The Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery at The University of Western Australia acknowledges the passing of Dr Carol Rudyard (1922–2021), a Western Australian artist of international stature who died in May.
Image: Carol Rudyard, Black flowers (detail), 1990, mixed media and video, The University of Western Australia Art Collection, Gift of the artist, 2003. © the artist’s estate
Recognised for her remarkable capacity as a maker and intellectual, the UWA Cultural Collections hold key examples of Dr Rudyard’s innovative practice: abstract paintings and textile works from the 1970s and video and installation art that she produced from the 1980s.
A 1970 abstract painting, Untitled, in UWA’s Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art, will be on display from 10 July 2021 in the forthcoming exhibition Matter at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery.
Curator of the Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art, Lee Kinsella, said Dr Rudyard was widely-read, and fluent in French and German with a special affinity for philosophers, writers and poets, particularly Marcel Proust, Albert Camus and Walter Benjamin.
“She was an experimental artist who demonstrated a remarkable capacity to range across vast tracts of Western art history while also rigorously engaging with, and critiquing, their conceptual underpinnings,” Ms Kinsella said.
Dr Rudyard’s work has also been included in a number of exhibitions at UWA and in 1993 a major survey exhibition of her work, Point of View: Carol Rudyard selected works 1968-1992, was held at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, with a satellite exhibition, Wantai Maiden, at Curtin University.
Her work was selected for numerous national surveys, including the Biennale of Sydney in 1986 and 1990 and Adelaide Biennale of Contemporary Art in 1990, as well as several international exhibitions, among them In Transit in London in 1989 and The Australian Art Exhibition, (Australian Bicentennial Perspecta) in Frankfurt and Stuttgart in 1988 and 1989.
Dr Anna Gray, former Director of the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery and curator of the 1996 exhibition Ways of Viewing: Carol Rudyard and Margaret Preston, paid tribute to Dr Rudyard.
“She was creative in all she did, using her thoughts and determination to create innovative work – that was an inspiration for others to follow – through her textiles, abstract paintings and video installations – in which she fused fine art with popular culture,” Dr Gray said.
“Carol provided a new way of seeing, believing that there was no one right way. She will be very much missed, but her art will live on, and she will stay with us through it.”