au, 'Australian art legend Colin Lanceley dies after long illness', Sydney, 30 Jan 2015, n.pag.. viewed 30.01.2015, http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/arts/australian-art-legend-colin-lanceley-dies-after-long-illness/story-fniv7r7y-1227201808929

    • Jane Hampson, Look, 'Lost and found: Colin Lanceley on urban collage, TS Eliot and the Annandale Imitation Realists', pg. 18-19, Melbourne, Dec 2000-Jan 2001, front cover (colour illus., detail), 5 (colour illus.), 18 (colour illus.), 19. Australian Focus series

    • Barry Pearce, Australian Collection Focus: Colin Lanceley The Dry Salvages 1963-64 and Gemini 1964, 'Colin Lanceley: poeticising the banal', pg. 2-3, Sydney, 2001, 2-3, 4-5 (colour illus.), 7-8, 10, 11, 12 (colour illus., detail).

    • Barry Pearce, Look, 'Focus on Wastelands: How the idea was born', pg. 16, Sydney, Sep 2005, 16, 17 (colour illus.).

    • David Thomas., The Australian, 'Art citadel breached by new impressionists', Sydney, 31 May 1965, page unknown (illus., detail of right panel). Right panel reproduced with caption: 'Colin Lanceley's assemblage Black Magic in the exhibition of Sydney Painters '65 which opened on Saturday evening'.

    • Editor Unknown (Editor), The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Assembled junk wins £1,300 travelling grant', Sydney, 18 Sep 1964, page unknown.

    • Editor Unknown (Editor), Truth, 'Is Lanceley really serious or is he pulling our legs - and at £600 for a triptych called The Dry Salvages that's a considerable leg pull?', pg. 24, Melbourne, 09 May 1964, 24.

Other works by Colin Lanceley

See all 43 works