Olive COTTON, Design for a mural Enlarge 1 /1


Australia 1911 – 2003

Design for a mural [Theme for a mural] 1942 Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph

Dimensions: printed image 15.0 h x 37.4 w cm backing sheet 20.8 h x 42.1 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1983
Accession No: NGA 83.2895
  • the artist;
  • from whom bought by the National Gallery of Australia, November 1982

Later in life, Dupain remembered the studio creating a number of photographic murals for homes and businesses designed by the architect Sam Lipson. With Dupain away, Cotton made this mural on the theme of ballet for the home of one of Lipson’s clients. She worked for over 100 hours in the studio making a complex, highly experimental composite image that brought together a broad range of source material and represents one of the few overt references to surrealist style in Cotton’s oeuvre. The mural was ultimately printed to a size of 1.8 by 0.7 metres. This toned print was made from the composite negative, although the original mural was most probably removed from its home during the 1980s or early 1990s and is now lost.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra