The village of Bibbenluke sits at the point where the Monaro Highway crosses the Bombala River. It’s beautiful, remote, and harsh country; home to Lucy Culliton, one of the most prolific and successful painters of her generation. In many ways, September is Lucy Culliton Month. Last week she opened her 12th solo exhibition at The Hughes Gallery (until 30/9) with a major survey exhibition Eye of the Beholder due at the Mosman Art Gallery (20 /9 – 30/10)
The latter will feature over 100 works drawn from public and private collections. Few artists paint tea cosies with the care, conviction and affection of Lucy Culliton. From her 2007 series called The Show, as in agricultural, Nanna’s handiwork is elevated to high art. I’ll never look at a tea cosie the same way again. Her eye has turned to cactus, food (lots), farm animals especially chooks, flowers, landscapes and objects. She brings intense scrutiny to subjects; her variations thought-provoking and rewarding.
Culliton’s paintings are eagerly sought after; her current show nearly sold out on opening day. They are of manageable sizes, sensibly priced. Arguably the Margaret Olley of her generation, her paintings are distinguished by the skill of their execution, by colour, by warmth and wry humour but not by irony. They celebrate the natural world within which this Snowy Mountains bohemian creates; they rejoice in the everyday life of that world, including the tea cosies.
Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.
You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10