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Strike Theme: Boom & Bust

Birth/Death: 1892–1984

Title: Strike

Credit Line: Collection of Newcastle Region Art Gallery

It is important to note the date of Grace Cossington Smith’s painting, Strike.

In 1917 Australia held a referendum on conscription for the First World War. The motion was defeated, much to the disgust of the 25-year-old Cossington Smith. While men were dying in Europe she was contemptuous of the men who remained at home. At a time of national peril she believed the strikers should be shot.

The virulence of her view was illustrated in this small but emotional depiction of a strike.

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