Australian Biography - Rosalie Gascoigne

Shot Vision Audio In Point
1

Australian Biography Logo fades up
fade to black

Music

00:02:00:00
2

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: I always say when I put up a show, is it self respecting. And if I find it's self respecting, and I respect it, then I'm satisfied. Because you can't take care of anything else. What other people think. But I'm very strict on what I think myself. And that sort of stands you in good stead. It's back to you all the time.

00:02:10:08
3

Archival. Rosalie's artwork in gallery
Super fades up:
Rosalie Gascoigne
Born Auckland New Zealand 1917
Artist
Dissolve to:

Music

00:02:33:11
4

Archival. Man walks past Rosalie's artwork
dissolve to:

00:02:39:11
5

Archival. Rosalie's artwork in gallery

00:02:42:00
6

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: Oh, they liked brains in my family. You know, they really did. And

00:02:44:04
7

Photo. Rosalie and brother as children

Rosalie v/o: I had a younger brother, and an older sister who was very much cleverer than I was.

00:02:49:01
8

Photo. Rosalie's sister as child

You know, she was a scholastic person. I always knew she was better,

00:02:54:12
9

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: she was better. She was sensible. She was adult.

00:02:59:15
10

Photo. Rosalie as child

Robin: Were you a happy child?

Rosalie v/o: I don't know whether I was terribly happy. We had a broken home at about, when I was about five,

00:03:04:05
11

Detail of previous photo

I think. And this was uneasy, because we lived in a household of a lot of women.

00:03:11:02
12

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: My brother was the only male. And my grandmother and an aunt. And people had high standards for you. You had good table manners and you spoke correctly, and you -- and you were seen and not heard a lot, because people didn't have time for you, you see, really.

Robin v/o: What had caused

00:03:17:11
13

Photo. Rosalie's mother

your parents to break up?

Rosalie v/o: I suppose my mother had higher standards, and my father took to drink,

00:03:38:07
14

Photo. Rosalie's father

which was bad. Though he was a trained engineer, and clever enough, but he wasted the family fortune. And in the end they had to split up. But

00:03:44:17
15

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: he came back when I was about 14, I think. So that was it. And my mother went secondary school teaching. Because she had to, you see, to bring up three children on it.

00:03:55:18
16

Photo. Rosalie's mother

Robin v/o: So you were really part of the sort of gentile poor, in the sense that your mother had standards, but no money.

Rosalie: She had standards, and she had been rich,

00:04:07:14
17

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: and so she had come down in status really. But she always liked to keep up appearances. Like the drawing room, you know, and that sort of stuff. And what the common people did and you didn't do it, you see.

Robin v/o: What did the household actually offer

00:04:16:21
18

Photo. Rosalie as young woman

you?

Rosalie v/o: Nothing. University, university. And mother being away teaching all the time, you see. And

00:04:36:07
19

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: used to go down to the butcher and get meat, you see. A pound and a half of gravy beef. I still remember it. Every night. No wonder I've got no palate now. And you know -- but everybody was low in New Zealand at that time. It was very bad times. And you were lucky that you could go on having an education and going to university, because other people didn't, they worked in factories and things.

00:04:42:17
20

Photo. Rosalie with school friends

Robin: When you were at school, did your artistic
talent show itself? Did you

00:05:06:05
21

Photo. Detail of previous. Rosalie with school friends

do any sort of artwork?

Rosalie: Absolutely zilch. None, none.

00:05:10:10
22

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: Art wasn't really -- well if I say allowable I suppose it's a hard word. But if you could paint and if you can draw, okay, well you were artistic you see. And I used to arrange flowers. And I used to, oh make things. I always wanted to make something.

00:05:14:19
23

Photo. Rosalie in school uniform

Rosalie v/o: I remember winning a prize at school, and you had to decorate a table and I went along and I won the prize, the first prize you see.

00:05:33:09
24

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: And this impressed the family a little, a little bit, I think.

00:05:40:23
25

Photo. Rosalie as young woman lying on grass

Robin v/o: Was this important to your confidence at the time? Do you remember...

Rosalie v/o: Well, it was I think. I think it was a sort of a boost.

00:05:46:02
26

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: Actually that's one thing I never had any of, is self confidence. I never had it.

00:05:53:08
27

Photo. Rosalie and Ben

Rosalie v/o: And even now my husband says to me, "Well you ought to feel confident with things you've achieved since." But you don't.

00:05:57:18
28

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: You just know you're not any good at anything. I suppose deep in your bone marrow, I think -- which after all is what forms you.

00:06:05:16
29

Photo. Rosalie as young woman

Robin v/o: So the profound message of your childhood was that you weren't quite up to scratch.

Rosalie v/o: Yes, oh quite, quite. And I had to disguise things.

00:06:14:13
30

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: And I remember in my -- about 17 or, well you were late developers in those days, and when there were boys

00:06:24:13
31

Photo. Rosalie as young woman with friends. Slow zoom out to include group of friends

Rosalie v/o: who singled you out for attention, this was a revelation to me that 'Who, me?' And at university and I had a few things where I was special to people. And this made a lot of difference. It was a really revelation to me. And

00:06:38:01
32

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: I think that was a sort of need I always had, that you wanted to be special for something.

00:06:53:04
33

Photo. Rosalie in cap and gown

Robin v/o: And after a couple of years as a high school teacher you got married

00:07:00:16
34

Photo. Ben as young man on footbridge

to Ben Gascoigne who brought you to Mt. Stromlo observatory near

00:07:05:13
35

Rosalie and Ben's wedding photo

Canberra where he worked as an astronomer. Where was your first home together?

Rosalie v/o: There was that big

00:07:10:09
36

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: open cold built on the south side of the hill house that we had,

00:07:17:02
37

Photo. House in Canberra. Snow all around

Rosalie v/o: designed by someone who sat in London and thought Australia is a sunny place. It was cold. And the air hung

00:07:20:15
38

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: purple like that purple in the passages. And to get a handkerchief, to go to the bedroom and get a handkerchief was more than you could bear. Stayed in the kitchen by the fuel fire.

00:07:29:03
39

Photo. Snowy Canberra landscape. Pan across to Observatory

Rosalie v/o: It was very, very cold. In winter. It was hot in summer of course.

Robin v/o: Where did you fit into the life of the observatory? What was expected of you?

Rosalie v/o: I wasn't expected to fit at all. I was a wife. The astronomy went on, you see.

00:07:39:20
40

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: Nobody expected anything of you, except I think to be sort of docile. And the astronomy came first. And you had dinners, and you asked visiting astronomers or what not. They never knew who you were the next day, you know.

00:07:53:16
41

Photo. Rosalie and Ben with young child

Rosalie v/o: But you served the establishment really, and it was expected of you.

Robin v/o: How did

00:08:10:07
42

Rosalie interview

you survive?

Rosalie sync: I made a quilt. Does this take 17 years?

00:08:17:09
43

Photo. Patchwork quilt

Rosalie v/o: I did a quilt and then when I roamed the mountain I used to find a lot of big dried Australian branches, you see.

00:08:23:08
44

Photo. Organic sculpture

Different from New Zealand. And I started making dried arrangements. And I used to bring things in and put them on the mantelpiece. People used to say

00:08:31:00
45

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: "Get her. Look at that dirty thing she's got on the mantelpiece." That was me, you see. But I didn't want these things you got on David Jones's escalator, and I certainly didn't want to polish my floor. Which a lot of them did want to do, did it. They were good housewives, you see.

00:08:40:03
46

Photo. Rosalie holding baby

Robin v/o: And were you a good housewife?

Rosalie v/o: No, I was a very bad housewife. I hated it. And in the end,

00:08:54:20
47

Photo. Rosalie and young child

you get sort of cramped, because you really want people to like you. You want

00:09:00:00
48

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: someone to like you, goodness knows. And so you find yourself sort of hiding or things, and conforming things. And if they should catch you with your dishes undone and your -- well, it was bad.

Robin v/o: And did they catch you?

Rosalie sync: Oh, often, often, often! Every time you opened the door, there was some woman there looking.

Robin v/o: And you had to feel ashamed?

Rosalie sync: Yeah, I did. Oh, I did. Well I had plenty to be ashamed of, too. I didn't do it.

00:09:04:14
49

Archival. Mt. Stromlo Observatory

Robin v/o: But you grew to love the landscape up there?

00:09:34:01
50

Archival. Mt. Stromlo Observatory

Rosalie v/o: Oh yes, that's for sure. That was my, the thing I clung

00:09:37:02
51

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: to. I really did. If I didn't have that I didn't have much, I thought at the time.

00:09:42:02
52

Photo. Rosalie standing with pram

Rosalie v/o: I remember thinking as I pushed prams along the mountain, that I know every sort of stone and every sort of

00:09:48:05
53

Photo. Area around Stromlo

grass on this mountain. You can't bring me a piece of grass I wouldn't know. And I used to look very keenly

00:09:53:15
54

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: for differences, pine trees, pushing prams, pine trees you see. One of them's got to be different.

00:09:58:22
55

Archival. Pan along row of pine trees to Observatory

Rosalie v/o: One of them.

Robin v/o: You were there in a place where the business was to look at the stars,

00:10:05:16
56

Archival.Bush land around observatory

and yet you were looking at the land.

00:10:11:20
57

Archival.Bush land around observatory

Rosalie v/o: Yeah, well, couldn't look at the stars,

00:10:14:00
58

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: because I didn't have any knowledge. And besides that was his business.

00:10:16:16
59

Photo. Ben with daughter

Robin v/o: So you were in a situation where you were pretty lonely.

00:10:20:00
60

Photo. Rosalie with kids

Rosalie v/o: Isolated. Oh, you were just plain isolated. I remember returning from New Zealand once and I used to go, when my

00:10:27:08
61

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: parents were alive, and standing on the hillside and the air --
I remember the air hanging from the height of

00:10:33:17
62

Archival.From below. Pine trees and sky

heaven down to the earth. Such a lot of air. And nothing was going to happen. I remember saying to myself, well nothing's going to happen and you might as well get used to it.

00:10:42:19
63

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: And you did. And if a car came up that mountain, I bet every woman on the place was at the window trying to see who it was, who could be coming.

00:10:51:21
64

Photo. Rosalie with sculpture made of corrugated iron and wood
Super: 'Pink Window'

Rosalie v/o: It was very lonely. I mean there's no other word for it.

Robin v/o: In the middle

00:11:01:18
65

Detail of sculpture and Rosalie from previous photo

of your time up there on Stromlo, if someone had suddenly said to you, Ben had come home and said 'I've got a job back in New Zealand, we can

00:11:07:06
66

Rosalie interview

go back to New Zealand...

Rosalie sync: Living death. Well it would have been a living death to me.

Robin v/o: Why?

Rosalie sync: Because Australia is a very different country from New Zealand. And I came out of a sheltered environment, you see. And I wasn't allowed to be what I was. There were no, there was no possibility of being an artist of any sort in -- see I wasn't an artist 'til I was over 50. And you know, a proper, selling artist or something. And I would have felt it was a lack, you couldn't grow. It was painful to leave, but it wasn't a place you could grow, I could grow.

Robin v/o: So for you New Zealand was equated with restriction, with limitation...

Rosalie sync: And standards. Standards. And people telling you what you could do and what you couldn't do. And I think gradually you tend to be the sort of person that you do what you like, you see. Nobody's got to tell you, put the seal of approval on it. But it takes a long time.

00:11:14:14
67

Pan right across landscape

Robin v/o: Is this associated, this kind of personal freedom, associated in your mind with the Australian landscape?

Rosalie v/o: Yes, it is. It's the width. It's the width and the rock under your feet and the high sky. And you're on your own a bit,

Robin v/o: You gradually became quite well known for these

00:12:25:15
68

Photo. Rosalie arranging flowers on top of a row of petrol tins

dried arrangements you were doing. When you moved from Mt. Stromlo to live in Canberra itself, did you seek out any formal

00:12:43:09
69

Rosalie interview

art training?

Rosalie sync: No, the only formal training I ever had was the Sugetsu [?] School of Ikebana.

00:12:51:03
70

Photo. Ikebana

Rosalie v/o: And I found surprisingly enough it was one thing I was good at.

00:13:01:04
71

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: And when I looked round at what the other people were doing, it wasn't as good.

00:13:07:04
72

Photo. Tilt up Ikebana against red background

Rosalie v/o: How do I say that modestly, I don't know. It made possible things that I didn't particularly know were possible. But it wasn't

00:13:12:10
73

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: satisfying to me to do that, it wasn't saying half the things I wanted said.

00:13:21:17
74

Photo. Rosalie creating Ikebana

Robin v/o: So you started developing the sculptural possibilities of the farm iron you'd been using to the

00:13:26:06
75

Photo. Iron sculpture

Super: 'Metal Bee'

point where people from the mainstream art world really started to notice you. How did that

00:13:32:22
76

Sculpture

Super: 'Adam & Eve'

come about?

Rosalie v/o: Oh, it's a question in Canberra especially, of knowing the right people I think.

00:13:38:18
77

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: And everything with me was sort of chance, chance. I always say if I didn't have chance as a friend, I wouldn't have a friend at all. And so it was a chance, people I knew like Jim Mollison,

00:13:44:24
78

Photo. Jim Mollison standing in front of 'Blue Poles'
Super:
James Mollison
National Art Gallery, 1977 - 1989

Rosalie v/o: who put me on my mettle to impress him and after a while he came to

00:13:55:03
79

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: be convinced that I was something different. And he put me in the Philip Morris collection, which was for young, aspiring artists. And I was anything but young at the time. And this -- I remember getting the telephone call. He wanted four boxes,

00:14:02:12
80

Photo. Rosalie's boxes

Super:
Untitled

Rosalie v/o: he said four boxes for the Philip Morris. And I remember lying on the carpet. I was so

00:14:18:19
81

Photo. Detail of previous

impressed with this fact that the things had been brought by

00:14:24:24
82

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: such as Jim Mollison.

Robin v/o: It sort of knocked you out.

Rosalie sync: It did, it did. Well I was very surprised. I never considered myself an artist. I did what I did because I had to do it. Because I wanted to do it, because I wanted something to look at.

Robin v/o: And he got to know your art just from coming to your house.

Rosalie sync: Oh yes. Yes, he did. And we became friends. He used to come in and have dinner and things.

00:14:29:20
83

Photo. Sculpture

Rosalie v/o: And when I was crossing from ikebana to more permanent things, he used to -- he said to me once, "You're really

00:14:50:04
84

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: very good with your bits of twig." [laughs] No praise from James. But you know, it grew. And then I knew Michael Taylor,

00:14:58:00
85

Photo. Michael Taylor

Rosalie v/o: who was an artist who lived at Bredbo, and he used to talk to me a lot.

00:15:08:23
86

Photo. Rosalie with Michael Taylor

And it was the first real artist I'd had to talk to.

00:15:12:09
87

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: And your things matched, you see. You find that you are that sort of animal. I suppose that's what you do find.

00:15:16:09
88

Photo. Rosalie

Rosalie v/o: It wasn't long after that, that they had what they called the Artists' Choice show in Sydney, Gallery A in Sydney. And it was a case of getting

00:15:21:16
89

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: established artists to pick somebody whom they thought was neglected, you see. And Michael Taylor was teaching at the arts' school then. And to my extreme surprise he said to me, "Look, I don't want to choose anybody at the arts' school. I want you to go in." Heavens, you know.

00:15:32:21
90

Photo. Rosalie's sculpture

Super:
'Lying Piece'

Rosalie v/o: So I went in and I put my little group of things down that he'd chosen and crept out into Sydney, you know.

00:15:51:17
91

Photo. One of Rosalie's sculptures

Super:
'Side Show'

And that very night I got a ring to say I'd stolen the show.

00:15:58:00
92

Rosalie's sculpture
Super:
'Dolly Box'

And Gallery A immediately offered me a one man show, you see. And this was

00:16:03:15
93

Detail of 'Dolly Box'

very heady stuff for somebody living on Stromlo, I'll tell you. So you pull yourself up by your bootstraps, you know. You think well I've got the offer, I've got

00:16:07:16
94

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: to be up to it. So I did it. And I had a successful show in Gallery A after that, and a lot of the regional galleries, and even the gallery here bought things. So I was sort of launched. And immediately after that, Robert Lindsay, of Melbourne, offered me a survey show. Me, Victoria! Survey! Well. I died the death,

00:16:16:11
95

Survey program with Rosalie on cover

Rosalie v/o: but I pulled myself up again by my bootstraps. And then very soon after that -- this was

00:16:42:02
96

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: breathless times -- they said 'You're going to Venice.' Venice, me? From the sticks. Knowing nothing.

00:16:48:15
97

Venice Biennale Poster

Rosalie v/o: And so I went to Venice, you see.

Robin v/o: Now could we turn to how you actually do your work -- how do you find your materials?

00:16:56:05
98

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: Well what I get is a nice fine day, in a car you see, and there's plenty around in the countryside.

00:17:03:21
99

Archival. Rosalie in paddock

Rosalie v/o: And I used to go out an awful lot and fossick. And it didn't matter if you found anything or not. But the countryside to me was so confirming and so beautiful, and so exciting and

00:17:11:18
100

Archival. Rosalie in dump

anything could happen, you see. It's marvellous, it's a wonderful freedom,
And it wasn't 'til I'd driven around quite a lot looking at the countryside that I discovered the country dump -- every old lady who died got thrown in the dump more or less,

00:17:27:05
101

Rosalie's studio

and all her possessions, and all her old magazines and all her everything. So I got into things . But usually weathered, battered, old things. It's got life in it, you see.

00:17:40:14
102

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: And what you're trying to get is vitality. It's the source of life you're trying to get in your things. This is what it's about.

00:17:50:14
103

Rosalie in studio

Robin v/o: So how do you decide what to use once you've got it home?

Rosalie v/o: Well,

00:17:58:01
104

Enamel jugs, and doll's leg

you get it home, and you try to give it shelter,

00:18:02:12
105

Piles of painted wood

if it needs shelter from the elements.

00:18:05:04
106

Dolls in birdcage

And then when the time comes,

00:18:07:21
107

Wood and stuff in studio

you walk among it, and you think that's nice, now I can do that with that and that with that. And put things together a bit. Mostly dependent on what Wordsworth said

00:18:10:18
108

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: -- 'Emotion recollected in tranquility.' You think of something that it reminds you of, or why you like it or whatever. And it is that Wordsworthian thing that past experiences get woven into the work. Things you've felt.

00:18:21:21
109

One of Rosalie's boxes
Super:
'Tea Party'

Rosalie v/o: It's not about how it looks, it's about how you feel about it.
And -- my aim is to get something up that I want to look at. And that's about it, you see. And

00:18:36:14
110

Archival. One of Rosalie's installations
Super:
'Set Up'

I've got a rapport with nature, I always have had. And I've got

00:18:46:10
111

Archival. Detail of previous installation

a rapport with some sorts of poetry.

00:18:50:22
112

Archival. People walk around installation

And you are,

00:18:54:06
113

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: in the end, you're there and there's an empty space. So you are an artist. So you've got absolute jurisdiction over what you put in that empty space. Nobody is to tell you that is wrong. You should have this, you should have that. Absolute freedom, you see. That's wonderful I think. It's frightening but it's wonderful.

00:18:56:24
114

Archival. Rosalie's work in gallery
Dissolve to:

Robin v/o: As you began to move away from putting

00:19:19:10
115

Archival. Part of Rosalie's work in gallery made from packing cases

things in boxes, and you started arranging things using what critics have commented was really the 'modernist grid', what did that do for your work?

00:19:22:05
116

Archival. Interior. Gallery of New South Wales. Pan left to Rosalie's work on wall

Rosalie v/o: Well, when you've got limited skills, you see,

00:19:32:15
117

Archival. Rosalie's work in gallery

and you have got any of their

00:19:39:04
118

Archival. Rosalie's work in gallery

clever ways of doing things, and you haven't been taught it,

00:19:40:24
119

Archival. Detail of previous work

you do what is comfortable. And in the end, okay, I was putting things

00:19:43:15
120

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: in grids. But I didn't really know what a grid was. And that's the way it worked, it worked for me,

00:19:49:24
121

Archival. People view Rosalie's work in gallery

Rosalie v/o: you see. You get to feeling that your guess is

00:19:59:16
122

Archival. Closer view of previous

as good as anybody else's to tell you the truth.

00:20:03:17
123

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: After all, what have they got. They're only human beings after all, after all. Aren't we all?

Robin v/o: Now you've said two things about how your art is regarded.

00:20:06:15
124

Rosalie's installation

Super:
'The Crop'

You said on the one hand that you really don't care what other people think of it. But on the other hand

00:20:18:15
125

Rosalie's work

Super:
'Skylight'

it was very important to you to leave pieces lying around to get James Mollison's opinion of them.

Rosalie v/o: Oh yes,

00:20:25:07
126

Rosalie's work

Super:
'Shoreline'

because you had standards, you see, and you had goals, and you had people you admired. And don't forget I came in very raw. And

00:20:32:01
127

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: Ben, I remember saying to me, I've never seen obsession like it. This is when I first started and I was doing it all over the house. And he'd been obsessed, lawfully, legally, legitimately, with his mathematics, his science, all his life, you see. And he couldn't understand my passion for it.

00:20:38:18
128

Rosalie working with saw

Rosalie v/o: I was looking for somewhere to happen. I remember feeling that I was out of step with everybody.

00:20:59:13
129

Rosalie working in studio

And suddenly this door opened to you, there were legitimate people who

00:21:04:17
130

Rosalie working with saw

spent their lives doing this and art was a whole world.

Robin v/o: You were well into your fifties when an almost

00:21:09:14
131

Rosalie interview

overwhelming success finally came to you. Was there ever any danger that success could have spoiled Rosalie Gascoigne?

Rosalie sync: Well I don't know, because you always know there's something better, you see. You never think I'm it. And are complacent about it. Because you know, you see things out there in the countryside that are better than anything you can produce. And it depends what your goals are I suppose. And what your platform is. I'm always saying that about your platform. If you're being frightfully egotistical and thinking I'm great and I can do this and this and this, and you turn into a factory really, and you make the things you can make. Well this is not good enough, you've got to go on. And so many people in the art world, I think, get to a sort of peak and they think -- well I suppose, I suppose, I suppose vanity enters into it. But they do what they are able to do. And what you've got to do is to pull off something that isn't in the palm of your hand before you started, you see. And the adventure is very large.

00:21:16:10
132

Photo. Rosalie and two men standing in front of one of her works.

Super:
'Monaro'

Robin v/o: Have you ever thought of expanding into an area other than landscape?

Rosalie v/o: I would if I could.

00:22:27:01
133

Archival. Detail of 'Monaro'

But you see you're stuck with your limitations and what you can do. And this is what I can do, and nobody is going to tell me

00:22:33:06
134

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: that I can't do it, you see. So I stick with it, and in face of any criticism, I stick with it.

00:22:41:00
135

Archival. Country landscape
dissolve to:

Robin v/o: And it seems to be the unequivocally beautiful in the landscape that you like to capture,

00:22:48:09
136

Archival. White cockatoo flying

not the negative aspects of it?

Rosalie v/o: I suppose I like harmonies in nature or something. And I suppose it's

00:22:53:19
137

Archival.Track around gallery
dissolve to:

what you look for. It's what you need I think, that you go for. I don't go much for the bleak

00:23:01:01
138

Archival. Rosalie's piece in gallery
dissolve to:

burnt out places.

Robin v/o: So a large part

00:23:06:13
139

Archival.Slow zoom out from piece on gallery wall

of you private life has actually been struggling, chaotic,

00:23:11:02
140

Rosalie interview

lonely, and your work is beautiful, spare, ordered and celebrates...

Rosalie: It's the ideal. It is, I think, it is the ideal probably. And I think if you made a list of the things that you admired in nature it'd be grace, it would be acceptance, it'd be beauty.

00:23:16:22
141

Archival. Plain, mountains in b/g
dissolve to:

Robin v/o: What do you think it is about the beauty of this country around

00:23:44:02
142

Archival. Paddocks and slopes
dissolve to:

here that really speaks to you?

Rosalie v/o: Well I think eventually

00:23:47:16
143

Archival. Plain area, mountains in b/g

it's a personal freedom

00:23:51:18
144

Rosalie's work on wall

super:
'Eden'

and the air and the grass. And I suppose too, that living 17 years in an isolated spot,

00:23:54:03
145

Archival. Rosalie walks beside Lake George

without you even trying, it works on you, you know,

00:24:02:22
146

Archival. Couple in gallery looking at 'Monaro'

it influences you.

00:24:07:19
147

Archival. Woman walks past Rosalie's work in gallery

And I think you can either go wider or you can go deeper.

00:24:09:12
148

Archival. Lake George
dissolve to:

And really I've got all I need here really.

00:24:14:15
149

Archival. Grassy paddock
dissolve to:

And it's sort of just a

00:24:16:20
150

Archival. Grasses waving in sun

matter of going deeper. I can't be

00:24:19:17
151

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: sympathetic towards people who think they've got to go and paint in Canada or they've got to go and paint somewhere. The eternal verities are eternal verities I think, and they're in your own spot,

00:24:22:20
152

Cut wood in studio. Rosalie arranges pieces

if you want it.

Robin v/o: Are you a very ordered person?

Rosalie v/o: That is a laugh. No, I'm not. I'm very, very untidy. And I remember when I first started doing things, I thought at least this is something that doesn't have

00:24:35:03
153

Rosalie working with pieces of wood

to be done again tomorrow. Doesn't have to be dusted, doesn't have to be washed. It's a fact, you see. And this

00:24:48:22
154

Rosalie working with wood

always pleased me. When I put a thing up it was finished.

Robin v/o: And it was

00:24:55:10
155

Rosalie working with wood

very ordered.

Rosalie v/o: Oh well, that's where I had control, you see. You do have control with inanimate objects if you can work hard at them and get them to the point where they -- you know how

00:25:00:01
156

Rosalie interview

Rosalie sync: people say you sort of centre things, and I remember going to a party once where there was a very clever man who used to take a stick and stand it on the floor, and he'd stand it absolutely upright and you could dance all around it. And he got everybody practicing with eggs, and you balanced them on the pointed end, you see. And they stayed, they'd sit like rocks. And you'd join it on to gravity or something. And that's what I feel. When my work gets to that point where it sits, absolutely solid.

00:25:15:08
157

Arranged pieces of cut wood

Rosalie v/o: And that, for me, is right. So I go on 'til I do it that way, and I can mastermind it, you see.

Robin v/o: And so this -- the

00:25:45:13
158

Piece hanging on wall

Super:
'Wattle Strike'

randomness of nature is there in your images, but under a sort of control.

00:25:55:24
159

Photo.

Super:
'Inland Sea'

Rosalie v/o: Yeah, that's true, that is true. And nature is so beautifully random. And when you're an artist you've got an expanding universe.

00:26:02:21
160

Rosalie interview

fade to black

Rosalie sync: Anything can happen as long as you've got strength to your elbow. And nature is a prototype. And so you, you become more aware. It's like going up a mountain, and you go up a little way and you can see a bit. Go up, and you see more. And the older you get and the more experience you have, and the higher up your mountain, so to speak, you get, the more you can see. And you know that you are human and finite. You're not going to see the lot anyway. Nature does, but you're not going to. And so you can always work towards it, you see. And life can renew itself and one day, something marvellous could happen, you see. And sometimes you do reach a peak when you think ah. Then you're quite amazed that you did it all. That sort of thing. It's a continuing adventure I think.

00:26:10:15
161

fade up from black. Stamp effect shot of Rosalie in garden.
Credits roll up:

Interviewer
ROBIN HUGHES

Editor
KIM MOODIE

Director of Photography
PAUL REE

Sound Recordist
GRAHAM WYSE

Production Manager
JEANNINE BAKER

Sound Post Production
MICHAEL GISSING
DIGITAL CITY STUDIOS

Music

00:27:01:17
162

Online Editor
ROEN DAVIS
VISUALEYES

Production Accountant
FIONA WHITE

Research
JEANNINE BAKER

Transcripts
CLEVERTYPES

With Thanks To
ABC FOOTAGE SALES
NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVES
ART GALLERY OF NEW SOUTH WALES
NATIONAL GALLERY OF AUSTRALIA
NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA
NATIONAL LIBRARY OF AUSTRALIA
THE CANBERRA TIMES
BEN GASCOIGNE
STEVE BUSH

00:27:22:10
163

Produced and Directed by
ROBIN HUGHES

Executive Producer
SHARON CONNOLLY

Made in association with SBS TV
Dissolve to:

A Film Australia National Interest Program
© MCMXCIX

00:27:35:05
Copyright & Legal