Browse Lots

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
A 10% Goods and Services tax (G.S.T) will be charg… Read more

Star Chart

Star Chart
signed, dated and inscribed with title 'Rosalie Gascoigne/Start Chart/1995' (on the reverse)
synthetic polymer paint on sawn wood on composition board
118 x 90.2 cm
Acquired by the present owner from Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide in 1996
V Macdonald, Rosalie Gascoigne, Sydney, 1998, p. 107
Adelaide, Greenaway Art Gallery, 6-31 March 1996
Special Notice

A 10% Goods and Services tax (G.S.T) will be charged on the Buyer's Premium on all lots in this sale.

Lot Essay

While throughout her career Rosalie Gascoigne had made use of bleached wood, pale coloured sticks and occasionally white feathers, her
preference was most often for bright colour, especially yellow. It was not until the early 1990s that she specifically made use of white, at
first using crudely painted board to create backgrounds for a series of panels that evoked the pale surface of Lake George on the outskirts of Canberra.

In the next few years a series of roughly shaped pieces of white board floated over darker plywoods to suggest clouds and leading to the
enigmatic installation 'But Mostly Air', 1994-95, in the collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia. Her last works include a number in which white painted wood and corrugated iron are used to create mystical white gardens, 'steel magnolias' and misty afternoons.

'Star Chart' is one of a small group of works made from found wood as
described by the artist, "This was white cable reels - they're for copper. You see them around the country, there are some huge ones. I like the white, but wouldn't say I definitely go out and look for white." (Artist's Statement cited in V Macdonald, op.cit., p.98)

The white painted wood of these cable reels has been stencilled with various names and instructions in black and red. It also bears scrawled felt-tip pen writing and a few paper labels pasted and peeling from the wood. The artist has cut these pieces of wood into geometric shapes, including rectangles, triangles and semi-circles, and arranged them with her habitual care. In doing so the inscriptions have become meaningless.

Less tightly arranged than most of her assemblages, in 'Star Chart' the pieces are allowed to float like the earlier cloud works. It is as if when contemplating the sky Rosalie Gascoigne has freed herself of the tight and more obviously arranged compositions.

Married to Ben Gascoigne, Professor of Astronomy, at the Australian National University, living in Australia at first at Mt Stromlo where the presence of the Observatory forced its inhabitants to look upwards and later in wide-skied Canberra, Rosalie Gascoigne was a watcher of the skies. Light effects, mists, clouds and stars all excited her. She frequently enthused about the effects of sunlight on the landscape as she travelled through it. She obviously enjoyed the night skies just as much.

We are grateful to John McPhee for this catalogue entry


View All
View All