25 November 2023

Inaugural dAda mUse Surrealist Art Prize

At the museum in Stanley I found a photograph of an early 20th century tinker, by all accounts a colourful character, who travelled with her horse and cart around north west Tasmania selling kitchenware made from recycled kerosene tins.  While drawing I thought about her life and the things she made and somehow this figure emerged from my subconscious, in the best surrealist tradition. So I painted it. 

Tinker's Child - acrylic on canvas, 36 cm x 46 cm

Last night was the opening of the inaugural dAda mUse Surrealist Art Prize exhibition, and Tinker's Child won first prize.

dAda mUse is a new gallery housed in a nicely restored heritage building in Launceston. It has on permanent display Australia's largest collection of works on paper by Salvador Dali, and actively promotes community interest in the arts, especially surrealism.  This is an acquisitive award so she will be hanging up there in the gallery among the Dali works. Chuffed? You bet!

The finalists exhibition can be seen at dAda mUse, 121 Cimitiere St, Launceston (the 1842 Johnstone and Wilmot building) until Sunday, 17 December 2023.

Update 18 Dec 2023: Stephanie Burbury, of the Oatlands History Room, kindly sent me this photograph of old Mother Brown, a.k.a. Mrs Tin-eye Brown, who inspired this painting

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