Darebin Art Collection

A View from the Westbourne Grove rail bridge

Public Description: 

The photograph, A View from the Westbourne Grove rail bridge, is from a series of photographs from the exhibition David Wadelton presents, The Northcote Hysterical Society which was shown at the Bundoora Homestead Art Gallery in 2015. These images, beautifully photographed and reproduced by David, are a wonderful look back at the seventies in and around the northern Melbourne suburb of Northcote.

The overhead view of a "Red Rattler" train traveling down the Epping line reminds us fondly of the old Tait Class trains that were introduced by the Victorian Railways in 1910. Wooden bodied and painted red, these were steam locomotives hauling cars, that were eventually converted to electric traction in 1919. The first cars were built during 1909 with the last entering service in 1951 and the phasing out of the Class from 1974. The trains were initially known as "Sliding Door" trains, as opposed to the "Swing Door" trains in service before them. From the 1950s they were also known as "Red Rattlers" or "Reds" when the new blue Harris Class of trains were introduced.

David Wadelton is a local Northcote resident, painter and photographer. Since the early 1980s he has exhibited extensively throughout Australia with regular solo exhibitions at Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions from Vision In Disbelief, the 4th Biennale of Sydney in 1982, to Melbourne Now at the National Gallery of Victoria in 2013. A survey exhibition of Wadelton’s paintings and photographs, David Wadelton: Icons of Suburbia, was presented by McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery in 2011. Wadelton has embraced social media in his practice, establishing The Northcote Hysterical Society in 2008, which now has thousands of members. He is represented in many state and national collections, including the Australian National Gallery, and the National Gallery of Victoria. In addition to his career as a visual artist, Wadelton has made significant contributions to the field of experimental music in Australia.

Train source information: http://melbourneoldschooler.blogspot.com.au/p/train-history.html

A View from the Westbourne Grove rail bridge © David Wadelton

Victoria's Secret

Public Description: 

The current four members of DAMP produced Victoria’s Secret alongside a suite of ceramic based artworks, which on close inspection are a patchwork of broken fragments. Kitsch, bric-a-brac, valuable and classical pieces are broken or dissected, independently painted and painstakingly reconfigured.

The basis of The Harrison Collection, featuring the work Victoria’s Secret, began with the simple gesture of breaking a plate. Each member of DAMP painted a fragment of this plate and it was glued back together. For two years DAMP gathered found objects, personal effects and references and transformed these into a sculptural patchwork. Each of the 40 or so objects in the series were a result of the collaboration, demarcated by individual hands. In the case of Victoria’s Secret, a ready-made statue was carved into pieces. DAMP members used the American cartoonist and musician Robert Crumb and a Bauhaus Tapestry as reference material for this piece.

DAMP is an artist collective. Since 1995 the Melbourne based group have made groundbreaking artworks that have addressed the relations between artists and audiences. In 1999 the group staged a histrionic series of conflicts, which escalated into a brawl in the window of Gertrude Contemporary. In 2009 the group constructed a monumental faux-marble plinth on which local collectives could meet as part of APT6 at the Queensland Art Gallery. Current members of DAMP are Narelle Desmond, Sharon Goodwin, Debra Kunda and James Lynch.

Portrait of Wallace

Public Description: 

Wallace, the renowned stud thoroughbred, was the son of 1890 Melbourne Cup winner, Carbine, and is buried near the stables at Bundoora Park. Owned by J.M.V. Smith, original owner of Bundoora Homestead and Park and prominent horse breeding and racing industry identity, Wallace died in late 1917, aged 25.

From 1903 to 1915, Wallace was one of the most sought after breeding stallions in Australia and in 1915-16 he topped the Australian sire list with his progeny including Melbourne Cup winners Kingsburgh (1914) and Patrobas (1915). He competed in at least 949 races and won close to £250,000 in prize money.

The artist Mark Gawen was born in South Australia in 1861. He was best known as a sporting artist and was mostly self-taught apart from studying in Paris for a short time in 1891 during his thirties. He received commissions to paint many of the top race horses of his period. Gawen lived most of his life in Victoria and died in 1943.

Winter Posy

Public Description: 

In Winter Posy, Kate Hudson blends a cheerful bouquet of blooms together in warm citrus shades of orange and yellow. This vibrant acknowledgment of nature’s ability to flourish and inspire, regardless of seasonal change, is displayed in a rectangular shaped vase featuring a black and white Art Deco style design. The balance and harmony of Hudson’s compositions, together with her use of colour accents, form the basis of her highly decorative and patterned prints. The result, when combined with a distinctive geometric motif, is the creation of a traditional floral still life with a contemporary twist.

Kate Hudson is a Melbourne based printmaker who trained in textile design at London’s Central School of Art & Design prior to immigrating to Australia in 1990. Focussing on pattern, design and colour, Hudson specialises in multi coloured linocut reduction prints taking inspiration for her work from the Arts & Crafts Movement, Japanese woodblocks and printmakers such as Margaret Preston (1875-1963). Hudson’s commercial collaborations with Catherine Manuell and Earth Greetings feature some of her most recognisable designs on a range of fashion accessories and greetings cards.

Since 2003 Hudson has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions around Victoria. Her artwork is held in a number of public, corporate and private collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Australian Print Workshop, Geelong Gallery, Austin Hospital, Australian Unity, Crown Casino and several local councils.

Winter Posy © Kate Hudson

Lyric Theatre at Merri Creek

Public Description: 

Lyric Theatre at Merri Creek (2003) comes from Siri Hayes’ Lyric Theatre series (2002-2004). This large digital photographic print is of a scene on the Merri Creek trail. Three people are placed near the creek, one watching the creek babbling by as two others near the large branch of a tree appear to be in deep conversation. The Lyric Theatre series examines human relationships and presence in an urban environment and this work, while being reminiscent of a film still or theatrical production, is open to speculation and interpretation. It invites the viewer into the drama from a position of familiarity with the local surrounds of the City of Darebin.

Earthenware 'Remued' baluster-shaped vase, dark green / brown / blue

Public Description: 

This small plump baluster-shaped earthenware vase was produced in the ‘Remued’ ware range introduced by Premier Pottery, between 1934 and 1941/42 and is known to be part of the Early Series. It is characterised by its drip-glaze style, and in this case, colours of green, brown and blue have been used.

The ‘Remued’ ware in the City of Darebin art collection is significant as it represents fine examples from the nationally recognised twentieth century art pottery, Premier Pottery, that was based in the Victorian suburb of Preston from 1929-1956. Of great influence to the development of this range was the potter Margaret Kerr (1898-1958), who began introducing Australian imagery into pottery design.

'Remued' was one of Premier's most successful and defining ventures, a feat made particularly remarkable in that it survived the financial strains of the Great Depression. The work of Premier is significant in that although the firm was producing large quantities of commercial ware, they maintained a studio approach to their work, preferring handmade items as opposed to the use of plaster moulds.

Earthenware 'Remued' baluster-shaped vase, green / beige / brown / blue

Public Description: 

This tall baluster-shaped earthenware vase was produced in the ‘Remued’ ware range introduced by Premier Pottery, between 1934 and 1941/42 and is known to be part of the Early Series. It is characterised by its drip-glaze style, and in this case, colours of green, brown and blue have been used. It is decorated with series of circular ridged marks.

The ‘Remued’ ware in the City of Darebin art collection is significant as it represents fine examples from the nationally recognised twentieth century art pottery, Premier Pottery, that was based in the Victorian suburb of Preston from 1929-1956. Of great influence to the development of this range was the potter Margaret Kerr (1898-1958), who began introducing Australian imagery into pottery design.

'Remued' was one of Premier's most successful and defining ventures, a feat made particularly remarkable in that it survived the financial strains of the Great Depression. The work of Premier is significant in that although the firm was producing large quantities of commercial ware, they maintained a studio approach to their work, preferring handmade items as opposed to the use of plaster moulds.

Earthenware 'Remued' barrel-shaped vase, dark green / blue

Public Description: 

This plump barrel earthenware vase with a flaring collar was produced in the ‘Remued’ ware range introduced by Premier Pottery, between 1941 and 1955. Although perhaps not strictly 'Remued' many such pieces are nowadays amongst the most interesting and sought-after. This piece is characterised by decorations of gum leaves, gumnuts and branches applied by Margaret Kerr, an artist and industry potter who sometimes moonlighted at Premier Pottery.

The products of Premier Pottery Preston were not mass-produced. Everything was hand-made. In such an environment, inevitably pieces were produced that were not intended for the retail market but were family gifts, experiments, or simply giving rein to the potter's creative spirit.

The ‘Remued’ ware in the City of Darebin art collection is significant as it represents fine examples from the nationally recognised twentieth century art pottery, Premier Pottery, that was based in the Victorian suburb of Preston from 1929-1956. Of great influence to the development of this range was the potter Margaret Kerr (1898-1958), who began introducing Australian imagery into pottery design.

'Remued' was one of Premier's most successful and defining ventures, a feat made particularly remarkable in that it survived the financial strains of the Great Depression. The work of Premier is significant in that although the firm was producing large quantities of commercial ware, they maintained a studio approach to their work, preferring handmade items as opposed to the use of plaster moulds.

Earthenware 'Remued' barrel-shaped jardinaire, pale green / beige / pale blue

Public Description: 

This barrel-shaped jardinaire with a small collar lip was produced in the ‘Remued’ ware range introduced by Premier Pottery, between 1941 and 1955 and is known to be part of the Later Series. It is characterised by its drip-glaze style, and in this case, colours of pale green, pale brown and pale blue have been used.

The ‘Remued’ ware in the City of Darebin art collection is significant as it represents fine examples from the nationally recognised twentieth century art pottery, Premier Pottery, that was based in the Victorian suburb of Preston from 1929-1956. Of great influence to the development of this range was the potter Margaret Kerr (1898-1958), who began introducing Australian imagery into pottery design.

'Remued' was one of Premier's most successful and defining ventures, a feat made particularly remarkable in that it survived the financial strains of the Great Depression. The work of Premier is significant in that although the firm was producing large quantities of commercial ware, they maintained a studio approach to their work, preferring handmade items as opposed to the use of plaster moulds.

Trafalgar

Public Description: 

This is a portrait of the golden haired racehorse, titled Trafalgar. Trafalgar was one of the most popular horses of his time within Australian horse racing circles. From 59 starts he had 24 wins, 11 seconds and 6 thirds, his most significant wins being the Sydney Cup in 1909 and the AJC Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 1912. Trafalgar was a notable son of Wallace, who was the son of the 1890 Melbourne Cup winner, Carbine. In 1900, Wallace was bought by J.M.V. Smith, original owner of Bundoora Homestead and prominent identity in the horse breeding and racing industry and came to stud in 1901.

The artist Mark Gawen was born in South Australia in 1861. He was best known as a sporting artist and was mostly self-taught apart from studying in Paris for a short time in 1891 during his thirties. He received commissions to paint many of the top race horses of his period. The commission to paint Trafalgar’s portrait most likely came from his owners Messrs P & W Mitchell of Bringenlong, near Corryong. Gawen lived most of his life in Victoria and died in 1943.