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Purchased 2001. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Grant
Margaret Preston was one of the leading Modernist artists in Australia during the first half of the twentieth century. Along with her paintings, Preston is renowned for her stunning wood and lino block prints, which she was inspired to produce after studying Japanese prints and printmaking techniques in Paris in 1912.
Australian rock lily c.1933 is the largest and most ambitious print in a series Preston made featuring native rock lilies. The bold and rhythmic design illustrates the striking effects the artist achieved by applying areas of pure colour to her woodcuts.
Preston developed a fascination with indigenous Australian flora while living in Sydney, and the magnificent variety of wildflowers from the area provided the stimulus for numerous still-lifes.
She initially sourced supplies of native flowers from local florists, arranging them in vases and jugs. In 1932 Preston moved to a property at Berowra in the hills of the Hawkesbury Basin and found inspiration in the flowers that grew in her garden, and in the surrounding bushland.
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