Fairy Tales: Life at the margins

In the world of the fairy tale, witches and crones are not the only characters who generate mistrust and fear — ‘others’, outsiders and so-called misfits pushed to the margins of society, figure prominently in many tales. In these stories, people living outside the norm are branded as villains or monsters. The Beast from ‘Beauty…

Bundaberg Post Office: Then (1891) & Now

Although the artist of A view of the new Post Office & School of Arts, Bourbong St. Bundaberg from Barolin St., Augt. 1st 1891, Queensland 1891 (illustrated) is unknown — like the artists of many images of nineteenth century Queensland — the watercolour quite possibly by an architectural draftsman, is significant in showcasing the growing…

Rosalie Gascoigne: An alternative form of art making

Rosalie Gascoigne (25 January 1917–1999) first came to public attention in the mid 1970s through her installations and boxes of found objects. She is best known, however, for her wall-based assemblages, which brought diverse materials from everyday life into new frames of reference. Gascoigne worked with items that had been discarded and left to weather,…

How do we perceive light, space & colour?

Australian artist Taree Mackenzie creates videos and installations that explore how we perceive light, space and colour. The artist’s ‘Pepper’s ghost’ works stem from the optical illusion of the same name, originally popularised in the 1800s in Victorian stagecraft and entertainment and named after British scientist and inventor John Henry Pepper. Still commonly used in…

Laying down the lines: Isaac Walter Jenner’s underdrawing

The oil paintings of Isaac Walter Jenner (1836-1902) are executed in a fine and detailed manner which invite close and careful viewing. Like many artists, Jenner used sketching or ‘underdrawing’ to develop subjects beneath oil paint layers. Here, we highlight the artist’s style and detail some of the discoveries found when we look at Jenner’s…

Chance is a key element of weather paintings

In ‘weather paintings’, Australian artist Lindy Lee looks beyond figuration to embody the forces of nature. Lee creates abstract, constellation-like images that speak to the power of fire, wind and water. To make these works, Lee meditatively flings Chinese ink across sheets of paper and burns holes in the surfaces with a soldering iron. Afterwards,…