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Lino Love with Betty Jo Designs – Rosalie Gascoigne

by Jenny Butler
Tuesday 2nd August 2011

Today Liz Jones is profiling one of Australia’s pioneers of reusing linoleum, Rosalie Gascoigne. Don’t forget that Liz is giving away a custom cuckoo clock to one lucky TDF reader, just leave a comment before 10pm on Thursday. And be sure to visit the Betty Jo Designs store to see Liz’s full range of lino clocks! – Jenny x

When you think of visual art and Linoleum, the first thing that comes to mind is most likely linocut prints. But although lino is a very useful material for carving and printing, it is also used as a decorative medium in itself by several Australian artists.

We can’t look at contemporary Australian artists without first exploring the brilliant work of the late Rosalie Gascoigne.

I was lucky enough to visit the Rosalie Gascoigne Retrospective at the Ian Potter Gallery in 2009 and she has become my number one inspiration.

“Municipal gardens”, 1983

Entering the Australian art scene in 1974 at the age of fifty-seven with a solo show at The Macquarie Galleries in Canberra, her quirky and creative use of discarded and salvaged domestic debris was unique and unparalleled at the time.

“Arial View” (currently part of the exhibition “Sculpture and Painted Relief” at Heide Museum of Modern Art)

Rosalie Gascoigne’s imaginative manipulation of salvaged pieces of Lino evokes nostalgic memories of kitchen past and a women’s place in the home (even though Ms. Gascoigne denied this was a reference in her work and disliked housework intently!).

I like to imagine Rosalie getting her hands dirty fossicking at the local dump for old lino and other discarded treasures, loading them into the back of her car and then working her magic in the studio!

“Step Through” 1980

Literally tearing the Lino into workable pieces, Gascoigne used the lino’s decorative designs as a work in themselves, or else created mosaic like collages that shimmer with colour.

“A Rose is a Rose” 1986

“Meadow sweet” 1991 via Roslyn Oxley

By combining vintage Lino with other discarded household items such as lemonade crates and advertising signage, Rosalie Gascoigne created iconic assemblages that have become snapshots of Australian culture.

Liz x

“Last of the Summer Wine” 1984

by Jenny Butler
Tuesday 2nd August 2011

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