|Bendigo Art Gallery, 42 View Street, Bendigo VIC 3550|
Be part of international Slow Art Day 2020.
Slow Art is a global event with a simple mission: help more people discover the joy of looking at and loving art.
Bessie Davidson and Sally Smart: Two artists and the Parisian avant-garde opened for one day only on the 20th of March at Bendigo Art Gallery. Exclusively for Slow Art Day, you can view three of Bessie Davidson’s works at your leisure.
Be inspired by Davidson's beautiful paintings and then send your responses and art to our Facebook page. Invitations for Slow Art from home will extend to Friday the 10th of April. We would love to hear your reflections, thoughts and receive images of interior sketches, photographs, drawings or paintings these works inspire.
c. 1920 oil on composition board
Gift of Mrs C Glanville 1968
Art Gallery of South Australia
Bessie Davidson’s sketchy suggestion of home décor in An Interior gives us enough information to experience and enjoy the beauty and luxury of the room without each form being overly worked in detail. The blues and greens harmonize in shades of pale turquoise, sky blue, jade and viridian with a delicate pop of royal blue in the young girl’s hair and the bouquet of flowers by the window. The sky we see through the window is cloudless, the sunlight is casting shadows on the master chair and floor. Here we view the child, momentarily distracted from reading her picture book on the floor.
Fillette au perrouquet (Little girl with parrot)
1913 oil on canvas
Collection of Carmel Dyer and Allen Hunter
Image courtesy of Bonhams
The earliest of Bessie Davidson’s paintings presented by Bendigo Art Gallery for Slow Art Day.
Particularly pertinent for our time as we take in a serene domestic scene that belied the underlying unrest that was possibly circling society at the time. Here Davidson captures a soft violet hue falling lightly across her subject matter. The girl’s cheeks glow in this light and her eyes anticipate the next move or squawk of a friendly parrot in an ornate wooden cage. Her dress is of the highest tonal value of soft pink in the picture indicating her importance within the story.
Lecture au jardin (Reading in the garden)
1930s oil on plywood
Max and Nola Tegal Collection, New South Wales
Reading in the garden was painted a decade after An Interior and represents a significant shift in Davidson’s subject matter. The sitter reposes elegantly, absorbed in her book while framed neatly by the picture’s dimensions, the tight framing suggests a window frame and perhaps a sense of voyeurism from the artist. This advanced position within the picture plane is enhanced through warmer tones of mushroom pink and cream of the ground and the golden colouring of the cane chair.
Learn more about artist Bessie Davidson here.
Click here to discover other Slow Art events at galleries and museums around the world.