Mary Alice Evatt exhibition at the Cultural Centre

Mary Alice Evatt: Detail from Woman in green sitting on red chair 1930, oil on board. Photo by Graham Lupp

Mary Alice Evatt: Detail from Woman in green sitting on red chair 1930, oil on board. Photo by Graham Lupp

The Blue Mountains Cultural Centre is bringing an historical collection of works to the Blue Mountains that includes artists such as Fernand Léger, Henri Matisse, Maurice de Vlaminck, John Coburn and Margaret Olley. 

Curated by Dr Melissa Boyde, Mary Alice Evatt: Art for the People predominately features work by Mary Alice Evatt, artist and cultural advocate, who was married to Dr. Herbert Vere ‘Doc’ Evatt, justice of the High Court of Australia and prominent Labor party politician. 

Mary Alice was an influential and committed advocate of Australian contemporary art. In 1943 she was appointed a trustee of the Art Gallery of NSW and continued as the sole female member of the board until 1970.

The exhibition includes Evatt’s drawings, paintings and sculptures ranging from the 1930s to 1970s as well as works acquired and bequeathed by the Evatts alongside works and from private and public collections. 

The Blue Mountains held particular significance for the Evatts who regularly holidayed here from early marriage. In the 1920s they built Kelmscott, a house designed by Mary Alice, located on The Mall at Leura.

“The Evatts’ holiday house in the Blue Mountains was a treasured place to relax, read, sometimes work, but mostly be with family and friends,” said curator Dr Boyde. 

“Their daughter Rosalind is, like me, delighted to have the opportunity to exhibit Mary Alice’s painting, drawing and sculpture and some of the modern works they collected, with a selection of archival material, at the Blue Mountains City Art Gallery.”

The exhibition is on until June 24.

Also showing at the Cultural Centre is Out of Bounds. Featuring Rachel Peachey and Paul Mosig, Heidi Axelsen and Hugo Moline, Hannah Bath, Chris Carmody and Nick McKinlay, it uses play and field studies as creative research tools to look at how the built environment effects the way we learn, the way we process ideas and the way we relate to each other.

The artists use children’s play structures as a design reference and local parks as field sites for experimentation and work with these ideas using photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, video and sound. The exhibition is on until July 1.