The Nancy Sever Gallery is delighted to present an exhibition of works by Janet Dawson, one of Australia’s most distinguished artists.
Janet Dawson studied at the National Gallery Art School in Melbourne from 1952 until 1956 when she was awarded a travelling scholarship to London, where she won a Boise Scholarship for lithography. She then went to Italy and later to the Atelier Patris in Paris where she worked as a proof printer and also made her own lithographs.
In 1973 she won the Archibald Prize. She has been the subject of several survey exhibitions, including at the National Gallery of Victoria (1979) and the National Gallery of Australia (1996). Her work is to be found in major institutional and private collections in Australia and overseas.
Clouds inhabit the sky.
They live in our languages: ‘Her eyes were clouded’ - ‘lonely as a cloud’ - ‘his antics cast a cloud over the party’ - ‘a cloud of golden hair’.
My devotion to clouds had an early start. A four year old child playing in the garden. Chooks pecking and scratching nearby. I saw, up in the intense blue sky, a huge white shape. It was the exact white image of the big black hen, scratching around by my feet. She was a Black Orpington, sturdy and bulky. Her name was Fattybottom.
This moment settled all notions of angels, gods and Heavenly Beings. We found them in the clouds and their interaction with Earth is constant.
The group of paintings, Cloud Comics and others is the product of a recent bus ride, Sydney to Canberra, in a Greyhound bus.
The sun was strong and bright, air clear, sky deep brilliant blue, clouds opulent and slow moving, changing shape, mingling and turning with magnificent deliberation.
The many images I took came out startlingly clear and vivid. I have made paintings and drawings from them.
Here is a celebration – eighty years of cloud watching.
To spend a long bus ride laughing at clouds, is a grand reward for an Oldie”.
Sunday 9 June 2019.