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Janda Gooding

(b Ashford, Kent, March 4, 1887; d Perth, June 11, 1944).

Australian painter, printmaker and illustrator of English birth who worked mostly in Western Australia. After initial studies at the St Martin’s School of Art and at the City of London Guilds, he worked as an artist and illustrator for several publications before emigrating to Western Australia for health reasons. He arrived in Perth on 11 May 1915 and worked as a commercial graphic artist before taking a post as a public servant in Narrogin.

Returning to Perth in 1921, he became Assistant Art master to J.W. R. Linton (1869–1947) at Perth Technical School. It was from this time that he first started to make colour woodcut prints by the Japanese method of hand-colouring the individual blocks. His prints achieved delicate tonal variations with a strong sense of oriental design and their simplicity and attractiveness made them popular among a wide audience. A 1924 article in The Studio magazine brought his work to international prominence and a print was acquired by the British Museum. He produced many exquisite watercolours of the local landscape and exhibited these widely throughout Australia with a solo exhibition at the Fine Art Society in London in ...

Article

(b Christchurch, July 3, 1947).

New Zealand photographer. He studied at the Ilam School of Art in Christchurch (1968–71) and from 1972 to 1975 at the Royal College of Art in London, where he settled. Though trained as a sculptor, he chose to work with photography, concentrating at first on realistic scenes with curious details and odd juxtapositions of objects. He developed his mature style in the 1980s, creating purely theatrical and artificial images from constructed sets and actors, without resorting to trick photographic techniques. Works such as ...

Article

Miles Lewis

(b Sudbury, Suffolk, Nov 26, 1821; d Melbourne, Aug 9, 1898).

Australian architect of English birth. He worked in London for the English architect and illustrator Thomas Allom (1804–72). In 1849 he emigrated to Melbourne and entered a partnership as architect and surveyor with his brother James, who was already established in business as a local builder. Their first prominent commission was St Paul’s church in the centre of Melbourne (1850), subsequently replaced by Butterfield’s Cathedral. The partnership ended in 1854, when James went to England, and Webb practised for four years in partnership with Thomas Taylor. His design for St Andrew’s church, Brighton, Melbourne (1856–7), shows unmistakable characteristics of buildings that he had sketched before leaving England. Melbourne Grammar School (1856) is the most important building of this phase, designed in the dark local bluestone, but Tudor in character. Webb’s work is difficult to characterize. It includes two important terrace rows of houses, Burlington Terrace (...

Article

Michael Dunn

(b Townlake, Sydenham, July 16, 1886; d Auckland, Sept 14, 1965).

New Zealand painter and teacher. He studied at the Elam School of Art, Auckland, from 1908 to 1910 under Archibald Nicoll (1886–1953). He travelled extensively in Europe and Australia as well as visiting Morocco, Tunisia and Algiers in 1927–8. In 1926 and 1928 he studied at the André Lhôte Academy in Paris. As a lecturer in painting at the Elam School of Art from 1930 to 1954, he had a considerable influence on a generation of Auckland artists. Weeks was an eclectic artist who painted landscapes, still-lifes and figurative compositions. His style was heavily influenced by the decorative and colouristic aspects of the Ecole de Paris painters. Some of his painting shows a belated response to Synthetic Cubism, for example Limestone Gorge, King Country (c. 1943; Auckland, C.A.G.). In his later years Weeks is credited with painting some of the first abstract works by a New Zealand artist. ...

Article

Claire Roberts

(b Beijing, Dec 19, 1957).

Chinese painter and installation artist, active also in Australia. Guan Wei graduated from the Department of Fine Arts at Beijing Capital University in 1986 and worked as a teacher in a secondary school while pursuing his own experimental artistic practice. In 1989 he was invited to Australia as artist-in-residence at the Tasmanian School of Art, Hobart. Following the Tiananmen massacre on 4 June 1989 Guan Wei returned to Australia and undertook further artistic residencies in Tasmania, Sydney (1992–3) and Canberra (1993–4). In 1993 he was granted permanent residence and in 1999 held a solo exhibition at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

Guan Wei is descended from a noble Manchu family. His father was a Peking Opera performer and Guan Wei acknowledges his underlying influence in the gesture and humour that permeates his art. Two Finger Exercise (1989), a series of works on paper with accompanying dialogue, was Guan Wei’s response to the Tiananmen massacre. In these works figures make the ‘V’ for victory sign in a series of tragic–comic riffs on the exuberant hope of student demonstrators. They combine text, wit and a sophisticated social and political commentary, the hallmarks of Guan Wei’s art. After ...

Article

Chris Cochran

Capital city of New Zealand. It is situated at the southern tip of the North Island on Port Nicholson, an inlet of the Cook Strait. The city (population c. 345,000) has a fine, almost landlocked harbour surrounded by steep hills; it is one of the country’s most important ports as well as the centre of government. Maori settlement in the district began around ad 1200. Organized European settlement began in 1840, when the New Zealand Company purchased land from the Maori Ngati Toa and Te Atiawa tribes. A grid layout of the new town was heavily distorted by the city’s harbour and hilly setting. Major earthquakes in 1848 and 1855 led to the use of timber for virtually all buildings until the 1880s; consequently fire became a problem in the first decades of settlement. Rangiatea Church (1851) at Otaki, built by local Maori under Chief Te Rauparaha and ...

Article

Judith O’Callaghan

(b Dageling, ?June 1830; d Adelaide, Sept 7, 1917).

Australian silversmith and jeweller of Danish birth. He served his apprenticeship in Dageling, Denmark, before moving in 1854 to Adelaide, where he established a business that within a decade became one of the city’s two main retail outlets for silver and jewellery. Branches were subsequently opened at Mount Gambier in South Australia and Broken Hill in New South Wales. From 1862 the firm regularly exhibited at intercolonial and international exhibitions, receiving awards, for example at the Australian Intercolonial Exhibition of 1866–7 in Melbourne, Victoria, the Centennial International Exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia and the Exposition Universelle of 1878 in Paris. In 1867 Wendt was granted a royal warrant by Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh (1844–1900), during his visit to the colonies. He appears to have specialized in presentation pieces, ranging from standing cups and epergnes to mounted emu eggs. Many incorporate such local motifs as cast figures of aborigines, kangaroos and emus. The best of these pieces (e.g. the Schomburgk Cup, ...

Article

(b Western Samoa, 1947).

English sculptor . He studied at Hornsey College of Art, London, from 1965, and worked with Henry Moore in 1967. He also studied at the Royal College of Art, London (1968–70). With artists such as Bill Woodrow and Tony Cragg, Wentworth shared an interest in the unexpected correlation of found objects and industrial materials. He was drawn to imaginative displacements of common objects presented within a high art context (e.g. lightbulbs cased in wire baskets, garden implements slotted in office furniture). In Mercator (1985) and Between 8 and 9 (1989; both exh. London, Lisson Gal.), large galvanized-metal sheets bend in rhythmic waves, and dexian (office) frames soar skywards in a light-hearted parody of industrial interiors. The titles of Wentworth’s works, sometimes drawn from children’s tales, are as enigmatic as his constructions. During 1993–4 he participated in the Berliner Künstlerprogramme at the daad galerie.

Richard Wentworth (exh. cat. by ...

Article

(b Melbourne, Aug 31, 1936).

Australian jeweller and teacher . In 1976 she graduated from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology with a Diploma of Art in gold- and silversmithing. From 1979 she lived in Sydney, where she taught jewellery and design at Sydney College of the Arts. Her early work is predominantly made in stainless steel, generally in sheet form using rivet construction. In the late 1970s she began to experiment with surface textures: hammering, abrading and painting the metal. The origins and symbolism of body adornment became a dominant and continuing concern in her work, and her jewellery was reduced to such basic formal elements as bibs (e.g. Bib for an Ostrich, c. 1982 (Protection Factor 5.6), 1982; Canberra, N.G.) and discs using not only steel but also lead, stone, wood and feathers. From the mid-1980s she began to produce work that questions ‘the contextual qualification of meaning’, as described in her ‘Work Statements’ (...

Article

Shearer West

English family of painters and illustrators . Richard Westall (b Hertford, 1765; d London, 4 Dec 1836) was apprenticed in 1799 to John Thompson, a heraldic engraver in London. The miniaturist John Alefounder (d 1795) advised Westall to take up painting, and in 1784 he exhibited a portrait drawing (untraced) at the Royal Academy. He became a student at the Royal Academy Schools in 1785, an ARA in 1792 and an RA in 1794. He exhibited over 300 works at the Royal Academy and 70 at the British Institution, including such large watercolours as Cassandra Prophesying the Fall of Troy (exh. London, RA 1796; London, V&A), which are painted in violent and sometimes excessive colours. Others, such as The Rosebud (1791; New Haven, CT, Yale Cent. Brit. A.), tend towards a Rococo prettiness. His principal expertise was book illustration. He was employed by John Boydell, Thomas Macklin and ...

Article

John B. Turner

[ Anna ] ( Jacoba )

(b Leiden, April 28, 1936).

New Zealand photographer of Dutch birth. Inspired by the Family of Man exhibition, which she saw in 1957 in Amsterdam, and Johan van der Keuken’s book, Wij Zijn 17 (We are seventeen) in 1956, Westra documented her classmates at the Industrieschool vor Meisjes in Rotterdam, where she studied arts and craft teaching. Holidaying in New Zealand in 1957 she was captivated by the relaxed lifestyle of the indigenous Maori people and stayed to photograph them. Encouraged by assignments from the Maori Affairs Department’s magazine Te Ao Hou (The New World) in the early 1960s, her work, at first romantic, became increasingly insightful as she documented contemporary Maori life. In 1964 Westra was at the centre of a public controversy when the government ordered the pulping of one of her primary school bulletins, Washday at the Pa (e.g. Wheeee! Baby Erua is all gurgles as… ). This essay on the life of a rural Maori family living in a dilapidated farmhouse was deemed by her critics, especially the Maori Women’s Welfare League, to reinforce stereotypes of Maori as backwards and unambitious....

Article

Anne Kirker

(b Auckland, Nov 2, 1903; d Auckland, Sept 19, 1984).

New Zealand painter and teacher . A student at the Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland, from 1923, she later taught there between 1934 and 1963. Her predilection for figure compositions was encouraged by Archibald Fisher (1896–1959), whose meticulous attention to draughtsmanship and tonal modulation of form left their distinctive mark on her work. White drew on three main areas for her subject-matter: the Bible, allegory and contemporary social issues. ...

Article

Jim Barr and Mary Barr

(b Te Puke, NZ, July 12, 1946).

New Zealand painter and printmaker . In 1967 she graduated in fine arts from the University of Auckland and trained as a teacher. The following year she moved to Paremata near Wellington, and in 1971 moved south to Dunedin to work full-time as an artist. The relationship between her painting and printmaking was always important to her development. In both she presented flat, simplified frontal images, as in Jerry at the Paekak Pub (1971; Lower Hutt, Dowse Mus.). The legacy of Rita Angus was central to her work, and she was frequently grouped with the New Zealand painter Don Binney (b 1940) and Michael Smither as an artist exploring realist concerns in a regional context. She was keen to make her images widely accessible through her silk-screen prints; in these she often simplified further the architectural and landscape forms of her environment. The birth of her son led to the inclusion of family imagery in works such as the screenprint ...

Article

Robert Smith

(b Sydney, April 7, 1939; d Thirroul, nr Wollongong, June 15, 1992).

Australian painter, sculptor and printmaker . He was already preoccupied with art while at Scots School in Bathurst, for which he painted several murals c. 1955–6 on sporting themes; he later studied intermittently at the Julian Ashton School in Sydney (1957–9). He was awarded the Italian Travelling Scholarship in 1959 and spent some time in Italy before arriving in London in mid-1961, where he achieved fame when the exhibition Recent Australian Art, at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, included some of his latest works. His earlier work had shown the effects of sources such as Rembrandt, Honoré Daumier and William Dobell, but by this time he was painting in a boldly sensuous style of his own, emphasizing formal qualities and replete with erotic allusion. These elements were subsequently developed in his art, though becoming increasingly figurative, deployed to symbolize human estrangement and aspects of alternative lifestyle, while owing something to the work of Francis Bacon and the French ...

Article

Jim Barr and Mary Barr

(b Te Kaha, NZ, May 6, 1936).

Maori wood-carver, painter and teacher . As a member of the Whanau-a-Apanui tribe he was educated in the rural community of Te Kaha until he began teacher training in 1955 at Wellington Teachers College. He was quickly selected as an art specialist as a result of the Department of Education’s determination to develop Maori and Western European culture in schools. Whiting and other young Maori artists, supported by Gordon Tovey, the national arts and crafts adviser, were able to explore traditional and contemporary Maori art. In the late 1960s, encouraged by Pine Taiapa, he began working on marae (communal centres), carving and restoring buildings. Whiting’s innovative use of themes and materials placed art at the centre of the revitalization of Maori communities. From the 1970s Whiting was the leading authority on the restoration of Maori buildings, as well as working with local communities on new buildings like those at the Takahanga ...

Article

Richard Apperly

(b London, Oct 12, 1882; d Sydney, Sept 20, 1973).

English architect and teacher, active in Australia . He was apprenticed in 1900 to C. E. Kempe, a stained-glass designer, and later that year to the architect J. S. Gibson. Wilkinson studied architecture at the Royal Academy, London, from 1902 to 1906, winning the Academy’s Silver and Gold Medals and subsequently travelling in England, France, Italy and Spain. He joined the staff of the School of Architecture, University College, London, serving as an assistant professor from 1910 to 1918. He held a commission from 1914 to 1918 in the London University Officer Training Corps, and in 1918 he was appointed as Australia’s first Professor of Architecture, at the University of Sydney. Dean of the Faculty of Architecture there from 1920 to 1947, he was a witty, erudite and influential teacher, discouraging ‘fads’ and stressing the importance of correct orientation for buildings and rooms. He designed various buildings on the university campus, the Physics Building (...

Article

Patrick McCaughey

(b Melbourne, Jan 23, 1927; d Melbourne, April 22, 1982).

Australian painter . He studied at the National Gallery Art School in Melbourne, attending private classes at the George Bell Art School (1943–7). His earliest paintings and drawings were nearly all studio-based compositions, including portraits, nudes and figure compositions, often reflecting an early and lasting enthusiasm for Daumier. He also studied the art of Australian artists such as Hugh Ramsay, whose influence can be seen in Head of a Boy (c. 1945; see McCaughey, 1980, p. 10).

From 1952 to 1957 Williams studied part-time at the Chelsea School of Art and the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London. He painted, drew and etched the street-life of London and was particularly attracted to music halls, which he also painted, for example The Metropolitan (gouache, 1952–4; see McCaughey, 1980, p. 70). In London, Williams became very familiar with modern and contemporary art through frequent visits to museums and also through handling the works that passed through the picture framing shop where he worked. When Williams returned to Australia in ...

Article

John Maidment

(b Hobart, April 21, 1890; d Brighton, Victoria, March 27, 1980).

Australian architect . Articled initially to Frank Heyward in Hobart in 1910, he transferred to Alexander North in Launceston, with whom he was in partnership in Melbourne between 1913–20. Williams absorbed important elements of North’s Arts and Crafts philosophy, particularly the patronage of local craft workers, yet was given freedom to develop a personal style. Williams’s early church designs thus have distinctive elements including obliquely placed towers, triangular buttressing and bellcotes surmounted by spikes; their planning influenced by Ralph Adams Cram’s Church Building. Williams’s work further developed in the 1920s and 1930s when he became Australia’s most sought-after church architect, with work in all Australian states; he was Diocesan Architect at the dioceses of Bathurst and Grafton. His preferred material was brick with occasional use of reinforced concrete. Williams developed a clearly identifiable free Gothic synthesis, characterized by simplicity, freedom from period references and unencumbered wall surfaces, comparable with British contemporaries such as Sir Edward Maufe. His work often included a tower and his façades often incorporated a masonry cross and tiled roofs. His interiors were notable for their generous planning, careful lighting and furniture of impeccable design, while also making provision for climatic extremes, such as ventilating panels and shading from direct sunlight....

Article

Megan Tamati-Quennell

(b Ruatoki, Bay of Plenty, NZ, 1928).

Maori sculptor. His tribal affiliation is Tuhoe/Takimoana, Te Arawa/Tarawhai. He was the first Maori to graduate with honours in sculpture at the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland (1953). Like many other Maori artists, he pursued a career in art education, enrolling at Auckland Teachers’ College in 1954. Between 1975 and his retirement in 1989 he worked as an education officer for the Department of Education in Auckland and as Director of Te Mauri Pakeaka Cross Community Arts Programme. Wilson was widely acknowledged as one of the most influential artists of the Maori art movement that emerged in the 1950s. Working first in realistic figurative forms made from clay, wood, stone and metal, he moved increasingly towards a stylized multi-media form incorporating aspects of traditional Maori symbolism: he considered that ‘myths and legends have a store of inspiration for us … the more we look the more is revealed’. After ...

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Howard Tanner

(b South Creek, NSW, Feb 14, 1881; d Richmond, Victoria, Dec 16, 1955).

Australian architect and writer. He was articled (1899–1904) to Sydney architects Kent & Buden and attended evening classes at Syndey Technical College, where he was President of the Architectural Students Society, graduating in 1904; his student exercises favoured Art Nouveau. He then undertook further study and travel in England, Europe and North America (1905–10) that introduced him to the Georgian Revival, led by Edwin Lutyens in England, and the Colonial and Roman Revivals, promoted by McKim, Mead & White in the USA. Seeking a new architecture free of all Victorian trappings, Wilson was convinced by his overseas studies of the relevance to the Australian climate of Mediterranean arcades, shuttered openings and garden schemes. On his return to Sydney in 1910, he spent some months drawing the surviving examples of late Georgian architecture in Australia; these studies, which were published in 1924 as Old Colonial Architecture in New South Wales and Tasmania...