Artists in Residence

Artists in Residence

Fine Arts Collection

Artist in Residence program at BGGS

Artist in Residence programs were traditionally created in the arts world to allow artists – musicians, writers, artists – to take time out in a space apart from their usual environment to reflect, and to explore and develop new works. They were also a way of encouraging philanthropic projects where benefactors could support and extend the work of artists. These programs have now become an accepted part of the arts landscape. In 1985, Brisbane Girls Grammar School offered its first Artist in Residence program for visual art. The format was to invite an artist of renown, preferably female, to come into the School, to talk to students and workshop with them to guide their work in creative collaboration. Furthermore, the artist would undertake an artistic project of her own which would remain in the School as a legacy of their practice. The Principal Dr Judith Hancock raised the idea with the key benefactors of the School, Cathryn and Margaret Mittelheuser. The Mittelheuser sisters, as they are fondly referred to, are former students of the School who also shared a deep love of the arts and have many connections in the arts world. The Mittelheuser sisters proposed first a residency with Australian New York based abstract artist, Virginia Cuppaidge. Cuppaidge was born in Brisbane and relocated to New York in 1969. She had her first solo exhibition in New York in 1973 and gained many awards and commissions, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1976. She had many exhibitions across the US, Canada and Australia over the years as well as a highly active teaching career in New York tertiary institutions.

Cuppaidge accepted the invitation to be the first Brisbane Girls Grammar School Artist in Residence at a time when she was returning briefly to Australia.

In this painting, Terra Firma Light, where she sought ideas from the students here that she workshopped with, she has mixed a series of geometrical shapes and floated them in colour fields, giving an energy, movement and light to the painting.

Cuppaidge’s work is represented in several Australian national galleries, including our QAGOMA.

The Artist in Residence program continued to be active in the late 1980s, with two more artists contributing to student learning and to the school art collection, again with the support of Margaret and Cathryn Mittelheuser. came in 1988 and left us her sculpture, Fandango which still lives in the gardens below the G Block.

Artists in Residence | Page 2

Virginia Cuppaidge (1943 - ) Australia

Title: Terra Firma Light Medium: Oil on Canvas Date : 1985

Dimensions: 182cm x 244cm Collection category: Painting

Artist in Residence program, funded by Cathryn and Margaret Mittelheuser.

Virginia Cuppaidge was the first Artist in Residence at Brisbane Girls Grammar School, sponsored by the Mittleheuser sisters, Catherine and Margaret, in 1985.

After several years of study in Australia, Cuppaidge travelled to New York in 1969 to follow her dream of experiencing Abstract Expressionism firsthand in the city of its birth. Cuppaidge remained in New York for the next forty years. During this time, she held numerous solo and group exhibitions in the USA, Canada and Australia, and found recognition both as an artist and as a teacher. In 2017 she returned to Australia to live. Virginia has always believed that the Australian landscape and experience were inherent in her works. In this painting, where she sought ideas from the students here that she workshopped with, she has mixed a series of geometrical shapes and floated them in colour fields, giving an energy, movement and light to the painting.

Cuppaidge’s work is represented in a number of Australian national galleries, including our QAGOMA.

Page 3 | Artists in Residence

Jan King (1945 - ) Australia

Title: Fandango Medium: Aluminium and Zinc coating on steel Date : 1988 Dimensions: 965mm x 300mm x 600mm Collection category: Sculpture

Artist in Residence program, funded by Cathryn and Margaret Mittelheuser

Jan King was born and raised in western Queensland. She now lives and works in Sydney. She initially studied art in Perugia, and returned to Sydney to continue studies at the National Art School, graduating in 1975. She completed postgraduate studies at The New York Studio School, New York in 1979 and later received a Bachelor of Visual Art at UNSW, COFA. She has been a practising sculptor for more than thirty years and her work, although abstract, is influenced frequently by landscape and natural forms in the environment and the structures and forces which shift and mould our surroundings. King is represented in numerous public, private and corporate collections, including Macquarie University, University of Western Sydney, UTS, Woollahra Council and the Casula Arts Centre. She has also received numerous awards and grants. The following year saw our artist alumna, Ruth Benson as Artist in Residence for four weeks in 1989. She created a large ceramic work using sand patterns to create her moulds which give her work such a distinctive mark. The sand formations were the starting point for much of her work.

Artists in Residence | Page 4

Ruth Benson (Hooper) (1934 - ) Australia Alumna 1951

Title: Untitled Medium: Ceramic Mural Date : 1989 Dimensions: 130cm x 127cm Collection category: Mural

Artist in Residence program, funded by Cathryn and Margaret Mittelheuser

Having trained as a physiotherapist, for Benson becoming a ceramicist was a sudden revelation and delight after taking up clay modelling as a hobby. Benson studied with Harry Memmott who, along with colleagues Milton Moon and Carl McConnell, exerted a great influence on pottery development in Brisbane in the 1960s.

Page 5 | Artists in Residence

Alistair Noble Australia

Title: Trouble Current Medium: mix media triptych in oil, accompanied by soundtrack Date : 2009 Dimensions: Collection category: painting

Artist in Residence program, funded by the Visual Art department.

With the end of the 1980s came a hiatus in the Artist in Residence program and it wasn’t until 2009 that an artist was again invited into the School to inspire students and leave a work of art. Alistair Noble created a mix media triptych painted in oil - Trouble Current - to be accompanied by music he composed. The work comprises one large painting and two smaller ones to produce the impression of the troubled waters. Noble came to the School on the recommendation of school art teacher Bronwyn McKean and was funded by the Visual Art Department and the Creative Arts Faculty.

Professor Alistair Noble is a composer, musician, and academic, currently head of the University of New England’s School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.

Alistair is interested in exploring what he believes are the close connections between visual and aural imagination , and this work speaks to this.

Artists in Residence | Page 6

Krishna Nahow Australia

Page 7 | Artists in Residence

Title: Blakbird series (12) Medium: digital photography and text Date : 2013 Dimensions: 77cm x 57cm Collection category: photography

Artist in Residence program, funded by former Board of Trustees member, Lesley Bryant.

It was alumna and former member of the Board of Trustees, Leslie Bryant, who funded the 2013 Artist in Residence, Krishna Nahow. Nahow is of Islander descent and her work is inspired by her Vanuatu heritage and the legacy of South Sea Islander slavery in colonial Australia. Nahow created a series of 12 digital prints on watercolour paper using imagery of family who were brought to Queensland under what is known as the “blackbirding” trade to provide labour particularly on sugar cane farms . The imagery is often accompanied by text. These works are part of her ongoing series which she entitles “Blakbird”, an important telling of this history which saw many of her maternal relatives taken to areas around Bowen and Aire in North Queensland to work the sugar plantations. Her works have an ethereal quality as though the people and their history have been blurred and partially erased by time.

Artists in Residence | Page 8

Made with FlippingBook - Online Brochure Maker