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Featured CDU Art Collection art work - April

Lawrence Pennington art work


Lawrence Pennington 


Acrylic on linen

137 x 90cm

Acquired in 2019, Charles Darwin University Art Collection, CDU3300

Pukara shows confident brushstrokes using a bold palette of red, blue, pink and white on a black background to depict a significant place in Spinifex country in south-east Western Australia. The composition is reduced to a mere few marks, sparse but wildly expressive, signifying the most important features of Pukara.

Lawrence Pennington’s works all deal with similar subject matter that convey important places and aspects of Spinifex country, and his compositions are predominantly pared-back lines and circles framed by tracks of dotting. He typically uses vibrant jewel colours against a black background, a unifying feature of the men painters at Spinifex Arts Project.

Born c. 1934 at Urlu just north of Spinifex country in south-east Western Australia, Pennington lived a traditional nomadic life with his family before settling at Cundeelee Mission in the late 1950s. He was an initiated man when he arrived at the Mission and later married and had a son. He has been painting at Tjuntjuntjara for many years and his works have been included in numerous group exhibitions nationally and internationally since at least 2000, including Tarnanthi and DesertMob. A finalist in the NATSIAA three times (2016, 2018, 2019), Pennington has also had two solo exhibitions; in 2017 at Aboriginal and Pacific Arts in Sydney and in 2016 at Redot Fine Art Gallery in Singapore. A senior artist and law man, Lawrence Pennington’s works are held in many public and private collections.   


Featured CDU Art Collection art work - March

Judy Cassab Bitter Springs art work

Judy Cassab

Bitter Springs, NT

c. 1990s-2000s

Oil on canvas

Gifted through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Peter Kampfner, 2018

Charles Darwin University Art Collection, CDU3275

Judy Cassab (Judit Kaszab) AO CBE was born on 15 August 1920 in Vienna, Austria to Jewish Hungarian parents. She studied at the Academy of Art in Prague in 1938 but was forced to flee the German occupation in 1939, later resuming her studies in Budapest in 1941.  Her husband, Jancsi Kampfner (married in 1939), was conscripted to work in a labour camp for three years during the war. Her immediate family members all died in Nazi concentration camps, and Cassab herself managed to evade arrest by posing as her family’s Catholic maid. 

Judy Cassab immigrated to Australia in 1950 with her husband and two children, John and Peter, settling in Sydney. An acclaimed portraitist, she won the Archibald Prize twice; once in 1960 for a portrait of Stanislaus Rapotec and again in 1967 for a portrait of Margo Lewers. In 1959 Cassab made the first of many painting trips to central Australia, which inspired a departure from figurative representation to lineal abstraction.   

In 1969 she was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) and an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1988. In 1995 she was awarded a Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) from the University of Sydney. The following year Judy Cassab: Diaries was published, a series of diaries documenting her personal life and professional career spanning the years 1944-1997. Judy Cassab died in 2015, aged 95.

Bitter Springs, NT conveys an abundant and heady Top End scene seemingly abuzz with the noise of insects, or perhaps ablaze with fire.

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Copyright: Images of art work on this site are reproduced for the purposes of research and study only. Whilst every effort has been made to trace Copyright holders, we would be grateful for any information concerning Copyright of the images and will withdraw them immediately upon the Copyright holder’s request.

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