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Jane Clark

( Herbert )

(b Aston, Warwicks, Oct 22, 1854; d Eltham, Victoria, Oct 13, 1914).

Australian painter of English birth. He studied at the Royal Academy and South Kensington Schools (1870–82) in London and arrived in Melbourne on 1 January 1883 to work on the land for 18 months. He joined the life classes at the National Gallery of Victoria (1884–7), while employed as a lithographic draughtsman, and returned to Europe in 1887–8 to attend the Académie Julian in Paris. Back in Australia, he exhibited with the Victorian Artists’ Society and painted with the Heidelberg school artists, based at Eaglemont from October 1889 to June 1890. He was nicknamed ‘the orderly colonel’ for his organized habits. He leased the south end of the Heidelberg mansion ‘Charterisville’ from September 1890, painting prolifically, teaching and accommodating numerous fellow artists. The critic Sidney Dickinson named him, with Arthur Streeton, as a leader of ‘the “Heidelberg School” … for out-of-door painting’ (‘Two exhibitions of paintings’, ...


Ian J. Lochhead

(b Christchurch, June 6, 1878; d Christchurch, Nov 28, 1947).

New Zealand architect . Articled to the Christchurch architect Frederick Strouts (1834–1919) in 1893, he went to England in 1901, working for the Housing Division of the London County Council and subsequently for R. W. Schultz and Leonard Stokes. Returning to New Zealand in 1906 he entered partnership with Samuel Hurst Seager. In 1909 he began independent practice in Christchurch, establishing his reputation with large Arts and Crafts style houses. After 1920 he increasingly favoured a Colonial Georgian style for houses, most notably at Bishopscourt (1926), Christchurch. A confirmed traditionalist, Wood was an accomplished designer in Gothic Revival and classical styles. Christ’s College Dining Hall (1922–5), Christchurch, a confident exercise in English collegiate Gothic, exemplifies his commitment to European traditions. St Barnabas (1925), Fendalton, St Paul’s (1930), Tai Tapu, and St Barnabas (1932), Woodend, reveal his feeling for authentic Gothic forms and sensitivity to materials, whether traditional or modern. His commercial buildings show a progression from the stripped classicism of the Public Trust Building (...


(b Taranaki, April 11, 1911; d 1998).

New Zealand painter . He resolved to become a painter in the early 1930s, when the influence of early modernism was only just beginning to trickle down to colonial New Zealand. He had little formal training, but early paintings such as Artist’s Wife (c. 1937; Auckland, C.A.G.) show the influence of Paul Cézanne, absorbed through reproductions. Similarly, the examples of R. N. Field, arriving from Europe, and Helen F. V. Scales (1887–1985), returning from there, were crucial. Field’s paintings released him from naturalistic colour, while Scales’s showed him how to deploy this released colour for spatial effects.

From the 1950s Woollaston began to increase the scale of his paintings, developing the gestural and apparently spontaneous approach that marked his mature style. Dispensing with detail, his broad handling drew greater attention to the logic by which his paintings were constructed. In works such as Above Wellington (1.76×2.74 m, 1986...


Rory Spence

(b Sydney, May 29, 1933).

Australian architect . He was a trainee in the New South Wales Government Architect’s Branch in 1950–54 while studying at the University of Sydney, where he graduated in 1955. He continued as a design architect for the government until 1963, except for 18 months (1956–7) spent in Europe, including a period working for Chamberlin, Powell & Bon in London. Woolley achieved early recognition as the project architect for the Fisher Library (1957–62), University of Sydney, and the NSW State Office Block (1960–64), Sydney. Both are modernist, largely glass-walled buildings that drew inspiration from the work of Mies van der Rohe, but sun-shading was incorporated in their façades by the projection of floor slabs. In 1961 Woolley began to design a series of low-cost house types for the speculative housing market, principally for the firm of Pettit & Sevitt, and these provided radically improved models for suburban housing. His own ...


Geoffrey R. Edwards

(b Melbourne, 1948).

Australian glass artist . He studied architecture at the University of Melbourne and graduated in 1972. Largely self-taught in the production of glass, he was active in the development of various kiln-working techniques applied to architectural glass. Following his first exhibition of autonomous glass panels in 1976, Wright was awarded numerous church and public commissions including a vast wall of glass (1976) for the Reception Centre at the Royal Zoological Gardens in Melbourne; a set of windows (1987) for the new Parliament House in Canberra; and a window cycle (1988) for the St James’s Anglican church in Sydney. Wright’s compositions are notable for their rhythms, juxtaposed fields of loose pattern and simple, organic imagery that often alludes to the processes of germination and growth. Many of the artist’s smaller, autonomous panels are assembled from mechanically fastened sections of glass with contrasting surface treatments and textures. A series of exhibition pieces made reference to medical X-ray images and incorporated fused motifs and figures with cloudy abstract passages of chemically treated glass....


Donald Langmead

( William )

(b London, 1822; d Adelaide, Aug 5, 1886).

Australian architect of English birth. In the 1830s he was articled to the Borough Surveyor’s office in Bermondsey, London, later becoming government clerk of works at Yarmouth. After some years working as a civil engineer in Canada, he emigrated to South Australia, arriving in May 1849. Shortages of resources induced by the eastern colonies’ gold-rush frustrated his attempts to start a practice until 1853. His best-known works came from partnerships. With E. J. Woods (1837–1913) he produced the Town Hall, Adelaide (1863–6); and with Woods and E. A. Hamilton, the General Post Office (1867–72). Facing each other in the city’s centre, the massive neo-Renaissance piles that vied for prominence were broadly detailed in local stone. In a park in north Adelaide the latter partnership also built the imposing but restrained Brougham Place Congregational Church (1860–72). Reminiscent of St Philip’s (1710–25), Birmingham, by Thomas Archer, it was more austerely puritan in detail....


Wally Caruana

(b Arnhem Land, 1930; d Arnhem Land, Dec 31, 1990).

Australian Aboriginal painter . He was the ceremonial leader of his clan, the Murrungun Djinang. He saw his art as a means to bridge the cultural gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. While he worked within the parameters of the pictorial styles of central Arnhem Land, he was also an innovator, experimenting with various techniques. Wunuwun became disenchanted with market demands for individual bark paintings: the epic dramas of Murrungun Djinang cosmology were too panoramic in scope to be captured on a single sheet of bark, and he increasingly painted in series and occasionally used canvas. His work is characterized by finely drawn naturalistic images, although it relies heavily on conventional symbolism and clan designs. His major works include Banumbirr, the Morning Star (natural pigment on canvas, 1987; Canberra, N.G.), a comprehensive statement on the relationships between the seasons, human and spiritual life and the individual. In 1988 Wunuwun undertook his most ambitious project, the series ...


Ah Xian  

Claire Roberts

[Liu Jixian]

(b Beijing, May 7, 1960).

Chinese multimedia artist, active also in Australia. Ah Xian is a self-taught artist. He grew up during the Cultural Revolution (1966–76) and spent his early years in the relatively privileged environment of Beijing’s Science and Engineering University, where his parents worked. He trained as a mechanical fitter and worked in a factory, pursuing art on his own time. In the late 1970s he began to associate with avant-garde poets, writers and artists including members of The Stars, a non-official art group demanding freedom of artistic expression. Because his experimental works of art incorporating naked figures were considered at the time to be spiritually polluting, he was subject to routine surveillance by the Public Security Bureau.

Ah Xian first travelled to Australia in 1989 as a visiting artist at the Tasmanian School of Art. He returned the following year, after the Tiananmen massacre (4 June 1989), and in ...


Luke Taylor

[ Yirrawala ; Yirwala ]

(b Liverpool River region, N. Territory, 1903; d April 17, 1976).

Australian Aboriginal painter . He was probably the best-known exponent of the style of bark painting associated with Western Arnhem Land. His language group was Kunwinjku, and he belonged to the clan Born. In his youth he moved to Croker Island. Here his works, along with those of such artists as Jimmy Midjawmidjaw, with whom he lived for a while, were collected by the French anthropologist Karel Kupka in 1963. Subsequently, Yirawala developed a strong friendship with the art dealer Sandra Holmes, who became his primary dealer for the rest of his career. Holmes was able to establish Yirawala’s reputation through a number of one-man exhibitions in Australian cities. These led to a number of art prizes, travel overseas and the award of an MBE in 1971. In the early 1970s Yirawala undertook to paint for Holmes an extensive collection of works relating to ceremonial themes. These consist of paintings of important creator figures, such as ...


Howard Morphy

(b c. 1907; d Yirrkala, 1978).

Australian Aboriginal painter and sculptor . He was the leader of the Gumatj clan of north-east Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, during a critical period of the history of the Yolngu-speaking peoples, and one of the leaders of the Yolngu people in their fight for land rights when tenure of their land was threatened by mining interests in the 1960s and 1970s. Like Mawalan Marika, he was one of the first artists to produce bark paintings for sale to the missionary Wilbur Chaseling in 1935, and he later contributed to Stuart Scougall’s collection for the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. With Marika and Narritjin Maymurru he helped to develop the episodic-narrative style of paintings characteristic of Yolngu art from the 1960s to the 1980s (e.g. Space Tracking Station, 1967; Adelaide, A. G. S. Australia). He was a prolific painter until the end of his life, and established a productive relationship with the Melbourne art dealer ...


Blair French

(b Sydney, May 14, 1957).

Australian photographer. Zahalka was awarded an MFA in 1994 and was recipient of the 2005 Leopold Godowsky, Jr. Color Photography Award at the Photographic Resource Center in Boston, MA. Since the 1980s her work has explored various forms of photographic portraiture, photomontage as well as manifesting a constant interest in the representation of place and its importance in the formation of individual and cultural identity. Zahalka has frequently referred to well-known historical photographs and representations in order to both draw on and question the cultural, gendered or institutional basis of their authority. Her work conveys an acute self-awareness of its own historical precedents. However it equally draws upon photography’s traditional association with visual veracity, exemplifying the complexity of photography as both aesthetic construction and medium of record.

The daughter of Czech and Austrian refugees, Zahalka’s early series, such as The Tourist as Theorist: (Theory Takes a Holiday) (1985), ...


Geoffrey R. Edwards

(b Berlin, March 31, 1928).

Australian glass artist of German birth. He studied design at the Master School of Arts and Crafts in Berlin and, after emigrating to Australia in 1952, studied painting, printmaking and glass at the Melbourne Institute of Technology. In 1974 he pursued further study at stained-glass workshops in Cologne, Germany, and in 1975 he studied with Patrick Reyntiens and Ludwig Schaffrath in England. In 1979 Zimmer embarked upon another period of research at the Staatliche Glasfachschule, Hadamar, Germany. Zimmer became aware of the expressive potential of contemporary stained glass while studying with William Gleeson at the Melbourne Institute of Technology. He applied his graphic and design skills to the medium of glass with such commitment and imagination that his heavily textured, expressionist panels soon became one of the most enduring influences on Australian glass artists. Zimmer produced hemispherical ‘lens’ panels by fusing layers of irregular fragments of glass. He also framed broad, boldly painted segments of glass in richly embossed lead channels, and used metallic lustre and stain-painting to decorate glass. These methods contribute to an unmistakable quality of sombre chiaroscuro which often serves to underscore the strain of passionate, socio-political narrative evident in much of Zimmer’s work. After some years as senior lecturer in glass studies at the Chisholm Institute of Technology in Melbourne, in ...