She-Oak and Sunlight: Australian Impressionism
Showcasing more than 250 artworks from major public and private collections around the country, She-Oak and Sunlight: Australian Impressionism renders the past in a stunning, often emotionally charged palette of dreamy tones and textures.
Named after Tom Roberts’s portrait of the bush, the exhibition spans from the mid-1880s through to the early 1900s, uniting such celebrated Australian artists as Frederick McCubbin, Arthur Streeton, Jane Sutherland, Charles Conder, John Russell, Clara Southern and Ethel Carrick, as well as lesser-known artists including Iso Rae, May Vale, and Ina Gregory.
Presented in a way that highlights the artists’ criss-crossing relationships and influences, as well as the wider context of impressionism on the world stage, She-Oak and Sunlight even places these works in conversation with those of overseas artists like Claude Monet and James McNeill Whistler.
The works offer an engaging mix of landscapes and portraiture, capturing Australians at work and at rest, from Clara Southern’s gauzy, evocative vision of An old bee farm to Roberts’s sharply rendered Shearing the rams.
Taken together, these pieces offer a rare glimpse – and newfound insight – into an artistic movement that reflected its unique time period with powerful depth of feeling.
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