Charles Blackman

Lifesong 2010
Lifesong, 2010 (collagraph)

Charles Blackman (1928–) is regarded as one of the most important Australian figurative artists of the late 20th century. Stylised images of children, women, flowers, butterflies and cats recur in his work.

Blackman is a prolific artist and has produced hundreds of paintings, etchings, lithographs and drawings each year. In the 1950s he painted his famous schoolgirl series, followed by the Alice in Wonderland series. In 1951 Blackman married poet Barbara Patterson, who became his muse and inspired many of his works.

Always tea time 2001
Always tea time, 2001

I saw one of his ink drawings at the Albury Art Gallery last year and it inspired me to research his work further. I love the freedom and delicacy of his work, especially the drawings.

Alice's tea party (the hand)
Alice’s tea party (the hand)
White rabbit butterfly
White rabbit butterfly

Sadly, his remaining work was auctioned recently to pay for his medical expenses and 24 hour care. The 85-year-old artist spends his days watching James Bond films, his mind and body ravaged by Korsakoff’s syndrome, dementia caused by alcoholism. He is still able to draw and paint watercolours.

Author: Keryn


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