The 5th Gene & Brian Sherman Capsule Collection, presented by Deutscher and Hackett, interestingly joins the dots between Sherman Galleries’ exhibition programme and the decision-making which, during that period, underpinned the family collection.

Starting with John Olsen, the still-active grand master of Australian art, a painter whose work seems to mirror the Australian experience of our vast dry continent, the artists in this capsule, (bar Mick Namarari), were all represented by Sherman Galleries.

John’s grand 1993 exhibition gave us Nolan at Broome; Tim Storrier’s major Goodhope St shows produced many significant works, including the 1999 Drifting Over (The Coals) suite - and the Galleries' younger generation painters, Gordon Bennett and Shane Cotton, created exhibitions which were eagerly awaited by quite different groups of collectors, who often staked their claim a year or more in advance.

The Sherman Goodhope Gallery, a large space to fill by any measure, was specifically primed to best enhance the differences between artistic sensibilities and diversity of purpose. Entire walls were erected – with others dismantled, moved or re-painted to suit the prevailing thematic. Dark rooms were created, new technologies harnessed and each exhibition both embraced and enhanced the works on display.

In short, artists knew that their creative efforts would be given the most aesthetically appropriate setting, and inevitably they stretched their imaginative and technical capabilities so as to escalate the quality of each exhibition.

Apart from a longstanding connection to Sherman Galleries, (with Mick Namarari an outlier in this regard), the focus on landscape unites the majority of works in this – our 5th Capsule. (Gordon Bennett’s political intervention and his enigmatic abstraction obliquely referencing a fallen cross, clearly stand outside the landscape narrative).

Olsen pays tribute to Nolan, his colleague-in-arms and fellow investigator of Australian mythology; Storrier’s visceral understanding of dangers inherent in the vast Australian bush, (rooted in his experience on the land as a child and so frighteningly in evidence this past summer), speak to the landscape’s ongoing potential to burn.

Shane Cotton’s grand pictorial rendering of New Zealand, our near neighbour’s paysage, create vistas which feel, as we might expect, darker, more mysterious and less articulated. Part Maori part Pakeha, Cotton, like Olsen and Storrier, had long established an intensely loyal following, producing a limited number of minutely crafted pictures which gave rise to angst on the part of collectors, palpably fearful of missing out.

And what about our indigenous star, Mick Namarari, whose work was acquired by Brian on a Christopher Hodges lead expedition to Papunya, together with our then-teenage children. Brian’s eye was always impeccable and his thirst to see the landscape through indigenous eyes became a driving force in the acquisition of a small early collection of un-stretched, treasured canvases that came home with the family and have been amongst us these many decades.

Landscapes evoke memories and Australian landscapes were new to us as South African migrants fleeing the strictures of Apartheid in the mid-seventies.

Sherman Galleries was our family's place of discovery - as it was for so many people, including the local community, the broader Australian art-interested world and, increasingly, for curators, collectors and museum directors who gathered in our spaces from all over the Asia-Pacific region.

The artists were our priority and their needs came first and foremost. We felt honoured to facilitate their interaction with the public – and they rose and rose again to the occasion.