Friday, July 20, 2007

Edith Collier - artist

I just saw a beautiful moving doco by Michael Heath about Wanganui artist, Edith Collier. She was born in Wanganui and spent time as a young woman travelling and painting in London and Ireland - being a part of the women artist movement, the modernists, influenced and attending classes by expat Kiwi Frances Hodgkins. She returned home to parochial Wanganui in the twenties - her art was seen as too modern and risque to the point that her father burned several of her nudes. She continued to paint sporadically but was thwarted by the small mindedness of the time - and of the relatively conservative art scene including the critics her saw her work as 'modern' and 'abstract' and therefore, not serious art. Over 300 works are held at the Seargent gallery in Wanganui. Also, someone in the audienc mentioned that over 30 of her works will be for sale soon in the Dunbar Sloane auction - an infomercial at question time! Michael Heath has given us an eloquent and emotional portrait of an artist ahead of her time in New Zealand who has left a legacy of beautiful works of light, shape and form. Dr Joanne Drayton has written a biography of her life. and the film will be out on DVD soon also. The Edith Collier Trust

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