Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Barbara Hanrahan - The Dog and the Cat edition 18/35

This is one of my favourite works of Barbara Hanrahan an Australian printmaker and writer. I was lucky enough to travel to Adelaide and visited the gallery who represented this artist throughout the latter part of her career. The owner of the gallery was lovely and showed me some work which was in private storage( about 70 pieces) and then left me in a room full of plan chests, where I was able to sift through years and years of work. 

Writing this today reminded me that I had kept a journal of that trip, and I've just reread that diary entry to help me remember that rainy day in Norwood. 

The gallery owner was in charge of Barbara's estate, which would explain the high volume of work she had in storage. She was also very generous in sharing her stories about a women who I admired and respected - how she was during her illness, and how her partner, a sculptor, stopped working on his own art to care for Barbara during her illness. She told me about the funeral and talked about intimate stories of her friend and the wonderful artwork she left behind. 

I was going to write this post about Barbara Hanrahan, but having been reminded of the details of that day, this little blog entry has changed to be a story of how I came to own this print. After talking about my work, this wonderful woman gave me some books about Barbara, a lot of encouragement, and then let me pick the print I wanted to buy. Because I was an art student with no money, she let me put down a deposit and I sent her money for that print when I had the cash to spare. It took forever, but one day I had paid it off and that beautiful print arrived in the mail and it has been hanging in my home ever since. I can't believe I forgot about that wonderful woman!  

Barbara Hanrahan was also a fantastic writer, and she created a distinct l body of work during her career. I was really lucky to be exposed to her work while I was studying, and thinking about it, she has had a profound influence on my own work...not so much in the subject matter or style, but more so in the combination of text with images and the reworking of artwork created in the past. 

Anyway I have just deleted a whole rant about how people should be taught more about Australian artists like this one, and instead have included a link for you to read a bit about her yourself or if you prefer to look at pictures click here

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