Movement into the Land

The last six months have taken me on a study of women in art movements. I have looked at four women in particular; Marie Bracquemond, in the Impressionist movement, Lina Bryans in the Contemporary Group, Melbourne Women Painters Society and Independent Group, Sally Gabori from the Mornington Island Arts & Crafts Centre in Northern Queensland and Louisa Chircop from the Movers & Shapers Movement here in Sydney. What all these ladies have in common, in addition to dynamic personalities, is that they paint landscapes and have an aesthetic that I find stimulating.

I’ve been writing a  paper which digs into a few themes relating to unique creative expression, success and the positive and negative impact of the collective on the individual.

Arts movements usually united a specified group of artists, (painters, sculptors, mixed media artists, and poets, writers, architects, these days the list would include graphic designers and more no doubt!) . The aim of a formal collective was to share resources, enthusiasm, aesthetics, techniques, political views and ideologies. The power in numbers has facilitated independent exhibitions and enabled new methods of working and new ways of thinking about art to find new markets.   I put forward my experiences with the newly formed group Movers & Shapers and  hope to share in future blog-posts more of the writing as it continues to formulate.

Over the next month and a half, I will be taking another summer road trip to paint in the Dandenongs, a favourite haunt for many Melbourne based artists. Home to the Pink House, a haven for artists including abstract painter Ian Fairwweather. Lina Bryans was the main protagonist in the setting up of the House. She bought the property in the 1930s. Formerly known as Darebin House its renown for bringing together many artistic minds, at parties and gatherings, Bryans is described by author Janine Burke as being one of Australia’s most interesting women in Art. Another favourite landscape painter of mine, Fred Williams also spent some time in the Dandenongs. I’m looking forward to taking my Plein Air Kit out again and to see how Australia’s drought is impacting Victoria.

The paper Movement in the Land introduces themes of romance and wonder into my new work  and as such the influence of the Heidelberg School, the work of Tom Roberts, and others , writers and artists, past and present, will be part of the research of the next few months.

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The paper is preparatory for my next exhibition, presently with several working titles:  Sunrise, Sunshine / Land / Isolate/ Colour is Private…  Each study is deepening my focus on landscapes that remember and reconnect.


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