Housing a permanent collection, Reflecting Canberra, and a variety of local, national and international exhibitions, CMAG provides a refreshing insight to the integration of social history and the visual arts.
Sat 23 June – Sun 26 August
At the outset of the artist’s time at Lanyon, her initial impulse was towards the homestead itself, where she was intrigued by the apparent incongruity of European settlers re-creating the artefacts of gentility in a new and at times, inhospitable landscape.
Shepherdson admired the elaborate silver epergne, containing fruit, in the homestead’s dining room, and also began to reflect upon the ingenuity of the original occupants’ creation of decorative schemes for the front entrance in the production of an oilcloth destined for the floor. This simulacrum of precious Oriental rugs has been reconfigured in the artist’s work, Flat-foot.
In producing this work, Shepherdson began to reflect more fully on the fine work produced by women of the colonial pastoral class, who enjoyed the financial means to employ servants for domestic tasks, leaving them with time for these activities. The canvas employed in the creation of oilcloths became the central medium for expression for Shepherdson as she explored the possibilities of stitching and further embellishing cloth in response to the Lanyon landscape.
This emphasis on textiles became a considered focus for the artist during her time at Lanyon, reflected in the hand-work items displayed in this showcase.
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