German artist Elise Blumann (1897-1990) arrived in Western Australia in 1938, having fled Nazi Germany in 1934. With her husband and two sons she set up home on the banks of the Swan River, and began to paint. Over the next ten years she produced a series of portraits set against the river and the Indian Ocean, and pursued an analysis of plant forms - the zamia palm, xanthorrhoea, banksia and the majestic melaleuca - to brilliant effect.
In this study Sally Quin traces Blumann's formative student years in Berlin and her first decade in Australia, where the artist reinvented her working method in response to the intense light and colour of the local landscape. The challenges presented by this new physical environment resulted in bold and evocative interpretations of the land.
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