Australia

Suddenly the lake – Rosalie Gascoigne

Rosalie specialised in assemblage – putting together pieces of abandoned wood, paper, household goods – and putting them together in exciting, intuitive ways.

Married at 25, with 3 children born in quick succession, she was a bored housewife, uninterested in displaying the ‘perfect’ home – but she walked a great deal, gathering objects in nature which interested her, and displaying them in her home, to the amusement and bemusement of her conventional neighbours.

This 5 minute videos tells of her life and shows a large 4 part assemblage, “Suddenly the lake”

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Roy de Maistre – painter, Australian

His name sounds French, but he was Australian. He studied art and music at the same time, and from this, worked out a way to link musical scale to colour. Then converted to Roman Catholic and painted many pictures based on his faith and the Bible.

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http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/de-maistre-interior-with-lamp-n06201

I like this still-life in the Tate, for its vibrancy of colour and shape. I particularly like the electric fan – it’s got that sense of movement, through lines, which the Italian Futurists delighted in. I don’t so much like the back of the picture, because it has two windows and is a bit too symmetrical. But that is a small point. The rest works, for me. You have to view it online, as it is not on display at the Tate. Apparently he did a series of Easter paintings, stations of the cross, for Westminster Cathedral. There are a couple of books on him by the writer Heather Johnson, but these are around £100 each, even secondhand, making it hard to get to see his works.

There are many more examples of his work, and across his lifetime, in Australia, at the art gallery of New South Wales:

http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/?artist_id=de-maistre-roy

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In particular, I like his “Rhythmic composition in yellow green minor”, which happens to be the 2nd picture they have, in date order. This is because it is dated 1919. Astounding that after the Great War, this picture of light and hope and beauty ripples out.

 

In complete contrast, I appreciate the sensitivity of his pictures of the Crucifixion and Christ being taken down from the cross. These are cubist in style, which suits the sharp horror of the pain. (They remind me of one of the most touching pictures I ever saw of the crucifixion, an Irish cubist picture by Mainie Jellett – at the Irish Cubism exhibition in Dublin. I think it is called the Ninth Hour and is viewable at the Hugh Lane Gallery.)

The Australian Dictionary of Biography adds further details  to the story of Roy de Maistre – he wasn’t well enough to take part in active service in WW1, but took part in experiments in treating shell-shocked soldiers through putting them in rooms of certain colour combinations which were regarded as calming. (Interesting – colour as therapy).

Food Photography to make you dribble

“What Katie Ate” is a blog which became a book.

And when you look at the pictures online, you can see why.  If you are trying to eat less, do NOT read this blog.  It will make you suddenly very very hungry.  Check out below…

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http://www.whatkatieate.com/

or buy the books “What Katie Ate” and “What Katie ate at the Weekend”

The writer, Katie Quinn Davies hails from Australia so this influences her ingredients.  Her writing style is equally flavoursome.  Recommended for any foodie.

Australian painter: Grace Cossington Smith (1892-1984)

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I had never heard of this woman painter before – despite having a copy of the excellent “Women Artists” by Nancy Heller – which is a great starting-place for finding out about many unsung women artists. In Australia, apparently, there are examples of her work in most major art galleries.

However, the Antipodean world will hear more about her in a 2016/7 touring exhibition: O’Keeffe, Preston, Cossington Smith: Making Modernism (in partnership with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe).  Starting next month (October 2016), this ground-breaking exhibition showcases the iconic art of Georgia O’Keeffe, one of the most significant American painters of the twentieth century, alongside modernist masterpieces by the celebrated and pioneering Australian artists Margaret Preston and Grace Cossington Smith.

The gallery of New South Wales has much to see and enjoy about this woman’s works..

I like still-lifes and interesting words so of course I couldn’t resist her casually named work “Things on an iron tray on the floor”.
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I also enjoy and find intriguing the space in her “Interior with wardrobe mirror” – if you click on it, you can read her brief comments on love of colour and light. Also, the gallery has quietly commented that at this time, she chose to work with home settings, as her beloved sister was ill. In this picture, I see little echoes of Bonnard’s famous bathroom paintings, as he too was restricted to home by his wife’s illness.

http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/OA11.1967/