For too many years Cynthia Reed Nolan (1909-1976) was barely mentioned in accounts of Australian modernism. Mostly identified as the sister of John Reed and sister-in-law of Sunday Reed, she is actually a significant conduit of modernist culture and avant garde ideas into Australia in her own right. Her relationship to her more famous kin was complex, running the gamut from near symbiosis to longstanding alienation. She was an intrinsic part of Heide, but later did not communicate with John or Sunday for three decades. Towards the end of his life, John notably affirmed Cynthia's role in the Heide cosmology as “Sunday's best friend”.
With the Cruthers Art Foundation transitioning from a private to a public entity, it is timely to continue the discussion around private collections entering the public realm started in Blog 3 in April 2017.
Pure contemplation without knowledge 9, exhibition installation photograph looking through Jane Braddock, 2017 Without Words, scissors nylon string, steel and wood, dimensions variable.
Jenny Watson is a significant Australian artist who has spent much of her time overseas, travelling, exhibiting and making art. Her practice spans more than four decades, in which time she has been able to document the changing experiences of women from the 1950’s, when she was born, to the current day.
As part of the broad mission of promoting women's art, the focus of the Foundation’s blog entries will sometimes shift away from material directly based on the Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art or the activities of the Foundation and onto wider topics - a single artist or event or artwork or, in this case, a book review.
JULIETTE PEERS INTERVIEWS GEMMA WESTON
Whilst known to art curators, academics and art professionals since the later 1980s, the Cruthers Collection was first presented in depth to the public at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts during the National Women’s Art Exhibition in 1995, during a national celebration of women’s art in multiple public art spaces across Australia.
In the months and years ahead, we hope to inform, entertain, educate, shock, irritate, delight, surprise [alongside every other verb in the thesaurus] you by discussing women’s art and the broad field of associated issues, current and historic, that impact upon audience reception of women’s art in Australia and globally.