Shepparton Art Museum —
Drawing Wall #36

Resting, rising
Mural commission, 4 x 12 m, 2019.

Drawing from some key pieces in A Finer Grain: Selected Works from the SAM collection, this painting centres around a rendition of Ethel Spowers’ ‘Resting Models’ linocut print. A strong Australian woman artist and passionate modernist, Spowers was prolific throughout the 20’s and 30’s. I feel an affinity with her preference for flat, simplified graphic forms, block colours and observations of everyday life.  

The women in this piece rest affirmed and at ease in each others company. Key works from the collection, refined and rendered down to simplified geometric forms and bold colours, drift and rise behind the women. Margaret Preston’s magnolias bloom, alongside forms derived from the ceramics of Penny Smith, Fiona Murphy, Susan Laurent, Angela Valamanesh, Kirsten Coelho and Khai Lieu. They form a world of strength and companionship for these women; soft and sharp, light and dark, deep and uplifting.

This piece speaks to a sisterhood and is a celebration of the contrasting, complex and powerful spirit of these artists and their artworks — a force growing stronger, together.

Photos — Amina Barolli

I respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, who are the traditional custodians of the land on which I live and work. Sovereignty was never ceded. I pay my respects to Elders past and present.