The Art Gallery of South Australia is about to open the most comprehensive retrospect ever held of Clarice Beckett, one of Australia’s most enigmatic and admired modernist painters, known for her ethereal, atmospheric landscape paintings, which embrace everyday life. The exhibition, Clarice Beckett: The present moment, will include close to 130 works and is being presented as part of the Adelaide Festival.
After Beckett died in 1935 at the age of 48, her work all but disappeared before being rescued 35 years later by Dr Rosalind Hollinrake, who salvaged 369 of the author’s neglected canvases from a remote, open-sided shed in rural Victoria.
Violinist Simone Slattery, who was a Winston Churchill Fellow in 2018, and pianist Gabriella Smart, who is the Artistic Director of Soundstream and a leading advocate of new music in Australia, were asked by the AGSA to create aural responses to the exhibition. These will be played live on the opening weekend (27 & 28 February) and closing weekend (15 & 16 May). Slattery has also created a soundscape, which will play as a recording throughout the exhibition. Slattery and Smart spoke to Limelightabout the music and soundscapes they have created in response to Beckett’s paintings.