Bella d’Abrera, granddaughter of Constance Stokes was a recent guest on the Sky News program Outsiders (Monday 25th June) where she spoke about the importance of Stokes’ rigorous academic training and the impact of travelling and seeing important artworks in London and Paris and how that shaped her art.
“She was able to use one line to capture the solidity and weight of the figure and this was entirely based on her training, really rigorous training as a younger artist and that western tradition.”
“Stokes was once mentioned in the same breath as Sidney Nolan, Russell Drysdale, Arthur Boyd, as a great Australian artist. She exhibited during the 30s, 40s, 50s and then again after the war in the 60s and 70s.”
“In London in the 1930s, she directly inherited that Renaissance idea of looking at the form.”
“Sir Kenneth Clark, who came to Australia in the 1940s and he met all the artists and he saw her work and he said, Constance Stokes is one of the world’s greatest draughtsman.”
“…she came back to Australia and she became the most sought after portraitist in Victoria at the time, so she had people queueing to get their portraits done by her…”
For an edited transcript please click here or to listen to the podcast click here
Click here to view artworks by CONSTANCE STOKES available at Lauraine Diggins Fine Art
Zhou Xiaoping Our Country 2017 ink, oil on rice paper laid down on canvas 130 x 95 cm
Eugene Yang reports in the ABC news that this year marks 200 years since the first arrival of Chinese migrants to Australia in an article exploring the connections between Chinese and Indigenous Australians – including the work of Zhou Xiaoping andhis collaborations with indigenous artists over the past thirty years, the focus of our exhibition earlier this year. Yang reports on the tendency towards wariness rather than celebration of cross-cultural experiences, something with which Zhou is familiar:
“From the 1990s to today, he has faced suspicion from white Australians claiming his work is exploitative of Aboriginal art, yet does not recall receiving any such criticism from Aboriginal people.
Professor Langton labelled this criticism as the result of problematic conceptions of Aboriginal people lacking autonomy and needing white protectors.”
To read the article Chinese and Indigenous Australians share a long, ‘untold history’, that’s been captured through art (Eugene Yang, ABC News, Sat 23 June 2018 ) please click here
Please click here to view the exhibition Zhou Xiaoping: The Cross-Cultural Influences of Chinese and Indigenous Art where you can also view the exhibition opening by The Hon Senator Mitch Fifield and hear Zhou Xiaoping speak about his art.
Canberra Museum and Art Gallery are celebrating 20 years of collecting visual art with an exhibition showing until 17 June 2018, featuring Room with a View by Andrew Sayers from the CMAG collection which curator Deborah Clark describes as “like haiku” with its simplicity of line and form capturing a sense of light, space and atmosphere through the depiction of Sayers’ favourite subject, the landscape. We welcome you to read the article from the Weekend Australian focussing on Andrew’s gouaches and to view the current works available at Lauraine Diggins Fine Art by selecting Andrew Sayers from the artist list on our site.
The outstanding works by ceramicist Stephen Bowers continue to gain the interest by international collections. Ming Meets Morris Meets Macropod is a recent acquisition by the Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts, USA.
Ming Meets Morris Meets Macropod 2018 jigger jolley, white earthenware, underglaze color, clear glaze, on-glaze, ‘distressed’ burnished antique gold, 2.5 x 35.7 cm.
Against a back ground of lobed reserves, a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo ( Cacatua galleria) perches, holding in its beak a length of blue twisted string from which the bird is dangling a decorative bow arrangement The cockatoo references classic natural history (bird) illustration, being derived from, and paying homage to, the work of W T Cooper . The decorative yellow bow is sourced from Meyer’s Hand book of Ornament.
The reserve above the bird’s raised crest is filled with Honeysuckle, a wallpaper design first registered by William Morris in 1883. The bird perches on another reserve depicting a fragment of fabric design (also called Honeysuckle) by William Morris 1874 (sample in the Birmingham Museum). Behind the chest of the cockatoo is a reserve decorated with Eucalyptus corymbosa (Bloodwood) from botanical illustrations in A Research on The Eucalyptus and their Essential Oils by Richard T Baker and Henry G Smith, Technological Museum of New South Wales, Sydney 1920.
Finally, the large lobed circular fragment to the left of the cockatoo comprises a blue and white paneled border with elements in a central circular in-fill. The border and foliage details are based closely on Ming kraakwares held in the collection of the PEM Salem, in particular a porcelain Charger, 1573 – 1619, 3.3 ins (8.4 cms) X 20.7 ins (52.6 cms) dia. Museum purchase 1994. E84059. The paneled sections of the outer border contain motifs typical of the period including auspicious Buddhist regalia and symbols. The central circular reserve incorporates a rendering of the 1773 George Stubb’s Kangaroo – the first clear depiction of this Australian marsupial macropod.
For details about available works by Stephen Bowers, please view our stockroom or contact the Gallery.
Read his article from the Business Today section of The Age, Friday 12 August – click on the link below for the full text.
“I was delighted to open an arts exhibition in Melbourne last weekend.
I’ve always been comfortable in the art world after being chairman of the National Gallery and growing up around artists themselves.
And as a result I’ve learned a few rules about openings: don’t get too serious, throw in a couple of jokes and try as best you can to dress like Barry Humphries, including a small colourful sarong stuffed into the breast pocket of your jacket.
It was a wonderful Saturday afternoon at the Lauraine Diggins Fine Art exhibition and the pictures for sale weren’t too shabby. The Europeans included a Guido Reni with P.O.A. on it where the dollar figure usually appears. A Richard Bonington was available at a cool $US460,000 and the Australian contingent included, Streeton, Glover, Conder and a wonderful piece by the extraordinary Australian Indigenous artist Rover Thomas, which I suspect will fetch up around a million.”
Nora Heysen and Constance Stokes: Drawings from the Estates
in The Australian Financial Review, Thursday 7th July 2016 by Peter Fish.
Masters of the drawn line feature at exhibition
by Peter Fish, The Australian Financial Review Thursday 7 July 2016 p. 14
Two acclaimed artists, Nora Heysen and Constance Stokes, are featured at an exhibition at the long-established Lauraine Diggins Fine Art in Melbourne’s north Caulfield.
Both women are acclaimed for their control of their drawn line, Ms Diggins says.
“Drawings are so often undervalued, and this exhibition provides the opportunity for both new and established collectors to acquire work by revered Australian artists at extremely affordable prices,” she says.
Among the offering are Stokes’ Jewish Woman in Costume, 1974, in red ink and pastel on paper, and Black Stockings, 1968 in blue ink and watercolour on paper, priced at $4250 and $3750 respectively.
There is also Heysen’s Vivien, New Guinea 1954-55 in conte crayon on paper and Seated Male with Leg on Stool circa 1956 in pencil on paper, at $2500 and $2750 respectively.
The exhibition was opened on May 21 by Associate Professor Alison Inglis from the University of Melbourne in the presence of Connie Stokes’ daughter, Lucilla Wyborn d’Abrera and Nora Heysen’s niece Stephanie Griffiths.
Read Joanna Mendelssohn’s article from The Conversation about the 2016 Archibald including Michael McWilliams’ The Usurpers (Self Portrait).
“The Tasmanian artist Michael McWilliams’ The usurpers (self portrait) is a magically elaborate study in a similar mode to that of the Italian Renaissance artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo. Every element is an import to Australia. Sheep, cattle, pigeons, carp, trout, rabbits, rats, mice, fruit and grain, all combine to form the artist’s face.
The usurpers hangs at the entrance to the exhibition, a long way from the winner’s circle, but it is probably the painting that most visitors will remember.”