As the grand-daughter of a Koo-We-Rup East Iona pioneer, my mother Hayden Ritson (Kavanagh) inherited all sorts of land around Iona. In the late 1950s, my parents decided to build a brand new house in the modern style. It would be right next door to the Iona Post Office. They called it “Carlowrie” after theContinue reading “Iona House Beginnings”
My great-grandparents, Owen Kavanagh and Catherine Featherstone, were early pioneers of Iona.
I’ve always had a uneasy relationship with Australian land.
Photographer Jim Fitzpatrick was an official war photographer for the Australian Information Service.
I spent my early years in Gippsland. The Swamp District.
Lina Bryans met a lovely architect Alex Jelinek in the 1950s and found a really large house at 39 Erin Street, Richmond.
Artists’ Colonies seem a particularly Melbourne thing in the early part of the 20th century. A dog bite was responsible for Bryans’ Colony. Lina Bryans knocked on the door of Ada May Plante (a painter friend of Jock Frater) for some help and the reclusive artist offered Lina a room to stay for the night whichContinue reading “Lina Bryans’ Pink Colony”
Lina Bryans was born in Europe but her parents were Australian. Bryans was a Hallenstein whose family had made their money from a successful tannery and leather business in Melbourne. Her maternal great-grandfather, Sir Benjamin Benjamin, had been Lord Mayor of Melbourne in the 1880s. The family moved from St Kilda to South Yarra in theContinue reading “Young Lina Bryans”
In memory of Brian Finemore, Lina Bryans gave one of her major late works, Landscape Quartet, to the National Gallery of Victoria. | Lina Bryans, Landscape Quartet, 1971, oil on canvasboard (4 panels) | What an amazing painting. And finally her last two paintings. Softly swirling pale landscape. | Lina Bryans, Cooper Meander, 1971, oil on canvas onContinue reading “Music of Lina Bryans”
Around the same time Lina Bryans was changing direction, there was a new generation of young curators on the scene in the Australian art world.
Independent painter Lina Bryans was known for her portraits.
Modernist Eveline Syme also attended the George Bell school in Toorak, Melbourne.
Melbourne born Mary Cecil Allen was a very well known artist and educator from the 1930s who after her death was another one of those ladies sidelined by art historians.
Many students passed through George Bell’s art school.
George Johnston was very positive about the state of the arts in Australia in 1966.
There is a big section in George Johnston and Robert Goodman’s The Australians on sport. The Sporting Life.
Another chapter in The Australians by Robert Goodman and George Johnston is The Cities.
In The Australians, published by Rigby Limited in 1966, Robert Goodman and George Johnston’s first chapter concerns The Land.
In 1962 an American photographer, Robert Goodman, conceived of an idea to produce a picture book on Australia.
This ad still works 40 years later.
How about visiting the Ross River cattle station? A billy tea and damper picnic near the historic homestead.
Ok. Well I like parrots.
Another Helvetica driven poster for the Australian Tourist Commission.
I’ve always liked typography.
So there is Eric Thake working away at Paton’s Advertising Agency in Melbourne. For 30 years.
Most of the information I’ve collected about Eric Thake has come from the State Library of Victoria website.
A couple more images from the National Gallery of Australia book Printed images by Australian artists 1885-1955.
The one thing you notice when you start digging Eric Thake is his love of owls.
The young sketcher, Eric Thake, was out and about Melbourne in the early 1920s.
Me again with artist portraits.
Back to happier times for Eric Thake.
The National Gallery of Victoria has this lovely Eric Thake watercolour, pastel, and charcoal drawing in their collection.
War gave Eric Thake the opportunity to travel.
Many Australian artists have taken to the outback.
Progressive, unmarried, upper middle class women like Violet Teague and Una Teague were expected to get on with things.
As Violet and Una Teague get closer to Central Australia, Violet creates some stunning abstractions using the colours and shapes around her.
As Una and Violet Teague motored further into the outback, Violet continues to sketch.
In 1933, a year before Albert Namatjira met artist Rex Battarbee, the “can do” artist Violet Teague set out to visit Central Australia with her sister, Una.
When I was reading about Albert Namatjira, I found Victorian artist Violet Teague had a close connection to him.