1934 – 2016
It is with great sadness that we inform our friends of the death of Bea Maddock. Printmaker, painter, papermaker, book-artist, potter, educationalist, environmentalist and journal writer Bea came to prominence in the early 1960s after returning from postgraduate studies at the Slade School of Art in England.
Her prints were consummately crafted, with the usual processes often adapted to suit her needs. She never opted for easy solutions and believed that a work needed time to come into being. Her subject matter was equally uncompromising - always seeking to understand the larger questions regarding existence. These metaphysical concerns were often played out in her introspective self-portraits, as well as the panoramic views of Antarctica and the Tasmanian landscape and works that incorporated the language of the Tasmanian Aboriginal people. Over the decades Bea taught and mentored a generations of artists, particularly in Victoria where she once headed the Victorian College of the Arts, and in her home state of Tasmania.
Bea died in Launceston on 9 April, aged 82. The National Gallery of Australia holds the major collection of her prints, paintings and drawings – many generous gifts of the artist. Also in the collection are some of her most significant paintings including Solitary 1979 and We live in the meanings we are able to discern 1987. In June 2016, the Gallery will feature these works and others held in the collection by Bea Maddock in our Australian galleries.
Bea Maddock, 1989. Photo: Gregory Heath
Banner image: Bea Maddock, Perugian sunset (1961) National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Gift of the artist 1984