Melbourne, Victoria, Australia born 1954
Spring: Purrumbete from across the lake
2007 Description: diptych print
Place made: Camperdown, Victoria, Australia
Materials & Technique: prints, ink; paper linocut, printed in black and red ink, from two blocks Support: wove Arches BFK Rives paper
Edition State: published state
Edition: edition of 25
Marion Manifold’s (b. 1954) recently gifted large linocuts Rosy dreams: from the veranda of Purrumbeteand Spring: Purrumbete from across the lake will have a particular resonance for those familiar with the National Gallery of Australia’s collection of Australian colonial art. They are based on Eugene von Guérard’s 1858 oil paintings From the veranda of Purrumbete and Purrumbete from across the lake. Originally in the Manifold family collection, von Guérard’s ‘homestead portraits’ were commissioned in 1857 by squatters John and Peter Manifold, Marion Manifold’s husband’s great grandfather and great uncle. They are celebrations of the squatters’ success and are visual records of the historic bluestone homestead of Purrumbete, which they built on the 100 000 acres of land near Camperdown in the Western District of Victoria.
Manifold has produced a series of landscapes interspersing imagery sourced from the relics and mementos of Victorian life, and the Manifold family in particular. The rose pattern at the top left of Rosy dreams is from a broken washbasin, which Manifold ‘found when scuba diving on Purrumbete’s rubbish tip and the tea cup and pot are also from Purrumbete’.1 When the Purrumbete property was sold in 1983, Manifold and her husband bought the original Aeolian Orchestrelle, a roll-operated reed organ, which was decorated with the rose patterns found in Spring.
Manifold has gathered these historic elements to produce layered works that develop her ongoing investigations into female identity and body imagery, her role as the ‘fifth Marion’ in the Manifold family and her personal motif of the rose (there is a rose named Miss Marion Manifold). She graduated from Deakin University in 1996 with Honours in Visual Arts, and completed her PhD at Deakin University in 2001, with her thesis ‘The sexual bias of the sublime and the beautiful: surrealist female body imagery’. Manifold won the Shell Fremantle Printmaking Award in 2001 and will undertake a residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris during 2008.
Curator, Australian Prints and Drawings
in artonview issue 54, winter 2008
1 Marion Manifold, correspondence with the author, 19 July 2007, NGA
File 08/0056, folio 1.
in artonview, issue 54, winter 2008