Accomplished and capable: Hilda Rix Nicholas ‘The fair musterer’

Dressed in jodhpurs, a short-sleeved shirt and riding boots, Hilda Rix Nicholas’s ‘fair musterer’ is ready for the day’s work. Her nonchalant pose is easy, confident and self-assured; it suggests that she is both an accomplished horsewoman and a capable bushworker, a woman who actively participates in the life of rural Australia. Painted during the…

The allure of the savage beauty of Belle-Île

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the fierce wildness and ‘savage beauty’ of Belle-Île, the small island off the coast of Quiberon in Brittany, France, exerted a powerful attraction to creative artists of a late-romantic temperament. Delve into why Belle-Île’s temperate climate, magnificent coastline, and 60 beaches became a magnet for Australian impressionist…

Ian Fairweather: Life lines

The QAGOMA Research Library holds a collection of letters, photographs and other memorabilia relating to the famously reclusive artist Ian Fairweather, who spent the last two decades of his life in a hut on Bribie Island. A new book Ian Fairweather: A Life in Letters from Text Publishing compiles several hundred of Fairweather’s letters, which…

Portrait of Albert Namatjira

A conventional portrait — a seated half-figure painted from life — which is disrupted by the subject’s race. In mid-twentieth-century Australia, Indigenous people had rarely figured in a genre that confirmed the status of ‘elder statesman’ upon its (mainly male) subjects. William Dargie’s Portrait of Albert Namatjira 1956 has subsequently become the most identifiable image…