Margaret Preston

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Margaret Preston was a dynamic, unique Australian artist born on the 29th of April 1875 in Adelaide. She is renowned for her bold artworks, and through them, she showed her ongoing passion to establish a national identity. What were the different experiences for your individual?

She began to take interest in art after an influential trip to the Art Gallery of NSW with her mother when she was 12, , continuing her new-found passion in Chinese painting through private classes with William Lister Lister, till the end of her school life at Fort Street Girls High School. She never stopped her education and studied at more than 7 schools of art in her lifetime. Margaret studied in Adelaide after she left high school and was inspired by William to teach some students of her own, she even taught World War 1 soldiers basket-weaving and pottery when she travelled to England in Europe. Travelling to Europe and Asia gave Margaret many memorable experiences. She was motivated by the many famous impressionists like Delaunay, Picasso and Gauguin, and used post impressionism, Japanese print tradition as well as new techniques in her artworks. Eg. Flat blocks of colour, colour stencils, light without shadows and asymmetry. Her extensive travels here, as well as the Middle East, Africa, Pacific Islands and Australia helped her emerge as one of the greatest artists in Australian Modernism in the 1920’s. What was the contribution and significance or lack thereof the individual? As a respected significant figure in Australian history and art, she helped establish our Australian identity in many ways such as incorporating our fauna, flora and aboriginal symbols in to her artworks. In fact, her paintings were especially important to Aboriginal people because she encouraged the white, mainstream society to acknowledge their culture and appreciate its uniqueness. She strongly believed that Australia deserved to develop their own style of art and nationality suggesting that her designs...
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