NSW Parliament House Centenary Retrospective Exhibition is open.
From now until December 16 visitors to Parliament House in Macquarie Street can enjoy more than 40 Wilmotte Williams paintings
We are very proud to announce the 2 major exhibitions for this centenary year.
The first will be at Macquarie University Library from June 20 to July 22.
The second will be in the NSW Parliament Foyer from November 14 to December 16.
Macquarie University Library
Portrait of the Artist
Featuring prominently will be this magnificent 1950’s portrait of the then 40 year old Wilmotte Williams, by renowned portratist & fellow Northwood group member John Santry. Santry, along with Lloyd Rees, George Lawrence & Roland Wakeman, were the founding members – “The Northwood Four”
Searching for the Lost Landscape
“Eureka! We have found it! The search for the lost landscape is over! Thanks to publicity via Radio 2GB, The Northern District Times & the Saturday Sydney Morning Herald, Dr John Christie has contacted Macquarie University. He is the schoolboy who complimented Wilmotte Williams as she worked on this landscape painting of his family’s farm at Marsfield in 1964. A week later she returned to their farm & presented the painting to him. It hung on the family’s lounge room wall for more than 45 years. Now it resides with Dr Christie. The buildings in the painting were demolished when half the farm was resumed in 1967. Dr Christie has very kindly loaned his treasured painting to the Centenary Retrospective. “Christie’s Farm” will take pride of place at the Centenary Retrospective at Macquarie University Library Exhibition Space from June 20 to July 22.”
Do you have an art work on your wall by the artist Wilmotte Williams? The team at Macquarie University Art Gallery is looking for a long lost landscape painting by this artist, last seen in public in the Ryde area back in the 1950’s.
This story unfolds with a promising painter by the name of Wilmotte Williams (1916-1992), who attended evening art classes at nearby Eastwood Central Primary School, ten years before the first intake of students at Macquarie University in 1967. During daylight hours Williams selected scenes across Sydney. Often she set up her easel in various sites across the Marsfield region, capturing the people that frequented the then market gardens that once sprawled out within this area. Those market gardens remain a memory in the history of the pioneering years in the formation of Macquarie University. Remnants of those gardens remain today.
‘Sydney’s Own Impressionist Painter’, Wilmotte Williams captured the changing landscape, as Sydney and its outlying suburbs developed over that vast expansion period during the 1950s and 60s.
The story of the long lost painting refers back to the memories of school boy walking home from Eastwood Primary one day, a classmate of the artist’s son. He stopped to admire and praise Williams’ painting that stood on her easel on that particular day – the depiction of the market gardens. Williams was touched by the boy’s enthusiastic praise, and consequently a week later the artist delivered the painting to his home as a gift. The painting took pride of place in the family’s home for many decades, we understand at least up until the mid-1990s.
Unfortunately, we don’t know the boy’s name. We do know he attended Eastwood Primary Central School between 1956 and 1959. We know that he lived on the Marsfield side of Eastwood. We know his mother had the landscape on the wall in her home in 1994, because she told Wilmotte’s son Christopher. They had met that year at a Wilmotte Williams retrospective in Westfield Hornsby.
It would be fantastic to recover this painting in piecing together an important part of Ryde’s cultural and artistic histories; to view and relish once again the Ryde landscape through the eyes of Wilmotte Williams as it was some sixty years ago.
To celebrate the Wilmotte Williams Centenary Retrospective in 2016, the ‘Sydney Unseen Exhibition’ will be staged at Macquarie University Library from June 20 to July 22.
Please contact Rhonda Davis or Leonard Janiszewski at Macquarie University Art
Gallery. T: 02 9850 7437 E: firstname.lastname@example.org