Winter Exhibitions To Open At Riddoch

The Riddoch Arts and Cultural Centre will present three new exhibitions opening to the public on Saturday 15 June as part of the winter program. The exhibitions feature the works of three female artists spanning styles and generations, Clarice Beckett: Paintings from the National Collection, Natalya Hughes: The Interior and Beth Kay: The Feminine Art of Shooting.

Clarice Beckett: Paintings from the National Collection, on tour from the National Gallery of Australia, is an intimate selection of works by one of Australia’s most original and esteemed artists of the early twentieth century

Clarice Beckett was born and raised in Casterton, Western Victoria in 1887. Beckett’s family moved to Ballarat and then Melbourne where she painted everyday life and scenery with an eye for the overlooked, common place and fleeting. Deeply sensitive to the effects of colour, light and atmosphere, her works captured a world on the cusp of modernisation, evoking both the natural environment and simple pleasures of suburban existence.

Beckett died from pneumonia at 48 years old, not long after painting the sea during a storm. Although a posthumous exhibition was well received by the public, Beckett’s subtle mastery was soon forgotten and her paintings moved to storage.

Almost 40 years later, curator Rosalind Hollinrake, who was alerted by Beckett’s sister, discovered more than 2000 paintings rotting in a Victorian countryside hay shed. Most of the pieces were destroyed but Hollinrake recognised the gravity of what she had found. In 1971, she staged an exhibition of Beckett’s paintings in Melbourne. Clarice Beckett is now acknowledged as one of Australia’s most important early modernist painters and her work is included in major museum collections.

Clarice Beckett has an amazing legacy in Australian art history both for the work and her personal journey as a female artist of the early 20th century. We are very proud to have this special collection of works on show in the region she grew up in.

– Director Riddoch Arts and Cultural Centre and Cultural Development Ashleigh Whatling

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