signed and dated 'Cressida Campbell 82' lower right
55.5 x 38cm
Fine Art, Leonard Joel, Melbourne, 22 March 2016, lot 30, illustrated;
Private Collection, Sydney, acquired from the above;
Important Australian Art, Sotheby’s Australia, Sydney, 20 Nov 2019, lot 5;
Private collection, Sydney
1980 saw Cressida Campbell travel to Japan to study at the Yoshida Hanga Academy in Tokyo where she refined her woodblocking and waterpainting techniques. This process, involving etchings on plywood, gentle layers of watercolour and a painstaking printing process lends her oeuvre a depth and refinement that brought her into the spotlight following her return to Sydney; she exhibited at the Hogarth Gallery in 1983 (where this particular work was on show), Stephen Mori Gallery in 1985 and Rex Irwin Art in 1989.
Held in AGNSW with date “1940” and comment “Dupain said of his day at Manly beach ‘Actions like this have to be anticipated; in this case by me standing out in the surf with camera and waiting for the start. One shot only—I had to be lucky and I was (Dupain 1986).’”
This is one of the top three beach images by Dupain.
This distinctive assemblage of retro-reflective road signs epitomises Rosalie Gascoigne’s poetic use of found objects, particularly those containing text. Cut up into fragments, rearranged and composed in a grid formation, the panels display orderly shapes of text against a bright yellow background with light-reflecting properties and a subtle ability to shimmer and shine.
Salvaged from the roadside or from rural tips and depots, Gascoigne used retro-reflective road sign material throughout her 25-year artistic career, which started when she was 57 years old. During this period she became one of the key figures in twentieth century Australian art.
Through her lyrical reuse of materials once part of the landscape, Gascoigne sought to transform her deeply felt experiences of the harsh rural Monaro district where she lived. Foraging its environs for discarded materials, Gascoigne created idiosyncratic works from an assortment of found objects – old wooden bottle crates, weathered fence palings, corrugated iron, worn linoleum – but her reuse of brightly coloured orange and yellow retro-reflective road signs is her most recognisable signature.
Frequently referred to as visual poetry, Gascoigne’s art employs techniques of fragmentation, repetition and juxtaposition – and while letters in her work are not coherent, language is central to the message and layered meaning. Her reuse of the light reflective material is equally important:
“I don’t want it to be dramatically lit, but I do want it to sometimes flash at you, as road signs do, and then go sullen, then flash, like a living thing” Rosalie Gascoigne, 1988.
thence by descent, the collection Mrs Anne Whiteman, Camden;
Private collection, Sydney
The painting was purchased from Rex Batterbee in Alice Springs by Mr and Mrs Whiteman while on their honeymoon. This painting includes the original receipt dated 24th June 1954, signed by Rex Battarbee, and a letter from Rex Battarbee, dated on the same day, to Mr Whiteman thanking him for the payment.
Signed lower left: Tom Roberts, inscribed reverse upper left: To my Darling/ Gwen on her/ 20 Birthday/ from Mother: inscribed reverse lower left: Dec 19 1929, inscribed reverse right: 17044/ 2
8.4 x 19.8cm
Mrs Winifred Onslow Dunban, Sydney (prior to 1915); by descent, Gwendolen Onslow Dunban (on her 20th birthday) 1929;
Deutscher Fine Art Exhibition, Melbourne, Nov/Dec 1988 Cat. No. 24, 1989;
Private collection, Sydney since 1988
Exhibition and Sale of Paintings by Tom Roberts, Previous to his leaving Australia, Society of Artists of New South Wales, Vickery’s Chambers, 76 Pitt Street, Sydney 14 November 1900, cat 28, At Watsons Bay, 1 ½ gns.
The location of this painting is Watsons Bay, specifically Camp Cove. It fits stylistically into a group of Harbour panels (of Circular Quay, Rose Bay, Kirribilli and Sirius Cove) executed by Tom Roberts in the late 1890’s.
A forty year old Tom Roberts married Lillie Williamson in Melbourne in early 1896; in January 1898 their son Caleb was born. After the marriage Roberts left the makeshift Curlew Camp at Sirius Cove, which he had shared with Arthur Streeton and others since coming up from Melbourne in 1891 and took up residence in Paul Street, Balmain. He continued however, to work and teach from a city studio in Pitt Street.
Roberts executed two historical bush-ranging subjects in the mid 1890’s, Bailed Up and In a corner on the Macintyre c1894-95. After 1895 he worked on the large droving theme, A mountain muster (c1897-98) but his small portrait studies and rare (compared with Streeton) Sydney Harbour views on un-primed cedar panel, such as, At Watsons Bay c1898, are arguably the most appealing works he created at the time.
The painting has a charming provenance – it was given to the previous owner by her mother, Winfred Onslow Dunban, on her 20th birthday in 1929.