Anne Graham, Greek Scene
Anne Marie Graham, Greek Scene
Anne Marie Graham is at 91 years old, one of Australia's oldest award winning artists. Born in Vienna in 1925, and still upholding a slight accent, Anne immigrated to Australia 1939 with her family then aged only 13 years old. She was by then already an accomplished artist. Anne studied at the George Bell School in Melbourne where she was able to meet and aquaint with other women artists. According to an article accompanying a retrospective of her works, Graham acknowledges Bell as one of her early influences; the other being Renaissance painter Peter Bruegel. Of the latter, Graham says that Bruegel had humanity and wit. 'There were lots of figures and things which aren't exactly easy to paint but I just loved his work.'
'The job of an artist is to guide the onlooker, take him for a walk in the picture- and that means composition of course.'
Detailed layers and textures bring her works to life. The secret is using a small brush to bring out the minute details. You can feel the sponginess of the grass, the waxiness of a leaf and the roughness of a tree's bark. Anne Marie Graham remains true to maintaining a high level of detail. 'Which is silly of me', says Graham. 'Other painters can do a picture in a day, and one like that' she points to an unfinished painting that takes up half of her small studio, would take about three to four months to finish.' Stupid, when I'm running out of time but I'll keep going until I can't. '
In her lifetime, Anne Marie Graham received five major awards and prizes and held thirty-two solo and group exhibitions. Her works of art are held by twenty-nine institutions and national collections as well as many private collections world-wide.
The Work of Art,
A large work, measuring xxxx and is painted oil onto hard-board, depicts a path leading beside a sun-baked house in Greece. The scene is ubiquitous. An urban landscape that could be equally on a Greek Island or somewhere on the mainland under an azure Mediterranean sky. This work doesn't take much for the viewer to somehow step into the landscape, feel the warmth of the sun on bare arms, smell and taste the olives and spices from the local market. Graham is known for her large works of art that are so evocative.
There is something about this work of art and the scene that suggests that at any moment, there will be an explosion of activity like a Bruegel painting. It is because of the absence of people that brings this work such potential.
What may intrigue the viewer also is the angle and view that the artist has chosen. Why there? What is so important about that view? What is over the other direction ?