William Blake’s Job Series juxtaposed against Brett Whiteley’s “Alchemy”



What an amazing morning and early afternoon was had by us all today, starting in the Print Room in the NSW Art Gallery where we saw the actual, original prints from William Blake’s The Book of Job series. In this transformation Blake tells Job’s story in order to show how religion needs to move away from theological formulations and moralistic judgmentalism to an open-hearted acceptance of the immense mystery and wonder of creation and towards an inner experience of the sacred


This series embodied much of Blake’s quest to “cleanse the doors of perception” as he dramatizes Job’s journey, surrounded with texts from the Old Testament, the New Testament and from The Book of Job  itself. We then walked to 2 Raper Street, the Brett Whiteley Studio.  To travel through Whiteley’s transformative imagination, through the birth canal that produced that shock of ginger hair, on down the eye beam that absorbed Blake’s grain of sand, out into the universe of stars and then across the horror’s of the world stage during the Vietnam war period and on through the amazing bird-filled grass lands of the Australian bush crowned both with an actual human brain and a lyre-bird singing 16 songs simultaneously, and when you put your eye onto the lyre-bird’s eye you see your own eye staring back at you


and then on to the ritual suicide of the Japanese writer who committed ritual suicide (seppuku) having decided the gap between art and action could only be closed in this way….



Debra in the print room NSW Art Gallery + MG on Blake’s Job:

Blog Questions for this week:

You may also do the following: say, in word (critical or creative) in image (critical or creative), in video (critical or creative) what inspired you MOST today from all the myriad of impressions you received at either the Brett Whiteley Studio or the Prints and Drawing Room where the NSW Art Gallery had so brilliantly set up for us the whole collection of Blake’s Job series.

Introduction to the Brett Whiteley Studio:

Inside the Brett Whiteley Studiio



  1 comment for “William Blake’s Job Series juxtaposed against Brett Whiteley’s “Alchemy”

  1. September 22, 2019 at 3:29 am

    If any of your students, or indeed yourself have cause to be near Museum Railway Station, they should take time out to look at the artwork of Bill Nix in the art space at The Downing Centre. Bill won an award in the Blake art prize in 1997. I’m sure you or your Blake students would identify with two paintings that he has done, which upon seeing them the other day, immediately reminded me of the Job prints. I have looked on Bill Nix website but it is not as complete to show all his works.
    I loved studying William Blake, and Patrick White. I still enjoy the writings of both as I discover more of it now.

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