Elsternwick, Victoria, Australia 1919 – 2009

  • Europe 1960-62, 1972-75
  • Taiwan 1976-78

Mouse-hole 1983 Materials & Technique: prints, ink; paper wood-engraving, printed in black ink, from one block
Impression: 5/15
Edition: edition of 15
Primary Insc: Signed lower right below printed image in black pencil, 'LESBIA THORPE'. Titled lower left below printed image in black pencil, 'Mouse Hole'. Inscribed lower left below printed image in black pencil, '5/15'.

Dimensions: printed image (irregular) 10.0 h x 22.0 w cm
Acknowledgement: Gift of Lesbia Thorpe 1989
Accession No: NGA 89.1045


  • Do you feel like a trapped mouse when you look at Lesbia Thorpe’s work Mousehole? The intense eyes of the cat peer through the mousehole, waiting, watching, ready to move whenever you do.

    The Barn owls also have an intense stare, silently and intently watching. You can’t help but stare into their eyes can you? Look carefully at the fine detail of the cat’s fur and the owls feathers. These works of art were made by cutting a design into a wooden block and then printing it onto paper.

    Activity: With supervision draw an image of an animal’s face with a sharp pencil onto the flat side of a foam tray. (supermarkets sell meat and vegetables on foam trays) Wipe ink over the surface of the tray, then apply pressure to a sheet of paper placed over the image to reveal your print.

    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra