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


Mullet Creek



Ana Pollak


1958 –

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Dangar Island Sydney New South Wales Australia
    Media category
    Materials used
    graphite on rice paper
    100.0 x 240.0 cm sheet; 106.5 x 245.0 x 4.5 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Gift of the Trustees of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation 2007
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Ana Pollak

    Reproduction requests

    Dobell Prize for Drawing
    Winner - 2007
    Artist information
    Ana Pollak

    Works in the collection


  • About

    'Drawing has always been number one. And line. And in the last three years, the exploration of line has been inspired by Chinese calligraphy … but the best I can do is try to capture the essence of it, and play with that essence of movement, because it is all about movement and line and bringing the two together.' (Ana Pollak to Jill Sykes, Look, July 2008, p 23).

    Pollak created this large drawing in her studio on Dangar Island in August 2007. It was worked up from several small preparatory studies made from her dory (rowing boat), in situ up Mullet Creek, which is adjacent to her home. She was
    inspired by ‘the gentle way the skeletal framework of the oyster leases at low tide delineate the vast estuarine spaces of the Hawkesbury River’, and by the pattern of dark stakes and their reflection against shimmering water. With a minimum of abbreviated marks, her drawing evokes the broken-up reflections created by the movement of water. Its pacing is sensitive, with drawn marks counterpointed by areas of unmarked white paper. Pollak attributes this delicacy of approach to the influence of music, and what it has taught her about the importance of pauses and silence. 'Mullet Creek' evokes the atmospheric stillness and calm of a landscape that Pollak cherishes, but which is undergoing change. The old oyster farm beds are being progressively removed and replaced with plastic equivalents and new strains of oysters, to counter the pervasive QX virus.

    This drawing was the first work by Pollak to enter the Gallery’s collection, and was joined the following year by a small study in graphite, 'Study for Mullet Creek' 2007, gifted to the AGNSW by the artist. In 2012 a hand-drawn film 'Flux',
    featuring her drawings of Hawkesbury River water, was purchased by the Gallery.

    This work won the Dobell Prize for Drawing in 2007 and was acquired by the Gallery in 2007.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 16 publications

Other works by Ana Pollak