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Guided Tour of Fairview Private Art Collection and Historic House

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$25 – $53.84

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Fairview Historic Home

44 Heytesbury Road

Subiaco, WA 6008

Australia

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Event description
Art collector Thomas Murrell will host four personally guided tours of his private art collection and historic house, Fairview of Subiaco.

About this Event

About the Tours

There will be four guided tours of the house and collection. Each tour will last two hours. The tour times are 10am, 12 noon, 2pm and 4pm. The owner of the collection, Thomas Murrell will personally guide each tour. A professionally produced and published catalogue will also be available for sale. Click on the select a time link to book your tour, purchase a copy of the catalogue or buy a book.

About the Fairview Art Collection

The focus of the collection is South Australian and West Australian women artists from the 1850s to the present day, which are housed in a 110-year-old heritage home in Subiaco.

Notable artists in the collection include Marie Tuck (1866-1947), Jessamine Buxton (1895-1966), Mary M. Wigg (1904-2001), Nancy Sayer (1909-2005), Mavis Lightly (1911-1988), Yvonne Jean Grant (1923-2017), Dr Joan Janet Bayliss (1925-2003), Priscilla Blight (1926-1990), Joy Tomcala, Genevieve Berry, Aurelie Yeo, May Courtney O’Neill, Christine Davis, Deborah Zibah and Lene Makwana.

The collection is eclectic and multi-generational. Until recently, there was no unifying theme or cohesive pattern and structure to the collecting – and it is all the more interesting as a result.

The overall picture, therefore, is one of esotericism but also one of national and local connection. The artists featured identified strongly with their home and the art on show in the Fairview collection demonstrates this. Such intrinsic attachment to place reflects the great attachment the owner has to the historic house and to investigating the history of the great building.

Primarily consisting of paintings, the collection is an interesting snapshot of the state of South and Western Australian painting throughout the twentieth century. A body of ceramic work also supplements the collection.

Many of the artists within the collection were operating in the twentieth century and bear the marks of clear influence of some the major movements within art history on their practice. The works demonstrate familiarity with French modernism and impressionism, particularly with regards to painting en plein air and painting scenes of daily life. Many Australian artists relocated to Europe, primarily Paris, for the purposes of studying in the capital of Modern Art – Marie Tuck, to name just one.

Many of the women artists have remained largely hidden because from the 1920s to the 1990s, it was frowned upon to be more famous than your husband.

The Fairview Art Collection defines a great injustice and dichotomy: a man promotes his profession to the world via the outside design features of a prominently positioned house, while inside the talents and efforts of invisible women line the walls.

About the House

Historic Fairview of Subiaco was built in the Queen Anne Federation style for Scottish Ice Engineer John Kennedy and his wife Christina in 1915 and is classified by the National Trust as a place of cultural significance because of the unique ornate front veranda.

Designed by Kennedy when he was at the peak of his career running the Perth Ice Works, snowflake timber corner brackets represent his profession as an ice engineer. Flying angels, often found on the front of Scottish sailing ships in the 1880s to protect passengers during their dangerous voyages to Australia, were incorporated by Kennedy to watch over his family.

Kennedy arrived in Australia in the mid-1880s with nothing and he designed Fairview in the pre-refrigeration age at the peak of his career to tell the world he had achieved middle-class respectability. His architectural design brilliance is reflected in the unique snowflake design of the front veranda square corner timber brackets, delicate leadlight windows by noted glass artist Arthur Clarke from the Barnett Brothers studio in East Perth and ornate hand glazed tiles from T & R Boote from Staffordshire.

About the Owner and Tour Guide - Thomas Murrell

Thomas Murrell is a multi-award-winning broadcaster, international business speaker, author, company director and art collector.

He has been a full-time professional writer, broadcaster and public speaker for more than 35 years and spent 12 years at the ABC as a rural reporter, Country Hour presenter, Executive Producer and Senior Media Executive running both Regional Radio and ABC Perth.

He has written or co-written more than 13 books, and his latest bestseller Insider Secrets of International Speaking (McGraw-Hill International) is considered the bible on speaking internationally.

He is a former director of ASX-listed Walkabout Resources, a current advisory Board member of private gas company Botsgas and Chairman of Singapore-based Hong Boa Media.

He is a graduate of three Australian Universities, gaining an MBA in marketing from the University of Western Australia and is a former National Junior Hammer Throw Champion.

He hosts a regular business podcast Media Motivators and an art podcast Hidden Talent.

This unique combination of leadership, communication expertise, and business experience linked with a passion for art makes him an in-demand corporate speaker and event host.

Biographies of West Australian Women Artists in the Collection

These are just a sample of the amazing and talented West Australian women artists in the collection.

Nancy Sayer (1909-2005) won the first Albany Art Exhibition Award in 1963 and repeated her success 23 years later. Her distrust of self-promotion was highlighted in 1997 when she refused to attend her first solo exhibition at the Kensington Gallery in Adelaide. The headline in The Advertiser newspaper read: “No-show Nancy has better things to do” and went on to explain she preferred to take her dog to obedience school than hang out with the arty throng. Her highly resolute, stubborn, honest, authentic yet self-confident personality comes out in her still-life oil paintings.

Mavis Lightly (1911-1988) was born in Collie and is notable for having been an inaugural foundation member of the Busselton Society of Arts. She won the $500 Tom Wardle Prize for oils at the 1968 Busselton Art Society Competition, reputed by Society Patron, Sir Claude Hotchin to be the richest art prize offered outside of Perth. Her entry is part of The Busselton Art Society collection, the largest private art collection in the South West of Western Australia. As a local farmer on limited acreage and income, her artwork paid for her children to attend elite boarding schools in Perth.

Yvonne Jean Grant (1923-2017) was from a middle-class Victorian family who took up painting early in life but domestic duties got in the way of a successful career. She changed her name from Grubb to Grant and the way she signed her name with the “t” forming a large cross as the last letter, suggests a spiritual woman who was interested in portraying a positive public image. Her still life oil paintings created in her Safety Bay studio are refined, elegant and bursting with colour.

Dr Joan Janet Bayliss (1925-2003) worked in Kalgoorlie and Bunbury as an artist, author, teacher and Clinical psychologist. In 1937 she had to flee Rabaul, New Britain when a dramatic volcanic eruption forced her family’s evacuation on a steamship. She incorporated art when working with children facing behavioural and emotional challenges. Her most famous work is a quartet of ink and watercolour Lady McCusker roses reproduced as a set of gift cards.

Priscilla Blight (1926-1990) was born in Quairading and raced against seven-time Olympic medallist Shirley Strickland. The softness in her oil paintings is unique: a trait passed down from her father, Sergeant Bill Brown. The gentle, yet impressionable way he dealt with trainees at the Northam Army Camp was legendary. She was awarded the most popular painting in the City of Fremantle Art Exhibition of 1982 for an oil portrait of an indigenous railway worker from the wheatbelt.

May Courtney O’Neill (1931) grew up in Old Trafford playing in the bomb craters of WWII, left school at 14 years old, married in 1952 and then emigrated to Australia in 1963. Her artistic journey started in 1973 after being badly injured in a car accident that left her bedridden for eight weeks. She established the first art group in Carnarvon and has won many awards for her watercolours.

Joy Tomcala (1932) was born in Kalgoorlie, married a Czech refugee, milked 100 shorthorn cows twice a day at Ambergate and at age 54 took up painting, becoming an influential member of the Busselton Arts Society. She is known for her colourful botanical work, especially poppies inspired by visits to her husband’s European homeland. She was mentored by Faith Hemsley.

Genevieve Berry (1937) won First Prize in the Trigg Art Club watercolour exhibition award in 1993 and numerous others in the Wanneroo Arts Society. She also exhibited in the “Nine to Five” exhibition held by the Contemporary Art Society of WA at Atwell House in April 1983 and “The Reunion Exhibition – Art of Perth Technical College: A Decade at St Brigid’s Annexe 1978 – 1988”.

Carole Georgina Ayres (1944) was literally born during a bomb blast in the United Kingdom when a buzz bomb hit a hospital wall and her mother was blown out of bed. She has participated in nearly 250 joint exhibitions and 19 solo exhibitions since 1979 and much of her inspiration is drawn from travels along the Canning Stock Route.

Christine Davis (1961) was born in Merredin, undertook her first studies at Fukuoka, Japan in 1978 as a Rotary Exchange student and began teaching art at Narrogin Senior High School in 1986. Since 1988 she has had many solo and group exhibitions and won numerous awards.

For Further Information

Visit the Fairview website.

Listen to the podcast here.

Watch a video here.

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Location

Fairview Historic Home

44 Heytesbury Road

Subiaco, WA 6008

Australia

View Map

Refund Policy

Contact the organiser to request a refund.

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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