Anna Aglitis, Women reclining at a rock
Women Reclining at Rock by Anna Eglitis
Anna Eglitis is a north Queensland painter, printmaker and teacher. She is a peer artist to the late Ray Crooke, Percy Trezise, Dick Roughsey and Thancoupi. According to an article by Dr Angela Meyer, Anna was born in Fiji in 1931 and was the only child of socilite Adele Violet and artist Morris William Bramley. When Anna was four years of age, her family moved to Australia. Anna attended the Abbotleigh Private Girls School on the North Shore of Sydney and then undertook a visual Arts Diploma at the East Sydney Technical College. Meyer suggests that Anna received a good deal of her talent from her father who was, at this time, an illustrator for newspapers in Sydney. After meeting her first husband at the National Art School in Sydney, Anna and Malcolm Oram travelled much of Europe and the Middle-East between 1954 and 1959.
Following Malcolm's untimely death, Anna reestablished herself in Cairns and worked as an art-teacher at the local TAFE College and in so doing, set up an Indigenous printmaking workshop. During her time there, the workshop was visited by Prime Minister Bob Hawk. During his visit he asked one of the students what they needed for the workshop. At this point, Anna stepped in with a veritable shopping list. With government backing the TAFE Arts program became a major funding initiative and with it came a large printing press.
Eglitis’ work features in significant collections including the National Gallery of Australia and the Cairns Regional Gallery, and a retrospective survey including work made between 1992 and up to 2016 was shown at Canopy Art Centre in Cairns during July 2017.
The Work of Art
The University of Canberra holds in its collections two works of art by Anna Eglitis. The first, painted in 1973 depicts a female figure laying down in water and trees. This woodblock print is seventh out of a limited run of eight prints. It is a subject that Anna often returns to. It reflects the relation of the female with nature. The second painted four years later is entitled, Women reclining at Rock. This work, oil on hard board, differs from the first in style and atmosphere The work conjures up a Renaissance religious scne with a blond swathed Madonna in a rocky landscape. The figure holds part of her gown covering her chest. Her modesty points to the more traditional scenes of a bare breasted madonna with child or Susanna protecting her modesty.