In the previous ‘Cultural Insight’, we looked at two painting from the 1940s. Here is another painting from the same artist – and it has the same themes. This work, painted in 1948, is called, ‘The Cricketers’ and has been described by the National Gallery of Australia as “one of the most original and haunting images in all Australian art.” Here, even the buildings provoke uneasiness and foreboding, as if something bad is soon to happen. There is that same silent and threatening power in the objects and landscape.
So, who painted these paintings?
His name was Russel Drysdale. He was born in England in 1912, arrived in Australia in 1923, and died there in 1981.
The Australian outback, and its inhabitants, would become his lifelong artistic subject matter, but the images would always be ominous and uneasy.
Although Drysdale would be knighted for his efforts, one wonders if he had a happy life. Both his son and his wife would commit suicide. He would re-marry, though, but the life of an artist may never be an easy one.