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Ode to May| Next


Dimensions: 75cm x 77.5cm  (99.5cm x 104cm   Framed)
Soft pastels on primed archival board
May Gibbs is one of my favourite Australian artists. As a child I was completely captivated by her stories and illustrations, always searching for her elusive gum-nut babies. As an adult that adoration has only grown with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the humour and heritage in her work.

Upon reading a biography of May’s life I discovered she spent a couple of her childhood years in Harvey WA. In her 90’s she described her time in Harvey as ‘the two happiest years’ of her life, spent frolicking on the banks of the Harvey River exploring the bush and swimming in river pools with her siblings during the hot summer months.

It’s believed that May drew much of her inspiration for work from her experience in Harvey, igniting my own personal passion to explore the place that left such a life long impression on her.

Technically the river pool portrayed in ‘Ode to May’ doesn’t exist. The Harvey river and surrounding landscape has changed a lot over the last 135 years, but through my research of the Harvey River I have re imagined what one of the river pools the Gibbs siblings enjoyed swimming in may have looked like.