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(b Holywood, County Down, Ireland, Jan 26, 1922).

Australian painter, printmaker, book designer, lecturer, collector, gallery director and publisher of limited edition artists’ books, of Irish decent. He worked as a draughtsman before entering war service in the British Admiralty from 1940 to 1949, including five years in Colombo, where he made sketching trips to jungle temples with the Buddhist monk and artist Manjsiro Thero. Between 1949 and 1951 Adams worked as an exhibition designer in London and studied wood-engraving with Gertrude Hermes in her evening class at the Central School of Arts and Crafts (now Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design). In 1951, after moving to Melbourne, Adams began a 30-year teaching commitment at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), where he instructed many of the younger generation of Australian printmakers, including George Baldessin and Jan Senbergs. A brief return to Britain and Ireland in 1957–8 provided experience with Dolmen Press, Dublin, which published his first book of engravings, ...



(b Alderstone, England, Jan 27, 1851; d Bondi, Sydney, April 27, 1942).

Australian painter and writer . He attended the West London School of Art and, following the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, the Académie Julian in Paris. In 1878 the newspaper owner David Syme invited Ashton to Melbourne to produce black-and-white illustrations for the Illustrated Australian News. After a disagreement with the management he transferred to the rival Australasian Sketcher. In 1883 he went to Sydney, where he joined the staff of the Picturesque Atlas of Australia and also contributed to the Sydney Bulletin. Ashton was an ardent disciple of Impressionist painting and claimed to have executed the first plein-air landscape in Australia: Evening, Merri Creek (1882; Sydney, A.G. NSW). Much of his work, as in the watercolour A Solitary Ramble (1888; Sydney, A.G. NSW), had a strong sentimental streak. In addition to his outdoor works Ashton painted a number of portraits, such as that of Helen Ashton...


Betsy L. Chunko

(b Le Mans, Nov 1, 1908; d Brisbane, Australia, July 7, 1995).

French architectural historian, active also in America. Bony was educated at the Sorbonne, receiving his agregation in geography and history in 1933. In 1935, converted to art history by Henri(-Joseph) Focillon, he travelled to England under a research grant from the Sorbonne, after which time he became Assistant Master in French at Eton College (1937–9 and 1945–6). He returned to France in 1939 as an infantry lieutenant in World War II in the French Army, was taken as a prisoner of war and spent the years 1940–43 in an internment camp in Germany. After the war he returned to England, first to Eton, then as Lecturer in the History of Art at the French Institute in London (1946–61), Visiting Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art (1948–58), and Slade Professor of Fine Art at St John’s College, Cambridge (1958–61). From 1961 to 1962...


Miles Lewis


(b Sydney, Sept 10, 1939).

Australian architect and writer. He graduated in architecture at the University of Sydney in 1962, began a private practice with Ian McKay (1963–6) and won a number of major awards. The firm of Philip Cox & Associates was established in 1967, and Cox developed a substantial interest in conservation and in Australian architectural history, with publications from 1968. These reflected his interest in the Australian vernacular, although they sometimes resorted to nostalgic stereotyping in the manner of his first co-author, Professor J. M. Freeland.

Cox’s early executed designs, for example the C. B. Alexander Agricultural College (1964), Tocal, New South Wales, combined the natural materials, earthy colours and textures of the Sydney ‘nuts and berries’ school (see Sydney school) with vernacular elements such as verandahs. He rebuilt Cadman’s Cottage (1972), Sydney, a work criticized by specialist conservationists, and he was involved in a major restoration programme on the early 19th-century buildings of Norfolk Island from ...


Gavin Fry

(Stuart Leslie)

(b Warialda, NSW, Feb 6, 1915; d Sydney, Aug 17, 1989).

Australian illustrator, painter and writer. He studied under Dattilo Rubbo (1871–1955) in Sydney before travelling to London to work (1935–6) under Mark Gertler and Bernard Meninsky (1891–1950). Extensive travel through Africa on his return journey to Australia helped develop his love of the exotic and an interest in non-Western art. In the early 1940s he worked in close association with Russell Drysdale, making a reputation as a talented figure and landscape draughtsman and colourist. He enlisted in the Australian army in 1942 and in 1945 he was commissioned as an Official War Artist, working in New Guinea and Borneo in the last months of World War II. He published two illustrated wartime memoirs, Gunner’s Diary (Sydney, 1943) and Painter’s Journal (Sydney, 1946), which strengthened his reputation as a writer and illustrator of great wit and charm.

After a period working in the small country town of Hill End, Friend left Australia for more than 20 years, living and working first in Sri Lanka and then for an extended period in Bali. Within Australia his work was associated with the ...


Christine Clark

(b Sydney, Nov 21, 1915).

Australian painter, writer, critic and administrator. He studied at the East Sydney Technical College from 1934 to 1936 and was represented in the first Contemporary Art Society exhibition in 1938. Gleeson is widely regarded as Australia’s leading Surrealist, often compared in style to Dalí. His work is frequently described as macabre, threatening and erotic, and his forms range from the recognizable to indeterminate imagery from the darker depths of the mind, as in the ...


Roslyn F. Coleman


(b London, Feb 25, 1866; d Melbourne, May 16, 1929).

Australian architect, theorist and writer of English birth. He trained as an architect in London from 1881 and then worked in various architectural offices there. He emigrated to Australia in 1889 and worked in various states before settling in Melbourne in 1899. He designed a number of offices, residences, churches and other public buildings, often for other architects. Through this work and his teachings and writings, he influenced many Australian architects by his strong principles of originality and simplicity in design, harmony and balance in composition, and national sentiment. These principles were closely allied with those of English architects working in the Arts and Crafts Movement; however, his use of nature for inspiration and his relaxation of past rules of composition and decoration also place him within the Art Nouveau movement. Haddon’s designs were characterized by plain façades, the careful use of simple ornament and the positioning of elements to produce a distinctive and often delicately balanced composition. Examples of this work include his residence, Anselm (...


Paula Furby

(b Adelaide, Sept 6, 1939; d Adelaide, Dec 1, 1991).

Australian printmaker, painter, novelist and teacher. Hanrahan studied at Adelaide Teachers College and the South Australian School of Art (1957–63) and Central School of Art, London (1963–6). She lectured in art at Western Teachers College and the South Australian School of Art in Adelaide and in England at Falmouth School of Art and Portsmouth College of Art. Hanrahan was a prolific printmaker and novelist whose two oeuvres are related both thematically and in the richness of detail. Her printmaking was inspired by the teaching of the German artists Udo Sellbach (b 1927) and Karin Schepers (b 1927) at the South Australian School of Art in the early 1960s. Always a diarist, her professional writing began in 1971 in London, when Hanrahan used memories of Adelaide for her first novel.

Hanrahan’s prints and paintings comprise many-layered social comment, particularly on the life of women and relationships between the sexes. Her main stylistic influences were William Blake, Georges Rouault, Victorian illustration, German Expressionism and Pop art. Combining figures, text, interior and exterior realities and working directly in her medium of etching, woodcutting, linocutting and screenprinting, Hanrahan produced decorative yet confronting imagery. This was the intuitive side of her expression, which became more intellectualized in the novels, which were based on extensive archival research as well as personal recollections. Hanrahan lived for extensive periods in London between ...


David P. Millar


(b Sydney, Oct 15, 1885; d Sydney, Jan 16, 1962).

Australian photographer, film producer, film maker and writer. He was introduced to photography while working at a steel foundry in Lithgow, NSW, when his foreman would take him on photographic excursions into the nearby Blue Mountains. After an apprenticeship with a photographic postcard firm, where he gained a reputation for achieving spectacular effects with the camera, he was appointed official photographer to the Australian geologist and explorer Douglas Mawson’s Antarctic Expedition of 1911–13. The success of his prints and film footage led to his involvement with British explorer Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914–16), where he produced another crop of dramatic images, which told the story of the ill-fated attempt to cross Antarctica. On a visit to England, Hurley was appointed Official War Photographer with the Australian troops, first in Flanders and later in Palestine.

In the early 1920s Hurley undertook two assignments in New Guinea, the resulting films leading to a tour of the USA and the publication in New York of his successful book ...


Louise Cox


(b Melbourne, Dec 15, 1923).

Australian architect, teacher and writer. He studied at the University of Sydney (BArch 1951) and in 1955 became a partner in McConnel, Smith & Johnson. Early work included his own house (1963) at Chatswood, Sydney, integrated with its steep, wooded site and built with exposed timber and brick (see also Sydney school). McConnel, Smith & Johnson emphasized a team approach to architecture, which Johnson saw as a social art with buildings and spaces designed to serve users’ needs, take account of context and fulfil explicit aesthetic aims. This philosophy is expressed in the firm’s early interest in environmental design and energy conservation, seen in the Water Board headquarters (1965), Sydney, and its innovative use of concrete cladding panels for solar protection. The Commonwealth State Law Courts (1977), Sydney, a 26-storey steel frame structure inserted into an historic and old-established legal district, was designed after a lengthy research process involving both the client and the public. Other key projects included the Benjamin Offices (...


Philip Goad

(b Melbourne, April 8, 1912; d Mildura, July 30, 1986).

Australian architect and writer. Inspired by a visit in 1940 to the adobe and pisé buildings of Montsalvat, the artists’ colony at Eltham, Victoria, he became a leading designer of mud-brick houses. His participatory building process and the alternative lifestyles of his artistic clients complemented the earth-building tradition of Eltham and the surrounding areas, which was to blossom in the late 1960s and 1970s. Notable mud-brick designs at Eltham by Knox include his first, the Frank English house (1947); Phyllis Busst house (1948); Downing/La Gallienne house complex (1948–58); his own house (1965); and the Pittard house (1979). Knox was considered by many to be the originator of the Australian environmental building movement, which relied on the use of traditional materials (often recycled), largely unskilled workers and a minimum of machinery, factory-made components or expensive finishes. His writings were highly influential and popularized a sympathetic response to living and building in the Australian bush. He received an honorary PhD from the University of Melbourne in ...


Rosemary T. Smith

(Alfred Williams)

(b Creswick, Victoria, Feb 23, 1879; d Sydney, NSW, Nov 21, 1969).

Australian draughtsman, painter and writer. Born into a family that produced fine artists, his early skill in drawing and reading was encouraged by relatives. He received his only formal training in 1897 at the art colony run by Walter Withers at ‘Charterisville’ in Heidelberg. In 1899 he moved to Sydney, married in 1900, and began a lifelong association with the Bulletin. He was best known for exquisite pen drawings whose dark areas were enlivened by minute traces of white. In 1906 he began producing wash drawings; during World War I he designed government posters, and after the war he took up watercolour painting. From 1918 to 1938 he concentrated on etchings, which were printed by his second wife, Rose Soady (b c. 1885), whom he married in 1920. She collected the drawings and proofs for his over two hundred published etchings, which are now in the Mitchell Library, Sydney. In ...


(b Hamstead, nr Birmingham, July 12, 1812; d Melbourne, Oct 21, 1895).

English illustrator, draughtsman, writer and painter, active in Australia. She was educated at home and was taught by Thomas Lawrence to paint portrait miniatures on ivory. In 1832, at the age of 20, she earned the respect of Henry Parkes (later Premier of New South Wales, Australia) for her writings in support of the Chartist movement, begun in Birmingham in that year. In 1835 she published her first book, Poems: With Original Illustrations Drawn and Etched by the Authoress (London, 1835), and the following year wrote and illustrated The Romance of Nature or The Flower Seasons, containing 26 coloured plates engraved after her original drawings. She married her cousin Charles in 1839 and moved to Sydney, Australia, and then to Tasmania. Having attributed her botanical knowledge to a study of the works of the draughtsman and engraver James Sowerby (1757–1822), she described and illustrated the plant and animal life of Tasmania and painted landscapes and miniatures. Some of her writings are in the form of picturesque travel books accompanied by her illustrations, for example ...


Megan Tamati-Quennell

(b Te Hapua, N. Auckland, NZ, 1939).

Maori painter, sculptor, writer and film maker. His tribal affiliation is Ngati Kuri, Te Aupouri, Te Paatu, Ngati Rehia, Murikahara, Te Whakatohea. He studied at Ardmore and Dunedin Teachers’ College, but he left teaching in 1962 to concentrate on his art, holding his first one-man show at the Ikon Gallery in Auckland in the same year. He was largely self-taught as a painter and sculptor, believing ‘all creative artists are self-taught’. His philosophy of art closely followed the view of Picasso, whom he much admired, that artists should be honest to their own personal experiences and strengths. Muru’s paintings have often been characterized by their narrative political content, from the series telling the story of Parihaka (1972) to the 14 panels of Whakapapa, painted for the Kohia ko taikaka anake exhibition at the National Art Gallery in Wellington, NZ, in 1990. In later years he increasingly combined his skills as an orator and a painter, making extensive use of language in his works to address issues concerning the status of the ...


Daniel Palmer

(b Lower Hutt, April 15, 1945).

New Zealand photographer, painter, curator and writer, active also in Australia. North began photographing and painting as a teenager, producing photographs as ‘notes for paintings’ from his motorbike in the early to mid-1960s. He completed a certificate of General Design at the School of Design, Wellington (1966) and a Bachelor of Arts degree at Victoria University, Wellington (1967), majoring in English Literature. North was appointed as the Director of Manawatu Art Gallery in 1969, before moving to Adelaide in 1971 to take up the role of Curator of Paintings at the Art Gallery of South Australia (1971–80). He also completed an MA at Flinders University, Adelaide (1977). From 1980–84 he was Foundation Curator of Photography at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, before and after the museum opened to the public in 1982. Although born in New Zealand, North arrived in Australia in ...


Bernice Murphy

(b Sydney, July 19, 1945).

Australian conceptual and performance artist, film maker and writer. He began writing poetry as a student at Queensland University (1965–6). Although he attended the National Art School at Darlinghurst, Sydney (1968), he was largely self-taught as an artist. He first became known for his conceptual works, filmed actions and performances and typescript pieces in 1971–2, when he ran Inhibodress, an alternative art space in Sydney, with artist Peter Kennedy (b 1945). In 1972 he travelled abroad for the first time for about a year, making Vienna his base (as he did again in 1977–8). In 1973 he carried out performances in Lausanne and Neuchâtel, Switzerland. These works (and the associated filmed record) were collectively entitled Performances, Actions, Video Systems and developed out of previous Sydney works: Word Situations (1971) and Idea Demonstrations (1971–2).

On returning to Australia Parr incorporated recent filmed records of performances into much larger, autobiographical film projects that occupied most of his artistic energy for ten years, producing three substantial, experimental films: ...


Robert Smith


(b Melbourne, Nov 23, 1929).

Australian cartoonist, printmaker, writer, illustrator, film maker and sculptor. After employment as an illustrator in Melbourne (1949–52), he worked in London as a freelance illustrator and cartoonist (1954–60). On the return journey to Australia he formed a lasting interest in South-east Asia, publishing the resulting perceptive and deceptively simple drawings with commentary in the first of his many illustrated books. He worked as a freelance artist in Melbourne until his appointment as resident cartoonist for the Sydney Daily Mirror in 1963 and the newly established national daily, The Australian, from 1964 to 1973. He quickly achieved popularity and repute, especially for his penetrating visual comments on involvement by Australia and the USA in the Vietnam War. He had little formal training in art and developed for himself a free-ranging personal style, which was widely emulated.

From 1970 Petty made or scripted numerous films, often combining actuality with animation and incorporating his own caricatural kinetic sculptures. After some earlier pioneering sculptural works, he created the first of what he called his ‘machine sculptures’, the ...


Mary Eagle

(Charles Roderick)

(b Melbourne, March 26, 1912; d Melbourne, July 23, 1949).

Australian painter and writer. He left the Royal Australian Naval College without graduating at the end of 1929. Some years spent as a farmhand ended when his father committed suicide in 1932. After a few years spent in sport and travelling, at his sister’s suggestion he attended the Grosvenor Art School in London in 1935–6. He returned to Melbourne and studied at the school run by George Bell, where he became a close friend of Russell Drysdale, who like Purves Smith did not have to work for a living and experienced leisure not as freedom but rather as a cause for self-doubt.

Purves Smith painted cosmopolitan and country life. The sources of his style were in contemporary European art, but his interpretation was personal and consciously Australian. Surrealist exaggeration allowed him to express humour mixed equally with savagery. His few images of the outback show figures in a dry, bare landscape. He also wrote stories in the Australian vernacular, drawing on a narrative tradition that served as a source for the deadpan style and desiccated subject-matter of such paintings as ...


Jean Robertson and Craig McDaniel

The final decades of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century witnessed an increasing propensity for artists to incorporate aspects of science in their own art. In many fields of scientific research—including the cloning of mammals, the genetic modification of crops, the creation of bioengineered organs and tissues, advances in nanotechnology and robotics, experimental research in how the human mind works and the study of artificial intelligence—the frontiers of knowledge pushed outward at an accelerated pace. In the spirit of creative inquiry, or in order to critique the goals and outcomes of scientific experimentation and application, artists regularly borrowed subjects, tools and approaches from science as a means to the production of art ( see fig. ).

In documenting and assessing the achievements of visual artists engaged with science, there was no broad consensus on the categorisation of artists’ work across the full range of activities, methods, motivations and use of materials. Assessments of artistic practice focused on artists’ work categorised by the traditional fields of science (e.g. artists who explore biology, artists who explore physical sciences). Other analyses of artistic practice focused on categories of art media (e.g. artists who use traditional means such as carving and casting to represent scientific discoveries, artists who explore and employ biological materials and scientific instruments)....


Philip Drew

(b Vienna, June 25, 1923; d Sydney, March 9, 2006).

Australian architect and writer of Austrian birth. He moved to England in 1938 to escape Nazism and he attended a building crafts course in Cambridge (1938–40). In 1940 he was interned and in 1941 was sent to Canada where he studied architecture at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, graduating in 1944. After working in Toronto for a year he received a scholarship that took him to Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, where he studied (March, 1946) at the Graduate School of Design under Walter Gropius; in the same class were Ulrich Franzen (b 1921), Henry Ives Cobb and I. M. Pei. At Gropius’s suggestion, Seidler then spent a summer studying with Josef Albers at Black Mountain College, NC, returning to New York to become Marcel Breuer’s chief assistant (1946–8). In 1948, after working briefly with Oscar Niemeyer in Rio de Janeiro, he joined his family in Sydney, where he opened his own office. Each of these experiences made an important contribution to the architecture of extraordinary consistency and quality that Seidler developed. He absorbed theory from Gropius, a liking for hard-edged, geometric and minimalist composition from Albers, and the spatial ideas and choice of materials of Breuer. Later, in the 1960s, the structural rationalism of Pier Luigi Nervi contributed to the increasing expressiveness of Seidler’s forms....