Far from Ross River Fever

daniel-herbert-convict-richmond-bridgeStonemason and Tasmanian convict Daniel Herbert  was baptized on 17 February, 1802, in the Paul Street Independent Chapel, Taunton, Somerset, England; the son of Daniel Herbert, a Corporal in the 6th (Inniskillen) Dragoons.

In March 1827, with James Camble and John Lynch, Daniel Herbert was charged before the North Eastern circuit assizes with four counts of highway robbery. Herbert had already served part of a seven-year sentence for stealing in a dwelling house. He and his co-accused pleaded guilty; and were sentenced to death on 7 April. Reprieved on condition of transportation for life, Herbert was shipped aboard the Asia, arriving in Hobart Town, Tasmania in December 1827.

Along with co-convict James Colbeck, Herbert oversaw the building of the Ross Bridge across the Macquarie river at Ross and embellished it with interesting carvings which were completed in July, 1836. The bridge contained 186 keystones carved by Herbert, or other convicts under his supervision, in 56 weeks between May 1835 and July 1836.

Various interpretations of their curious motifs have been put forward, including claims that many of the carved heads were portraits of:

  • Herbert and his wife,
  • Eccentric Norwegian convict and explorer Jørgen Jørgensen, as well as
  • Lieutenant-Governor (Sir) George Arthur and other colonial officials and local personalities.

Herbert was granted a free pardon in February 1842 and continued to live at Ross, where he worked as an ornamental stonemason.

Daniel Herbert died of bronchitis on 28 February 1868 at Campbell Town, survived by his wife. Reputedly, he designed and carved his own tomb in the old burial ground at Ross.

His contribution to artistic endevours is not a bad effort for a convict.

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Your Gateway to Bodé for the Day

mark-bode-2012Mark Bodé was born on February 18, 1963 in Utica, New York. The son of underground comics legend Vaughn Bodé, Mark often produces works similar to this father’s style. Mark is an American cartoonist best known for his work on Cobalt-60, Miami Mice, and The Lizard of Oz. Bodé has worked for Heavy Metal magazine and on The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He is also a tattoo artist, spending many years working around Northampton, Massachusetts, although he now lives in California.

Bodé began drawing at age three, and even colored in some of his father’s artwork with markers.

He claims that his father: “Brainwashed me into seeing his world, so the characters I started coming up with were heavily influenced by him. Right before he died he told me: We’ll always be Bodé and son. Share my style, but don’t get too close.’ I couldn’t wait to work with him.

Sadly Mark was only 12 years old in 1975, when he found his father’s body when on a visit sometime after his parents divorce. Bodé studied animation at San Francisco State University and in 1982, attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City as a fine arts major.

Bodé took up the art of tattooing in 1994 after training under the guidance of tattoo artists Al Valenta, from western Massachusetts, and Myke Maldonado, from New York.

He also took up spray can art and over the years has done many mural tributes to his father’s characters. His mural work has been represented globally from the U.K., Spain, Italy, and Germany as well as locally in his hometown of San Francisco.

So Hip, Hip, Hooray! for this gateway to Bodé.

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Make Yours a Platytox State Today

barry-humphries-platy-tox-boxBarry Humphries: Platy-Tox for all Bushland PestsMake Yours a Platytox State.

Australian comedian, satirist, artist and author, Barry Humphries was born John Barry Humphries, 0n 17 February 1934. In 1959, Humphries moved to London, where he lived and worked throughout the 1960s and became friends with the likes of Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, and Spike Milligan.

Humphries’ characters have brought him international renown, and he has appeared in numerous films, stage productions and television shows. Originally conceived as a dowdy Moonee Ponds housewife who caricatured Australian suburban complacency and insularity, his character Edna Everage evolved over four decades to become a satire of stardom, with the gaudily dressed, acid-tongued, ego-maniacal, internationally feted Housewife “Gigastar” who became Dame Edna Everage.

One of Humphries best-known works was the cartoon strip The Wonderful World of Barry McKenzie; a bawdy satirical cartoon which exposed some of the worst aspects of Australian behaviors whilst abroad. This later became the main story line for the 1972 movie  The Adventures of Barry McKenzie starring Barry Crocker.

barry-humphreys1Above: Self portrait of Barry Humphries 2002 (gift by Margaret Olley) National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.

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Victory of Faith – is an Evocative Piece

st-george-hare-victory-of-faithThe Victory of Faith” (1857 Oil on canvas 123.3 × 200.0 cm) is part of the Melbournian National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) collection.

It was painted by Irish artist St. George Hare, who was born on 05 July 1857 in Limerick, County Limerick and died on 30 January, in 1933.

It has been exhibited at the:

  • Royal Academy, London, 1891, no. 489;
  • World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893,
  • Fine Arts section (Dept. K): Great Britain, Gallery 15; Salon, Paris, 1894, no. 903; Exhibition of Irish Painting, Guildhall, London, 1904.

This work became a gift to the NGV by an anonymous donor, in 1905. Since then it has been in the following exhibits:

  • Queensland Art Fund: Exhibition of Pictures from the Southern States; Brisbane Art Gallery, 1930.
  • The First Fifty Years: 19th Century British Art from the Gallery Archives, Melbourne, 1992.
  • Hidden Treasures, David Jones’ Art Gallery, Sydney, 1992.


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Painting is the Most Beautiful of Lies

kees-van-dongen-portrait-of-the-artist-as-neptuneAbove: Kees van Dongen portrait of the artist as Neptune (1922 oil on canvas 170x120cm)

kees-van-dongen-dancerDutch-French Fauvist painter, Cornelis Theodorus Maria ‘Kees’ van Dongen  was born in Delfshaven, then on the outskirts, and today a borough, of Rotterdam on 26 January 1877. He was the second of four children in a middle-class family. In 1892, at the age 16, Kees van Dongen started his studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Rotterdam, working with J. Striening and J.G. Heyberg.  During this period (1892–97), he frequented the Red Quarter seaport area, where he drew scenes of sailors and prostitutes, where he gained a reputation for his sensuous,and at times garish portraits.

(Left: “Dancer” c.1907 oil on canvas 115x75cm)

By 1897, van Dongen was living in an emigre community in Paris but returned to Rotterdam two years later. Eventually, he returned once more to Paris, to join Augusta Preitinger (“Guus”), whom he had met at the Academy. They married on 11 July 1901 and had two children together: a son who died a couple of days after birth in December 1901; and their daughter Augusta, “Dolly”, in 1905.

  • Van Dongen participated in the controversial 1905 Salon d’Automne exhibition along with Henri Matisse, and many others who were referred to as the Fauves (‘Wild Beasts’) as well as belonging to the German Expressionist group Die Brücke.

In 1906, Preitinger and van Dongen moved to the Bateau Lavoir at 13 rue Ravignan in Montmartre, where they were friends with the circle surrounding Pablo Picasso and his girlfriend Fernande Olivier.

  • Guus took Dolly to see their families in Rotterdam in the summer of 1914, where they were caught by the outbreak of WWI. They were not able to return to Paris until 1918.

kees-van-dongen-modjesko-soprano-singerIn 1917, van Dongen had become involved with a married socialite and fashion director Léa Alvin, also known as Jasmy Jacob. Under her influence he developed the lush colours of his Fauvist painting style. This earned him a solid reputation with the French bourgeoisie and upper class, where he was in demand for his portraits.

(Right: “Modjesko“, Soprano Singer (1908). Oil on canvas (100×81.3cm) Museum of Modern Art, New York (Gift of Mr. and Mrs .Peter Reubel, 1955).

  • Preitinger and van Dongen divorced in 1921.
  • In 1926, he was made a Knight of the French Legion of Honour and in 1927 the Order of the Crown of Belgium in recognition of his contributions to art. By then, his and Alvin/Jacob’s relationship had ended.
  • In 1929, the French government awarded him citizenship. Two of his works were collected that year by the Musée du Luxembourg.

From 1959, Kees van Dongen lived in Monaco. He died in his home in Monte Carlo on 28 May 1968. As a consequence, an extensive collection of his work is held by the New National Museum of Monaco.

Van Dongen is reported to have once said about his art: “Painting is the most beautiful of lies,” to which I can truly concur.

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Try Your Luck and Maybe Spend a Buck at the Fryerstown Antique Fair

fentonFryerstown Antique Fair will celebrate its 42nd anniversary in 2017. It is held on the surrounding days of the Australia Day holiday on January 25th each year.

The popular annual event has grown from strength to strength each year and has become a must-visit fair for antique buffs from across Australia. The Fair transforms the picturesque hamlet of Fryerstown in the former sleepy goldfields town in the Central and Goldfields district within Victoria, Australia. The annual fair’s epicenter is at the historic Fryerstown Hall and expands over the nearby parklands and oval.

img_8074Such as its magnitude, the local population of about 120 greets up to 15,000 visitors; who are all keen to find that rare gem they are looking for; and no doubt discover a few other hidden surprises.

This is an essential and important event for all antique, collectables, pottery, kitchenalia, garagenalia and ephemera collectors.  Admission for adults is cheap and all of the proceeds are used for the upkeep of the historic Fryerstown’s Historic Hall.

Posted in Bone China, Ceramics, CigaretteCards, Collectibles, Crystal, Glass, Hard Paste Porcelain, Marbles, Paperweights, Perfume Bottles, Porcelain, Postcards, Sculpture, Snowdomes, Soft paste Porcelain, Stained Glass, Stamps, SwapCards, Tea Towels | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The London Scribblings of Jesus Soto

jesus-soto-london-scribblingsLondon Scribblings” by Jesús Soto 1965 (Kinetic relief sculpture Wire, nylon, synthetic polymer paint on composition board and plywood). –

Op and kinetic artist, sculptor and painter, Jesús Rafael Soto  was born in Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela on June 5, 1923. He began his artistic career as a boy painting cinema posters. He received his artistic training at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Artes Aplicadas in Caracas. Soto became the Director of the Escuela de Artes Plasticas in Maracaibo from 1947 to 1950, He then moved to Paris and began associating with Yaacov Agam, Jean Tinguely Victor Vasarely and other artists connected with the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles and the Galerie Denise René.

  • Soto’s breakthrough works of the 1950s and 1960s were “geometric abstract paintings”, using a limited and carefully selected array of flat colours. 
  • During the 1950s, Soto combined art and science by using vibrant patterns interspersed with vision. He created a series of works including London scribblings (see above) in which the hanging of free-form metal rods in front of painted stripes produces vibrations and perceived motion.
  • Soto was interested in perception and this is reflected in the interactive nature of some of his work. Soto created the so-called Penetrables, interactive sculptures which consist of square arrays of thin, dangling tubes through which observers can walk. He made over 25 Penetrables in his career.
  • From 1970 until the early 1990s, Soto’s works appeared in places such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, as well as the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.  In 2001, he participated in the SITE Santa Fe biennial.

In 1973, the Jesús Soto Museum of Modern Art opened in Ciudad Bolívar, with a collection of his work. Unlike conventional art galleries, a large number of the exhibits are wired to the electricity supply so that they can move.

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This is Wyeth I Paint My Life

andrew-wyeth-equinox Andrew WyethEquinox (Tempera on board, 1977, 876×81.3cm New York).

Visual artist and realist painter (in the regionalist style) Andrew Newell Wyeth was born on July 12, 1917. Wyeth often noted: “I paint my life.” Andrew was the youngest of five children of illustrator and artist N.C. (Newell Convers) Wyeth and his wife, Carolyn Bockius Wyeth. Due to his frail health, Andrew was home-tutored and he spent much time reading poetry and the writings of Henry David Thoreau and studied their relationships with nature, as well as enjoying movies and music. Wyeth’s father was the only teacher and Andrew led both a sheltered life and one that was “obsessively focused”. Andrew’s siblings were all creative types. Henriette Wyeth Hurd, the eldest, became a well-known painter of portraits and still life. Carolyn, the second child, was also a painter. Nathaniel Wyeth, the third child, was a successful inventor. Ann was a musician at a young age and became a composer as an adult.

As a teenager, under his father’s guidance, Andrew mastered figure study and watercolour, and later learned egg tempera from his brother-in-law Peter Hurd. He studied art history on his own, admiring many masters of Renaissance and American painting, especially Winslow Homer. Like his father, Andrew started off doing book illustrations, but by 1937, at age twenty, Wyeth had his first one-man exhibition of watercolours at the Macbeth Gallery in New York City. The entire inventory of paintings sold out, and his life path seemed certain.

  • In 1940, Wyeth married Betsy James, whom he met in 1939 in Maine. Their first child, Nicholas, was born in 1943, followed by James (“Jamie”) three years later in 1946. Later on, his son Jamie  followed his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, becoming the third generation of Wyeth artist.
  • In October 1945, his father and his three-year-old nephew, Newell Convers Wyeth II were killed when their car stalled on railroad tracks near their home and was struck by a train. Shortly afterwards, Wyeth’s art consolidated into his mature and enduring style.

Wyeth’s favourite subjects were the land and people around him, both in his hometown of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and at his summer home in Cushing, Maine. Dividing his time between Pennsylvania and Maine, Wyeth maintained a realist painting style for over seventy years. His solitary walks were the primary means of inspiration for his landscapes. He developed an extraordinary intimacy with the land and sea and strove for a spiritual understanding based on history and unspoken emotion. He typically created dozens of studies on a subject in pencil or loosely brushed watercolor before executing a finished painting, either in watercolour, drybrush (a watercolour style in which the water is squeezed from the brush), or egg tempera.

  • On January 16, 2009, Andrew Wyeth died in his sleep in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, after a brief illness. He was 91 years old.
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Eve Tempted by the ‘Painter of Dreams’

john-stanhope-eve-temptedEve Tempted” by John Stanhope (Manchester Art Gallery).

Born on 20th January, 1829, in Yorkshire, English pre-Raphaelite artist John Roddam Spencer Stanhope was associated with fellow pre-Raphaelites, Edward Burne-Jones and George Frederic Watts.

Stanhope traveled with Watts to Italy in 1853 and to Asia in 1856–1857. Upon his return, he was invited by Dante Gabriel Rossetti to participate in the Oxford murals project – painting Sir Gawaine and the Damsels.

Stanhope worked in oil, watercolour, fresco, and mixed media. His work is also referred to as part of the  Aestheticism and British Symbolism art movements, basing his work on a variety of mythological, allegorical, biblical and contemporary themes.

Stanhope’s mother, (Elizabeth Wilhemina Coke), was the third and youngest daughter of the first Earl of Leicester and studied art under Thomas Gainsborough.

  • Throughout his career, Stanhope suffered from chronic asthma and because of this, he turned to wintering in Florence, Italy.
  • During summer, he at first stayed at Burne-Jones’s house in London, but later moved to alternative quarters.
  • On 10 January, 1859, he married Elizabeth King; the daughter of John James King; grand-daughter of the third Earl of Egremont. Together they had one daughter, Mary.
  • Sadly, in 1867, at the age of seven, Mary died of scarlet fever and was buried at the English Cemetery in Florence.
  • Stanhope moved permanently to Florence in 1880 where he lived in the Villa Nuti until his death on 2 August, 1908.

The extended Stanhope family aided and supported the 2007 exhibition, Painters of Dreams, which featured many of Stanhope’s art works.

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“Someone has killed Soutine!”

chaim-soutine-the-page-boyThe Page Boy” by Chaïm Soutine (ca.1927) oil on canvas (98cm x80cm).

Russian painter of Belorussian Jewish origin Chaïm Soutine (Sutin) was born on January 13, 1893, in Smilavichy near Minsk; the tenth of eleven children.

From 1910 to 1913 he studied in Vilnius at the Vilna Academy of Fine Arts.  Then, in 1913 he emigrated to Paris, where he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts where he developed a highly personal vision and painting technique. For a time, he and his friends lived at La Ruche, a residence for struggling artists in Montparnasse, where he became friends with Amedeo Modigliani (who painted Soutine’s portrait several times).

Soutine played a major role as part of the Abstract Expressionist Movement in Paris where he developed an individual style more concerned with shape, colour and texture.

chaim-soutine-english-woman-ca-1932Soutine once horrified his neighbours by keeping an animal carcass in his studio so that he could paint it – (Carcass of Beef). The stench drove them to send for the police, whom Soutine promptly lectured on the relative importance of art over hygiene. Supposedly, the artist Marc Chagall saw the blood from the carcass leak out onto the corridor outside Soutine’s room; and rushed out screaming, ‘Someone has killed Soutine!” – but obviously this was not true.

  • Soutine produced the majority of his works from 1920 to 1929.
  • From 1930 to 1935, the interior designer Madeleine Castaing and her husband welcomed him to their summer home, the mansion of Lèves, becoming his patrons, so that Soutine could hold his first exhibition in Chicago in 1935.
  • He seldom showed his works, but he did take part in The Origins and Development of International Independent Art, held at the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, in Paris, in 1937.

After France was invaded by German troops; and to avoid arrest by the Gestapo; as a Jew, Soutine had to escape from Paris. He moved from one place to another and was sometimes forced to seek shelter by sleeping outdoors in forests.

However, during 1943,after suffering from a stomach ulcer and bleeding badly, he left a safe hiding place for Paris in order to undergo emergency surgery, which failed to save his life.

  • On August 9, 1943, Chaïm Soutine died of a perforated ulcer and was interred at the Cimetière du Montparnasse, in Paris.
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Happy New Year – I’ll Drink to That

jean-beraud-at-the-ambassadeursAbove: At the Ambassadeurs (c. 1880) oil on canvas Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France.

French Impressionist painter and commercial artist noted for his paintings of Parisian life during the Belle Époque period, Jean Béraud was born in St. Petersburg on January 12, 1849.  After his father’s death, the family moved to Paris.  Béraud exhibited his paintings  for the first time in 1872 but did not gain recognition until 1876. He exhibited with the Society of French Watercolorists at the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris.

  • He painted many scenes of Parisian daily life during the Belle Époque era.
  • He received the Légion d’honneur in 1894.

Béraud’s paintings often included truth-based humour and mockery of late 19th century Parisian life, along with frequent appearances of biblical characters in then contemporary situations. Towards the end of the 19th century, Béraud dedicated less time to his own painting and worked on numerous exhibition committees, including the Salon de la Société Nationale.

In his latter years, his style gradually shifted from Academic towards Impressionism. However, while the major Impressionists fled the chaotic Paris and painted landscapes of the surrounding areas, Beraud – like his friend Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas depicted the urban life.

  • Béraud never married and had no children.
  • He died in Paris on October 4, 1935, and is buried in Montparnasse Cemetery beside his mother.

Meanwhile, back at the Ambassadeurs (see above), red hat or not; may I say Bonne Année or Happy New Year to you all!

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Ho Ho Ho from Hosier Lane

merrychristmasromeHere are the latest offerings from Hosier Lane. Merry Christmas from Melbourne and some of its street artists.



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Getting ready for a Christmas Barbie

mattell-groupIt appears that this Christmas has seen a revival in ‘Ugly Sweaters‘ or ‘Ugly Jumpers‘ that are knitted and have Christmas overtones. Garish in colour and design, they feature the typical ‘Christmas colours’ of green/red/white and can feature snowflake patterns, snowmen, reindeer, Christmas trees, and many other festive styles suitable for the season.

  • Most designs are created in vintage style with references to the 1980s.

Interestingly, I was walking through the city yesterday and noticed in a jewellers window, a set of Barbie dolls dressed in traditional 1960s clothes in one window, and in another, in their ever-so-fashionable ‘Ugly Christmas Sweaters’ which this year are so ‘on trend.’

The  U.K. charity Save the Children runs an annual Christmas Jumper Day each year in December using the slogan “Make the world better with a sweater“. It encourages people to raise money for the charity by wearing their Christmas jumpers on a specific day.

  • Other names include UglyChristmasSweater, ButtUglySweaters, Tipsy Elves and MyUglyChristmasSweater.

midge-pianoAbove: 1960s Barbie, Midge, Ken and some of their friends from the Mattel range prepare themselves for some yuletide singsong – for, as the world can see, they are: ‘Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time‘.

Posted in #Games&Toys, Collectibles, Fabric, QuestionableArt, Sewing, StreetArt, Textiles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A Child’s Lament – I Wonder Who Lived in There?

joseph-noel-paton-arthurianJoseph Noel Paton“I Wonder Who Lived in There?” in homage to King Arthur  (1867) oil on canvas 24″x28.5.”

Scottish artist, illustrator and sculptor Sir Joseph Noel Paton was born in Wooer’s Alley, Dunfermline, Fife, on 13 December 1821. He was also a poet who was interested in Scottish folklore and Celtic legends.

Paton attended Dunfermline School and then Dunfermline Art Academy, and briefly attended the Royal Academy, London in 1843, where he was tutored by George Jones.

  • While studying in London, he met John Everett Millais, who asked him to join the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. However, Paton declined the offer.

Despite this, Paton painted in the Pre-Raphaelite style and became a painter of historical, fairy, allegorical, Celtic legends, Scottish folklore and religious subjects. Together with Daniel Maclise, they became folklore expert artists working in the genre of fairy paintings and folklore.

Paton won a number of prizes for his work including two of his most famous works The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania and The Reconciliation of Oberon and Titania, both of which are available at the National Gallery of Scotland. An earlier study of the Quarrel painting was completed in 1846 and featured as Paton’s diploma picture at the Royal Scottish Academy that year.

Paton was made an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1847 and a Fellow in 1850.

  • He was also well known as an antiquary, with a specialty in arms and armour.
  • In 1858, he married Margaret Gourlay Ferrier and the couple had eleven children (seven sons and four daughters).
  • In 1865, he was appointed Queen’s Limner for Scotland.
  • Paton also published two volumes of poetry and produced a number of sculptures.
  • Two years later he received a Knighthood and in 1878 he was conferred the degree LLD. by the University of Edinburgh.

Paton died in Edinburgh on 26 December 1901 and is buried in Dean Cemetery. 

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Tali Tali Pompey – A Great Australian Indigenous Artist

tali-tali-pompey1Australian indigenous artist Tali Tali Pompey, was born ca.1945/1947 in the southern Northern Territory in the heart of central Australia. She had a short artistic career beginning only in 2002. During this time, her work was taken in by several major public galleries.

Pompey’s parents were Yankunytjatjara people from lands more southern than her birth,  around Kalka and Kaṉpi in South Australia. Pompey grew up in the area around Finke, and then moved south to Ernabella when she was a young woman. At the time, this was a Christian mission set up for Australian indigenous people coming in from the desert. While living in Ernabella, Pompey learned art and craft at the community’s craft room. She learned how to sew, make batik, dye fabrics and spin sheep’s wool to make rugs.

Pompey’s husband  was a Pitjantjatjara elder and law keeper for the country around Kaltjiti. They moved to Kaltjiti after it was set up as an outpost in the 1960s. Together they had eight children, including six boys and two girls.

  • Pompey started painting for the community’s art centre, Kaltjiti Arts, in 2002. She painted regularly and became quickly noticed by critics.
  • In 2003, one of Pompey’s paintings, titled Pita, was chosen as a finalist for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award.
  • Another of her works, Para – Desert Gums, was chosen as a finalist for the competition in 2010.

In the ten years that she worked as an artist, Pompey’s works became well represented in Australian collections.

In 2007, she suffered a mild stroke, which affected the movement in her left hand. She recovered and then continued to paint up until her death. She died on 16 November 2011, in Alice Springs, Northern Territory.

Examples of her paintings are now held in the National Gallery of Victoria, and the Art Gallery of South Australia.

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