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The Cutting Edge Exhibition

by Rosalind Gowans

Linocuts, woodcuts, drawings and calendars

The Budgeon's display case - Richmond Library Foyer

415 Church Street, Richmond (Melbourne)

2 November 2018 to 31 January 2019

Review by Deirdre Oliver


Rosalind Gowans is exhibiting at The CAS showcase in the foyer of the Richmond Library, from November 2018 to the 31st of January 2019. Rosalind originally combined a Law degree with a fine Arts degree, an interesting but uncommon combination, Somehow she must have understood from an early age that a career in Art is a precarious one. However, while practising as a lawyer, she pursued her love of art and extended her skills at the CAE, and the Victorian Artist's Society. After retiring she completed a Diploma of Visual Arts and since then has focussed on lino cut print making as her major form of expression.

Richmond Calendar 2019, linocuts, 7 x 17 cm, by Rosalind Gowans

The exhibition provides a varied and interesting range of works capturing the buildings and icons of an era, that are slowly disappearing. Many of her images are particular to Richmond, but also reaching beyond it, and include, for instance, the famous and beloved Skipping Girl vinegar sign in Johnstone St.

Stonnington Calendar 2019, linocuts, 7 x 17 cm, by Rosalind Gowans

Richmond Football Player, linocut, 42 x 26 cm, by Rosalind Gowans

Her work shows the strong drawing skills and confident use of line which are essential in Lino printmaking. She has an excellent sense of movement, too, which is illustrated in the charming and expressive prints of the little girls, many of whom appear in dresses from a another time, and the more forceful illustrations of footballers in motion. In a medium as potentially restrictive as cutting out forms into linoleum, this is a remarkable skill.

Malvern Fire Station, linocut, 26 x 42 cm, by Rosalind Gowans

The use of line is particularly strong in her depictions of the architecture in both Stonnington and Richmond, the old Victorian buildings which include post offices, fire stations and schools which are rapidly disappearing as the developers move in. She adds to these with amusing depictions of the people who lived during those times, including a fire truck complete with firemen. She hand colours many of works to great effect, using vibrant primary colours as well as more subtle hues.

Night Clouds, woodcut, 27 x 20 cm, by Rosalind Gowans

Oleanders, woodcut, 27 x 20 cm, by Rosalind Gowans

Overall, the exhibition shows an artist with a firm control of her medium which she uses to record a world that is fading away, and she does it with artistic flair and humour without sentimentality or schmaltz.

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