Emus, Margaret Preston
  • Artist
    Margaret Preston
  • Born
    1875
  • Died
    1963
  • Title
    Emus
  • Date of Production
    1949
  • Medium
    stencil
  • Dimensions
    304 x 379 mm
  • Credit Details
    Purchased, 1972

Margaret Preston

Emus

Margaret Preston, who studied art in Melbourne and Adelaide before travelling to Europe prior to the First World War, was not only a leading proponent of Modern Art in Sydney but was also one of the first to advocate the incorporation of aboriginal designs and motifs into mainstream art practice. Travelling widely around Australia to study aboriginal art, Preston produced a number of works that reflected her personal interest in its narrative qualities and aesthetic power.

This work makes use of stencilling, a technique brought to the west from China, but which was also used by Aborigines to create hand prints on the walls of rock shelters. Using earth colours and a bold vigorous style, Preston has applied thick gouache against a flat black background to create a lively yet timeless image of a hunter, long since gone from the landscape, and a flock of emus with eggs and chicks.