Heide Marks International Women’s Day With New Support For Women Artists

Art Press Release from Australia. Published by anonymous on Thursday 05 March 2015.

 The Airing Court (Kew Mental Hospital) 1954  image

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Heide Museum of Modern Art is pleased to announce a significant bequest from the Estate of Erica McGilchrist (1926–2014), Australian artist and activist for women’s art. In acknowledgement of McGilchrist’s commitment to advancing the standing of women’s art throughout her lifetime, this bequest will support exhibitions of work by women artists at Heide

The career of Erica McGilchrist spanned almost fifty years and she is celebrated both for her contribution to Australian modernism and her co-founding of the nationally recognised Women’s Art Register, a local initiative formed in 1975 that continues to promote the work of women artists today.

Born in 1926 in Mount Gambier, South Australia, McGilchrist was educated there before moving to Melbourne in 1948, establishing herself as a painter active in the local modernist movement. In 1951 she held the first of more than forty solo exhibitions and in 1960 was the recipient of a scholarship to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, an experience that had a decisive impact on the direction of her art.

McGilchrist’s oeuvre is characterised by exceptional diversity, ranging from paintings and drawings to painted textiles and needlepoints that encompass a variety of abstract and figurative styles. Though stylistically broad and varied the subjects of her art are almost without exception sourced from her strong humanist interests—matters that affected or engaged her socially and politically.