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Eliza Gosse's 'Mission Brown' Mid-Century Nostalgia

Creative People

There’s no doubt that the interest in modernist architecture has peaked in contemporary culture over the past few years. From campaigns to save significant sites, to entire blogs dedicated to modernist home listings, more and more people have discovered a newfound appreciation for the timeless design of the 50s and 60s.

Working out of her studio at National Art School in Darlinghurst, Eliza Gosse captures this nostalgia in her paintings of mine century homes, asking people to consider the ‘spirit of invention’ that has stood the test of time. We chat to the artist and Masters student ahead of her upcoming exhibition, Mission Brown, at Saint Cloche gallery (opening tonight!).

26th September, 2018

Sydney-based artist Eliza Gosse, whose work focuses on mid-century architecture. Photo – Jacqui Turk.

Eliza Gosse in her Darlinghurst studio.Photo – Jacqui Turk.

‘After A Mediocre Splash’ by Eliza Gosse. Photo – Jacqui Turk.

‘The Sleepwalkers Chairs’ by Eliza Gosse.

‘Ford Laser At The Googie’ by Eliza Gosse.

‘Something About The Place Inspired A Magnificent Laziness’ by Eliza Gosse.

‘Asleep In His Chair With The Wireless Still On’ by Eliza Gosse.

Eliza looking at reference materials. Photo – Jacqui Turk.

Initially, the artist embarked upon an architecture degree, before realising her she had ‘more of an appreciation, than a knack for design’. Photo – Jacqui Turk.

Works in Eliza’s studio. Photo – Jacqui Turk.

Eliza first sketches her pieces on a small scale before transposing them to a big canvas. Photo – Jacqui Turk.

Previous works. Photo – Jacqui Turk.

‘George’s Coconut Chairs’ by Eliza Gosse.

Paints in the studio. Photo – Jacqui Turk.

Above: ‘Asleep In His Chair With The Wireless Still On’. Below: ‘The Sleepwalkers Chairs’ by Eliza Gosse. Photo – Jacqui Turk.

Sally Tabart
Wednesday 26th September 2018

With a natural interest in houses, Sydney-based artist Eliza Gosse started her education in architecture, but quickly discovered she had more of ‘an appreciation, than a knack for design’. Enrolling in a Bachelor of Fine Art at the National Art School, Eliza channeled her fascination for the homes of her childhood into her art practice, painting these mid-century homes that symbolised great growth and development in Australia, and reminded her of the typical suburban scenery she grew up with.

‘Mission brown and yellow brick set amongst gumtrees reminds me of my grandparents’ home in Gosford’ Eliza tells. That distinctly Australian sense of nostalgia is what the artist aims to capture in her work, ‘to feel the quietness of a childhood spent playing in a garden of Australian flora, with whip birds, and a parent watching on from a green garden chair’.

The 1950s and 60s was a time of great change and global innovation. The decades following the end of the second world war saw a creative boom, and a flux of European migration to countries like Australia and North America. This newly growing European population brought with it new architectural styles, as well as the need for more housing.

For her solo show Mission Brown at Saint Cloche Gallery, Eliza specifically turns her attention to the homes built from architect-designed blueprints and sold ‘off the rack’ across Australia and the US at this time, known as ‘project homes’.

‘By looking backwards and painting these homes across the two countries I want to undo the impersonal, unflattering suburban stereotype of today,’ Eliza says, ‘I want us to remember a generation of young architects and European migrants that breathed a spirit of invention into the suburbs.’

Mission Brown by Eliza Gosse
September 26th–October 7th 
Opening Wednesday, September 26th by Tim Ross, 6pm-8pm
Saint Cloche
37 MacDonald Street
Paddington, NSW

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net