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Article

(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, ...

Article

(Rossi)

(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...

Article

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 ...

Article

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 ...

Article

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 ...

Article

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 ...

Article

(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 ...

Article

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 ...

Article

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 ...

Article

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 ...

Article

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)....

Article

Christine Clark

(b Ismâilîya, Egypt, Jan 18, 1921; d Sydney, Nov 24, 1973).

Australian painter and museum administrator. He studied at Hornsey School of Art, London, and at Kingston School of Art (1937–40). After serving as a fighter pilot in World War II he continued his studies from 1947 to 1949 at the National Art School, East Sydney Technical College. In 1950 he began working as an attendant at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney but within a year was appointed assistant to the Director. He held this position, retitled Deputy Director in 1957, until his death. He painted all his life, but his career as a painter was overshadowed by his administrative job. He was responsible for the curating and building up of the fine collection of aboriginal and Melanesian art in the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

During his lifetime Tuckson had only two one-man exhibitions, in 1970 and 1973 at the Watters Gallery, Sydney. Influenced by Picasso, Klee, and de Kooning, American Abstract Expressionists and aboriginal art, his art progressed from portrait and figurative studies through to Abstract Expressionist works. It is for these later works that he is admired as one of Australia’s best ...

Article

(b Richmond, Surrey, ?Oct 4, 1794; d Hobart, Tasmania, Aug 17, 1847).

Australian painter and writer of English birth. He first achieved notice as an art critic and essayist for the London Magazine (1820–23) under a variety of pseudonyms. His circle of acquaintances included Charles Lamb, William Hazlitt and Thomas De Quincey. Between 1821 and 1825 he exhibited six paintings on literary subjects at the Royal Academy, London (and probably drawings, since he preferred to work on paper). A wash drawing of amorous couples in a landscape (early 1820s; London, BM) is reminiscent of Fuseli, whom he described as ‘the God of his worship’.

In his writings and manner, Wainewright affected the style of the dilettante; he was reputed to be a poisoner and embezzler. In 1837 he was tried for forgery and transported to Hobart in Tasmania (then Van Diemen’s Land) where in the next ten years, despite his convict status and poor health, he made an important contribution to the early art of Australia. He was, with ...