Unwoven cloth made from the bast (inner bark) of a tree. It is also known as ‘tapa’, with reference to the Polynesian bark cloth made from the bark of the paper mulberry and used for clothing. There is a huge collection of Polynesian bark cloth in the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu. In sub-Saharan Africa bark cloth was traditionally decorated with free-hand painting applied with grass brushes, and was used for room-dividers and screens as well as clothing. Its widest application was in Japan, where bark cloth was used for windows, screens, kites, flags and umbrellas.L. Terrell and J. Terrell: Patterns of Paradise: The Styles of Bark Cloth around the World (Chicago, 1980)M. J. Pritchard: Siapo: Bark Cloth Art of Samoa...
(b Zólkiew, Jan 28, 1933).
Polish printmaker, painter and embroiderer active in Australia. Groblicka studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Kraków (1951–7), graduating with a Fine Art Diploma. She was taught by Ludwik Gardowski, a leading Polish printmaker, and she specialized in woodcuts. Groblicka lived in London (1958–65), where she married Tadeusz Groblicki (b 1929) and had a son. They migrated to Sydney in 1965, first living at Bradfield Park migrant hostel and then settling in Adelaide in 1966. There Groblicka joined the Royal South Australian Society of Arts and was elected a Fellow in 1973. She exhibited with the Contemporary Art Society and the Print Council of Australia.
Groblicka is a master of technique and has an unerring sense of composition and design in printmaking and oil painting. Her early prints, done in Communist Poland in the 1950s, were socialist realist finely cut depictions of rural peasant life. In London, using linocut, her prints were broader. In Australia she returned to the medium of finely detailed woodcuts (e.g. ...
(b Oparure, NZ, 1892; d 1995).
Maori weaver. Her tribal affiliation was Ngati Maniapoto/Ngati Kinohaku. Hetet was taught the traditional skills of weaving by her mother and other local women elders in the late 19th century, when weaving was still a part of daily life, rather than a craft. During the 1950s she intensified her activity as a weaver, regularly producing cloaks and other items with the encouragement of the Maori Women’s Welfare League, an organization set up in 1951 to enable Maori women to play an effective part in the cultural, social and economic development of their community, and one of whose concerns was to ensure the survival of the ancient art of weaving. Hetet was a traditionalist, well-versed in all aspects of weaving, from the preparation of traditional materials and dyes, to the methods and techniques involved in producing the finished article. She was widely acknowledged as the leading authority in the arts of ...
(b Bendigo, 1908; d Sept 14, 1987).
Australian painter and tapestry designer. Largely self-taught and self-educated, he was influenced early in his career by theosophy, seeing in painting the means of unveiling the hidden order of things. Although admired by a small circle of artists and critics throughout the 1950s, it was not until the end of the 1960s that Kemp began to gain wider public esteem and support. He won some of the larger art prizes in Australia during the 1960s, including the Georges Invitation Art Award, the McCaughey and the Blake Prize for religious art in 1969. Around this time his work changed greatly, increasing in scale and painterly freedom.
On an extended visit to England in 1970–72 Kemp worked on a monumental and epic scale, and the experience shaped his later work, which united architectonic design with a full flowing painterliness. In the 1980s he received a steady stream of tapestry commissions, the most notable being for a series of large-scale tapestries to decorate the Great Hall in the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne....
(b Mosman, NSW, April 23, 1908; d Emu Plains, NSW, Feb 20, 1978).
Australian painter, textile designer, and sculptor. From 1925 to 1929 she studied in Sydney with Anthony Dattilo Rubbo (1870–1955), an Italian-born academic painter whose students were significant in the development of modernism in Australia. In 1933 Lewers studied at the London Central School of Arts and Crafts, and met Herbert Read and the artists of Unit One. Her works during the 1930s included Bauhaus-inspired domestic artefacts, such as pottery, modernist timber furniture, and hand-printed fabrics. After World War II she continued her studies in Sydney with the Hungarian artist Desiderius Orban (1884–1986), who had himself studied at the Académie Julian in Paris when Cubism was developing. Lewers took up his Aristotelian ideas based on the essence of the object. She was influenced by Vieira da Silva and later Afro, whose paintings were exhibited in Sydney, and also by colleagues who followed the ideas of Dynamic Symmetry. However, she did not study modernist theory herself but worked intuitively and was not part of any artistic group or movement....
(b Saldus, Latvia, July 25, 1910).
Latvian painter, printmaker, weaver, and teacher active in Australia. Stipnieks studied at the Latvian State Academy of Art in Riga under Gederts Eliass (1887–1975). In 1944 she fled from Russian occupation to Germany. In the displacement camps after the war, she and other Baltic artists were able to paint and their works were exhibited in Europe and America. Stipnieks came to Australia in 1950 and settled in Adelaide. There she exhibited with the Royal South Australian Society of Arts and became a Fellow. She lectured at the South Australian School of Arts and Crafts as visiting lecturer from 1963 and in the late 1960s she gave private lessons to Lady Ursula Hayward, who was a great patron of modern art in Adelaide, at her home, Carrick Hill.
Stipnieks works are in oils, enamels, pastels and Indian ink and her main subjects are still-life, portrait heads and the human figure. Her paintings typically comprise areas of bright colour, overlaid with gracefully painted figures or still-life objects in black or browns. These overlays may be freely painted, or have a more geometric, cubist style. Her figures are usually women, often grouped in twos (e.g. ...
(b Wellington, NZ, Feb 4, 1943).
New Zealand Maori weaver and fibre artist. In 1961–2 she studied at the Wellington School of Design. With the flowering of interest in Maori culture that took place in the late 1960s, she became deeply involved in Maori arts and crafts. Tahiwi began full-time teaching in Raranga (traditional Maori weaving) at the Institute of Maori Arts and Craft, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua, and subsequently played a leading role in the revival of flax weaving through her involvement in teaching at polytechnics throughout New Zealand. In 1986 she travelled to the Commonwealth Institute in London to demonstrate Maori weaving in association with the exhibition Amokura O te maori (The art of Maori weaving). In the late 1980s she began to change direction, inaugurating the development of contemporary Maori weaving. Tahiwi referred to her later work in terms of the Maori proverb Ka hao te rangatahi (the new net goes fishing). Yet while she used contemporary dyes and a range of new materials, flax and traditional knotting techniques still formed the basis of her art. A major work ...
(b Te Kuiti, NZ, March 9, 1920).
New Zealand Maori weaver and teacher. Her tribal affiliation is Ngati Maniapoto. She was the daughter of Rangimarie Hetet, who taught her the skills of traditional weaving. A childhood illness forced her to leave school when she was 12, and thereafter weaving became an important part of her life. She married at the age of 20 and brought up a family of 12 children. In 1951 she began demonstrating and teaching for the Maori Women’s Welfare League, which was established in that year to promote Maori crafts. With her mother she played a central role in the revival of traditional weaving. Te Kanawa travelled extensively to demonstrate and to share her skills. In 1988 she visited many museums in England and the USA to photograph and document ancient Maori cloaks in their collections. In her writings she acknowledged a proverb significant to her life: ‘Puritia nga taonga a o tatou tupuna’ (‘Hold fast to the treasures of our ancestors’)....