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ECU celebrates 70 years of art with a new book

Tuesday, 27 October 2009


  • In the Shadow of the Bridge by Marcus Beilby

    In the Shadow of the Bridge by Marcus Beilby

Art historian and critic, David Bromfield has written a new book about ECU’s extensive Art Collection.

Waves – The ECU Art Collection is the brainchild of ECU’s Art Collection Curator, Connie Petrillo.

The book represents a small sample of ECU’s rich and diverse Collection which contains artworks by many iconic Australian artists including Sidney Nolan, Rover Thomas, Queenie McKenzie, Howard Taylor, Brett Whitely, Hans Heysen, John Coburn and John Olsen.

The ECU Collection began over 100 years ago at the Claremont Teachers College which was established in 1902, as the first tertiary institution in WA.

A significant number of artworks were acquired independently by the Nedlands, Graylands, Mount Lawley and Churchlands Colleges, coming together as a cohesive Collection in the 1980s when the Colleges were merged under the WA College of Advanced Education, which became Edith Cowan University in 1991.

Highlights of the Collection include Howard Taylor’s statuesque sculptures, landscapes by Lloyd Rees, Jo Darbyshire’s self-portrait, Looking West and Thomas Hoareau’s works inspired by Perth’s changing cityscape in the 1980s.

Marcus Beilby’s In the Shadow of the Bridge is featured on the cover, and inspired both the name of the book and the colour palette used in the design.

The Collection also features a significant number of works by Indigenous artists, with works by Julie Dowling and Trevor Nickolls featured in the book.

ECU Vice-Chancellor Professor Kerry Cox says the University considers engagement with art to be a high priority.

“The ECU Collection is displayed prominently through our three campuses and is intended to be a source of inspiration for our students, staff and visitors,” he said.

Waves will be launched on Friday, 30 October at the ECU Art Gallery (Building One) located at the Joondalup Campus.

A selection of works featured in the book will be on display in the Gallery until mid-January, 2010.

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